La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog
Paris, Visiting France

La Grande Galerie de l’Evolution

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

It’s been months since our visit in February to the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution in Paris’ Jardin des Plantes. But as the weather gets colder, and we turn back to the indoors, I wanted to share this jewel box of a museum.

With four floors, there is a lot to see. The first floor is dedicated to species of the sea and the second to those of the land but the top two floors take a more philosophical approach with exhibits on man’s effect on the environment and evolution, and the mechanisms of evolution.

On our visit, we began with the second floor and its signature parade of exotic animals.

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

(Look at that little pudge! It’s always hard to believe how much they change in a few months. Élie was fascinated, especially by the elephants which he loves, but when the automated recording of an elephant trumpeting activated, he clung to his Papa for dear life, despite the volume being well adjusted to the space and not overly loud.)

The second floor opens above to the soaring ceiling, the top two floors being large balconies that run the entire perimeter of the space. You don’t notice it at first, it is so natural seeming, but that ceiling and the walls of the second floor are fitted with lighted panels that gradually change color and intensity to mimic a day on the savanna changing into evening. Sounds of insects and birds float through the space until you suddenly realize that is has become quite quiet and the panels have turned an ominous blue gray. The sound of a sudden downpour and thunderstorm sweeps through the floor as flashes of lightning travel across the ceiling. Then, as suddenly as it arrived, the storm is over and the panels melt into the soft colors of a rainbow after the storm. It is brilliant. And magical. Eventually the panels fade to a quiet night with crickets providing their song only to eventually start again with a dawn breaking and the day beginning. It is a testament to the place that the guards we encountered took great delight in telling us the little details not to be missed, like the one who smiled and told us “A storm is coming but watch the ceiling, there is a rainbow after!” when we noticed the change in atmosphere.

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

Of course, every kind of animal can be find here from the large and impressive to the tiny and delicate. And not just animals, plants are just as important in this story.

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

The backdrop of the exhibits, the building itself, is just as much a reason to visit as what is on display. Built in 1889, the museum was actually closed for years between 1965 and its reopening, relatively recently, in 1994. It has that wonderful, moody mix of its time: the elements of classical architecture refracted through the lens of the industrial revolution and the age of steam.

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

So there you have a peek into this treasure of Paris. It’s a wonderful place to visit and wander, and a perfect museum for children, too. Definitely put it on your list for a day indoors and check their website for film showings for both adults and children.

And I had to share these chairs for visitors to rest in because I just loved their design – such a perfect mix of echos of the space’s architecture and a modern sensibility!

La Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Paris, France - egg & dart blog

La Grande Galerie de l’Évolution

36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 70005 Paris

Jardin des Plantes

xo,

A.

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summer ferns | egg & dart blog
Life

2014

Élie | egg & dart blog

Here’s the essential: we have a baby boy, Élie John François. He jumped the January 11th gun and decided December 26th, 2013 sounded better. Now, 15 months later, I am sitting here and trying to think where to begin, what to include, in this post about our life since then.

But how can I even begin to talk about all the ways big and small we’ve changed and grown and had fun! And been tired. Oh so tired for months! It’s all worth it a thousand-fold. To say we are completely smitten is, as for any new parents, a complete understatement. It is amazing how life managed to bring us just the most wonderful little light for our family. We could never have dreamed of a more perfect match.

Élie | egg & dart blog

And we’ve already had so many wonderful experiences with this little guy – we’ve played the tourist in Paris with visiting family, we’ve trekked to some of our favorite summer spots in the south of France, and we were able to celebrate his first birthday at my home in Maine with his American family.

Plums on the tree | egg & dart blogFamily | egg & dart blogSummer Ferns | egg & dart blog

All the while we’ve been working hard on this apartment, our home. It has so many challenges but we love it here. The work isn’t done and I am looking forward to sharing all those details because making home, designing spaces, is such a passion of mine, just as much as what I serve on our table. Our previous apartment didn’t have as much room for me to stretch those muscles and so I’ve been so excited to design a space that is truly us on this new canvas. I’ll finally be able to share more ‘dart’ along with the ‘egg’ here! Starting Wednesday, I’ll introduce you to what we started with, where we are now, and what my vision is.

Summer Field | egg & dart blog Élie | egg & dart blogÉlie | egg & dart blog

In the mean time, you can catch up even more over on my instagram which has been my mini-blog when I couldn’t be here. I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to write here but maybe I’ve done too much of that. Let’s get going!

Candied Clemintine Tarts | egg & dart blog

xo,

A.

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