Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is the largest museum of architecture in the world. Over its 11,000 square metres of combined exhibition space, it houses Musée national des Monuments français and three galleries dedicated to architecture from various periods, wall paintings and stained glass. It was opened in 2007.
Musée national des Monuments Français houses 6,000 casts of sculptures of all periods and cultures, however its focus remains on French sculpture of the Romanesque and Gothic periods. It also displays scale models of buildings, copies of architectural elements, frescoes, and stained glass, as well as about 200,000 photographs.
Musée des Monuments Français was opened in 1795 by Alexandre Lenoir. It was Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s idea to collect reproductions of French sculpture and architecture at a single site. Palais du Trocadéro, left vacant after the Exposition universelle in 1878, was just the place to house such a collection. In the 1930s, Palais de Trocadéro was destroyed, redesigned and renamed Palais de Chaillot. Following yet another renovation, which repaired the damage caused by a fire, it was reopened in 2007 as a part of La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.