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Centre Georges Pompidou (Beauborg)

Centre Georges Pompidou, or Le Centre National d’Art at de Culture Georges Pompidou, was a controversial construction project completed in 1978 that has attracted over 160 million visitors since its opening.  Known in English as Pompidou Center, the multifaceted building and its surrounding area is found in the popular 4th arrondissement of the city and is also known as Beaubourg.  In fact, the 4th arrondissement, specifically the Marais district is a great place to find a boutique Paris apartment rental in an extremely desirable location.  CobbleStay.com features a number of carefully selected Paris vacation apartments in this area that are suitable for all budgets.

Interestingly enough, the controversy surrounding Pompidou Center in the late 1970’s was mostly just due to its architecture.  Many French citizens considered it to be somewhat of an eyesore at the time due to its ultra industrial style featuring an “exo-skeletal” architecture that was in stark contrast to its older surroundings.  However, over the years the immense success of the building has surpassed all expectations and Pompidou Center now houses some of Paris’ premier tourist destinations.  Not to mention the fact that its architect eventually won the Pritzker Prize in 2007, widely known as the Nobel Prize of architecture.

The most popular area of Pompidou Center is the National Museum of Modern Art, the largest of its kind in all of Europe.  Visitors will find everything from Matisse & Picasso to Dali & Warhol in a collection of just under 60,000 pieces of work (only less than the MOMA in New York City).   Also in Pompidou Center is a massive library, le Bibliotheque Publique Information, and IRCAM which is Paris’ center for music and acoustic research.

If you’re lucky enough to be staying in Paris for a longer period of time at a nearby Paris apartment rental, or if you’ve already seen some of the more popular landmarks, Pompidou Center is a great way to spend the day.  Even if museums and libraries aren’t your thing, Beaubourg Plaza, just in front of the center, is an extremely animated area featuring concerts, comedy acts, jugglers, mimes and just about any other form of entertainment you can think of.  If you do plan to visit the modern art museum and others around the city, make sure and get your “Museums and Monuments Card” from the Paris Tourist Office which offers unlimited access to 65 different locations in and around the city.  Centre Georges Pompidou can be accessed via bus or via Metro at the Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville, or Chatelet-Les-Halles stops.