The Globes of Louis XIV Museum, Tour and Exhibitions at Francois-Mitterrand library
Even though its main purpose is as a library and a research facility, the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand offers temporary and permanent exhibitions that anyone can discover, and even a guided tour is available.
About the Museum and Exhibitions at Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand
We will not go into great details about the first exhibition, as this relates to the Forest Garden of the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand, and you can discover more about this unique concept in another write-up.
There are also numerous temporary exhibitions that run for approximately three to four months at a time and these are on a variety of different subjects such as photography from a specific artist, a theme like cinema, etc.
Yet there are sometimes temporary exhibitions showing some of the exceeding rare books from the Biblioteque National de France reserves, which are held within the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand library.
Some of these exhibitions are free, however, the majority are at a cost in addition to the most important museum exhibition of the Globes of Louis XIV. But there are also talks and lectures available in French, which take place within the auditorium on specific themes for researchers and historians.
The Globes of Louis XIV
Now let us take a look at the most important exhibition at the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand, which is actually also classed as a museum in Paris in its own right, and this is called The Globes of Louis XIV.
Located in an original setting that has been specifically designed to enhance the beauty of the paintings, it allows people of see The Globes in their historical content and the progress made with geographical sciences.
There is also a specific area that is dedicated to the history of the spheres that were produced for King Louis XIV, which are known as the monumental masterpieces of Baroque mapping and are unique in the world, just like many other aspects of the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand are.
So as you can no doubt tell, the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand is more than just a library, and is a very different, yet great tourist attraction in Paris to discover.
The Tour at Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand
There is a guided tour available on a Tuesday to Friday at 2.30pm and at a weekend starting at 3pm, and this tour lasts for approximately 90 minutes, although we would like to point out that as far as we are aware, at present it is only available in French.
However, on this tour, you will get a presentation about the history of the Bibliotheque National de France, along with details about the unique design and construction of the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand.
In addition to this, you will also get to discover different areas including the reading rooms, along with obtaining a greater understanding of its structure, plus you can discover and learn more about the very impressive permanent museum collection called the Globes of Louis XIV.
Visiting the Exhibitions at the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand Library
The Exhibition opening hours at the Bibliotheque National de France - Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand, are on a Tuesday to Saturday from 10am through to 7pm and on a Sunday from 1pm to 7pm, yet they are closed on a Monday.
You will also find that all exhibitions are closed on all national French holidays including Labour Day, Ascension Thursday, and Bastille Day, etc. And in addition to these dates, there is an annual closure from approximately 8th September through to around the 21st September.
Now some of the exhibitions, such as a temporary one held in the walkway between the East Hall building, is completely free to visit, as is the permanent Forest Garden exhibition.
Yet there is a charge to discover other temporary and permanent exhibitions such as the Globes of Louis XIV along with the history of the library, etc, and as of 2018 the cost of a ticket is approximately €10 for one exhibition or €15 for two. But there is a reduced rate applicable for students and people who have booked a guided tour, plus there is free access to people under the age of 18, those with disabilities and those who have a library card, but these are only applicable upon proof of entitlement.
Guided tours are available for individuals as well as groups and are at set times for a cost of €3 per person on top of the reduced cost entrance fee, and with a duration of 90 minutes you must book in advance, yet we would like to point out that these are in French only.
Access to the exhibitions and Globes of Louis XIV
Now when it comes to getting to the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand via public transport in Paris, you will find that the eastern entrance is closest to the Metro station called the Francois-Mitterrand stop via line 14, which also serves the RER trains via line C.
There is an additional entrance on the western side, and another Metro station called the Quai de la Gare stop serving line 6, is located close by to this particular entrance.
You can also access the square or plaza in front of the BNF library from the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir footbridge, which goes over the River Seine from the Parc de Bercy in the 12th Arrondissement, plus the bus lines 62, 64, 89, 132 and 325 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via Line N133 will also get you close by.
But if you have your own means of transport, then there are paying car parks located next to the library at the Rue Emile Durkheim and at the Rue Abel Gance, plus there are Velib stations for the self service bike rental scheme in Paris, which are also conveniently located close to the library and utilised by many students.