Spring events in Paris
Your guide to cultural events and entertainment in the capital
La Nuit Aux Invalides
24 April to 24 May
At nightfall over the course of a month, the façades of the inner courtyard at Paris’s former military hospital, the Hôtel National des Invalides, are covered by a dazzling 3D light and video show that delves into the dramatic history of France. Projections, music and an audio commentary recount the story of France in combat, the history of the Invalides military monument and the lives of three giant figures: Louis XIV, Napoléon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle. La Nuit Aux Invalides was launched in 2012 and attracted 90,000 spectators in its first two years. The 2014 show marks the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris by the Allies during World War II. Tickets cost €12.50 and a booklet giving an English translation is available at the door.
www.lanuitauxinvalides.frParis 1900, la ville spectacle
2 April to 17 August
Along with the Grand Palais and the Pont Alexandre III, the Petit Palais was an emblem of the Exposition Universelle de 1900; a world fair held in Paris to celebrate the new century in terms of technological progress and economic power. Designed as a striking example of the art nouveau style, the Petit Palais will dedicate a new retrospective to the era in which it was built, exploring the cultural and social movements emerging at that time. The exhibition will focus on how the advent of cinema, fashion, department stores and salons helped to construct an almost mythical vision of Paris, with displays of costumes, posters, old photographs, famous paintings and sculptures.
Tel: (Fr) 1 53 43 40 00
www.petitpalais.paris.frCarnaval de Paris
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After a gap of nearly 50 years, Paris’s carnival was revived in 1998 and has become a springtime fixture. Starting at lunchtime on Sunday, 2 March, parades and floats will make their way from Place Gambetta in the 20th arrondissement to the Hôtel de Ville next to the River Seine, followed by musicians, dancers, performers and spectators. The colourful cow leading the procession is a tribute to the boeuf gras – the former name of the carnival.
Tel: (Fr) 9 53 72 16 61
Brassaï : Pour L’Amour de Paris
Until 8 March
The Hôtel de Ville stages an exhibition dedicated to the celebrated Hungarian-born photographer Brassaï (1899-1984), whose endless fascination with Paris impelled him to scour the streets with his camera, particularly at night, to capture the intensity of the city and its colourful inhabitants.
Tel: (Fr) 1 42 76 40 40
www.paris.fr Printemps du Cinéma
During this annual three-day event, film buffs get the chance to enjoy a cut-price cinema spree in Paris, with tickets going for just €3.50 in participating cinemas. Both new releases and older movies are on offer, making the event a great opportunity to explore a new movie genre or to catch a French classic.
Salon du Livre
Lovers of the literary atmosphere of Paris will be in their element at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre during the 34th Paris Book Fair. Offering everything from rare collectors’ classics to contemporary titles from independent publishers, the fair’s programme includes talks and workshops, and a dedicated children’s corner, as well as pavilions for foreign titles, cookbooks, comics and science literature.
Tel: (Fr) 1 47 56 64 31
www.salondulivreparis.com Art Paris
The big springtime art fair arrives at the Grand Palais, bringing with it 144 international galleries from 20 countries to represent a panorama of modern and contemporary art, design and photography. After Russia last year, the 2014 fair will have China as its guest of honour, with an emphasis on Western artists specialising in Chinese art as well as gallery representatives from Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Tel: (Fr) 1 56 26 52 13
www.artparis.fr/enMarathon de Paris
The atmosphere is electric when 50,000 runners take to the streets to compete in the Paris marathon. Now in its 38th year, the race is the fifth biggest marathon in the world and attracts runners from far and wide. The course starts on the Champs-Élysées and ends at Avenue Foch on the other side of the Arc de Triomphe. Along the way runners pass some of the greatest landmarks in Paris, including the Cathédrale Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.
Tel: (Fr) 1 41 33 15 68
www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.comParis 14/18: la Guerre au Quotidien
Until 15 June
The galleries of the Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris hold an exhibition of 200 works by little-known photographer Charles Lansiaux (1855-1939), who presents a poignant view of World War I from the streets of Paris. Rather than showing conventional images of the front-line trenches, his black and white frames show the repercussions of war on the capital through damage and deprivation.
Tel: (Fr) 1 44 78 80 50