The Strangest Building in Paris

The Pompidou center is a multi-use building in the center of Paris.

As well as it's official name "Centre Georges Pompidou", the center is often referred to by the locals as the "Beaubourg", after the area of Paris where it's located.

Named after ex-president Georges Pompidou, the building is very distinctive. Once described as looking like "an air conditioning unit dropped into the heart of the Beaubourg", it's external pipes make it very easy to identify from far away.

(it can be easily spotted if you're standing in front of Sacre Coeur)

The building was designed around an innovative idea: to place many of the functionary parts on the outside, rather than the inside.

The two benefits of the Center's "inside out" design are: 

- it gives it an innovative appearance

- it leaves more space free inside for exhibitions and events.

centre pompidou center

Right: the Pompidou Center at night.


The Pompidou Center hosts Paris' main modern art gallery and a public library.

The modern art gallery is, like many of the museums in Paris (such as the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay), free on the first Sunday of each month.

It a short walk from other Paris tourist sights such as the Hotel De Ville and Les Halles. If you are taking the metro to the Pompidou Center, get off at Rambuteau, on line #11.

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