Designed by Louis Le Vau, this dramatic baroque building with an enormous cupola is the seat of all five academies that dominate France's intellectual life -- Française, Sciences, Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Beaux Arts, and Sciences Morales et Politiques. The members of the Académie Française (limited to 40), guardians of the French language referred to as "the immortals," gather here. Many are unfamiliar figures (though Jacques Cousteau and Marshall Pétain were members), and the academy is remarkable for the great writers and philosophers who have not been invited to join -- Balzac, Baudelaire, Diderot, Flaubert, Descartes, Proust, Molière, Pascal, Rousseau, and Zola, to name only a few. The cenotaph was designed by Coysevox for Mazarin.
Institut de France
23 quai de Conti, 6e, Paris, France
Our Rating Hours Daily 9am-6pm Transportation Métro: Louvre-Rivoli Phone 01-44-41-44-47 Prices Free admission (guests can walk into courtyard only) Web site Institut de France