These buildings were built at the end of the 19th century for the Paris International Exposition in 1900, the same one for which the Eiffel Tower was built. This world exhibition was designed to sum up the 19th century and celebrate the opening of the 20th century in the center of the "Belle Epoque" period (The Golden Age of Europe, that was created thanks to the peace that prevailed at the time between the powerful countries, it brought prosperity and growth in the fields of science, and also for a significant improvement in quality of life). At that time, the exhibition was the largest ever to exist and included 50,000 visitors. The exhibition covered 120,000 square meters.
Within the framework of the magnificent buildings that were created for the exhibition, we can also find the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.
In the beginning, the Museum of French Art was dedicated to the traditional Parisian art galleries - the French Artists' Salon and the Spring Salon. Here the works of Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and others were first exhibited. The first works of cubism were also exhibited in the museums space for the first time. The museum has three different halls, each with its own entrance. The largest art exhibitions in Paris are held here.
In the main gallery you can see exhibitions of modern art, fashion exhibitions of the biggest designers, and exhibitions of antiques. Among the important collections of the place are the famous bronze sculptures, sculptures from the Greek and Roman period and ivory and jewelry from the French Renaissance period.
Today, the museum includes various galleries, displaying alternating exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in various fields: art, fashion, photography, music, dance, cinema, theater and even sports. The exhibitions are considered very high quality and present significant works in the world of modern art.
Alexander the 3rd's Gate is also part of the complex of these buildings and continues their design line.
In 2006 the Grand Palais and its twin palace (Petit Palais) underwent serious renovations. As part of the renovations, the foundations of the showroom, made entirely of steel and glass, were reinforced. If we raised the issue of glass, it is interesting to know that since 1993 the building was closed after a metal screw that fell from the ceiling from a height of 35 meters plunged into the display case. A showcase in the Grand Palais is the dome in Art Nouveau style made up of 9,370 tons of green steel.
During the World War II and the occupation of France, the Nazis used the Grand Palais - initially as a warehouse for trucks and then as a place of exhibition for Nazi propaganda.
The Parisian Resistance used the Grand Palais as its headquarters during the struggle to liberate Paris. On August 23, 1944, shots were fired from one of its windows at a German row advancing on the next street. The Germans returned fire with tanks to the palace and the shells set fire to a pile of hay from a building set up for a circus show. Thick black smoke had engulfed in the fire that burned for the next 48 hours and caused serious damage to the structure. On August 26, American jeeps parked in the main hall, followed by tanks from the 2nd French Armored Division, marked the completion of the palace's liberation.