The Richelieu site, a cultural venue in the heart of Paris

After more than 10 years of renovation, the historic site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France has reopened its doors in September 2022 to visitors curious to discover 300 years of history.



If you book a visit to the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann heritage sites, you will receive a discount on a visit to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France museum.

*Offer valid only between 1 January and 30 April 2024, each visitor to the “Visites du Patrimoine” receives a discount on a full-price ticket to the BnF museum. Offer valid exclusively online, using the promotional code given in your confirmation email.

In the heart of Paris, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Nestled in the heart of Paris, between the Louvre and the Opera, opposite the covered passageways and close to the Grands Magasins, the Richelieu site offers new visitor experiences. 

With its museum, reading room, research rooms, garden, bookshop and café, the site offers a journey through French history and heritage. Stroll through its listed buildings on the guided tour, available in several languages, and discover the temporary exhibitions and the Tuesday evening nocturne.

Guided tour of the site

Discover the historic birthplace of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, now renovated. The tour of this former palace of Cardinal Mazarin, now a library and museum, and a major center of research and culture, takes you on a journey through French architecture and cultural history since the 17th century.

Exclusive promotional code : GALFABnF2023 

BNF Richelieu museum, on 27/07/2022

Guided tour of the museum

Explore the new BnF museum, housed in some of the most sumptuous listed spaces on the Richelieu site, including the Galerie Mazarin, the heart of the Cardinal’s former palace, the Salle des Colonnes and the Salle de Luynes.

The tour takes visitors on a journey from Antiquity to the present day, revealing the most remarkable works drawn from the Library’s encyclopedic collections. Rare pieces such as the Grand Camée de France and Dagobert’s throne are on display.

You can discover illuminated manuscripts such as the Sacramentaire de Drogon, or works representing seminal moments such as Pascal’s Les Pensées, Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris and Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième sexe. These extraordinary pieces stand alongside prints from Rembrandt to Picasso, drawings by Sonia Delaunay, photographs from Nadar to Capa, objects and costumes.

Exclusive promotional code : GALFABnF2023 

Guided tour of temporary exhibitions

Temporary exhibitions are held every year in the Galerie Mansart – Galerie Pigott, a listed historic monument. 

Take advantage of guided tours to discover treasures from BnF’s specialized collections – maps and plans, prints, photographs, sheet music, antiques, theatrical costumes, manuscripts…

Exclusive promotional code : GALFABnF2023 

A garden in a palace 

In the heart of historic Paris, dominated by minerals and buildings, and lacking in planted areas, a new garden of 1 900 m² is being created on the Richelieu site. The Vivienne garden was designed by artist and gardener Gilles Clément, landscape designer Antoine Quenardel and heritage architect Mirabelle Croizier.

Dessin du jardin Vivienne qui n'est pas encore achevé - Bnf

Their project, entitled Hortus papyrifer, introduces a number of papyriferous plants known for their use in writing and printing materials: mulberry, bamboo and papyrus. The garden thus forms a clear link with the Library, the emblematic repository of works on paper. More information

The oval paradise

Listed as a historic monument, the room’s dimensions are impressive: an oval measuring 43.70 m by 32.80 m, 18 m high. It has benefited from exemplary restoration work, notably on the gigantic glass roof, the glass oculi and the mosaics. The Recoura tables were reinstalled in a new layout designed and built by the architects. The restoration of the Salle Ovale was supported by over 2,700 donors. More information

The BnF’s iconic room is open to all, free of charge and with no age restrictions.

Ovale room – BnF

Self-guided tours

It’s easy to visit the site and museum freely in French, English, Spanish, audio description and French sign language, by downloading the free BnF Rochelieu application, section “Compagnon de visite” application.

You’ll find enriched content, translated labels, focus on a wide selection of works: the app accompanies you on site and remotely to prepare or continue your visit.

A preview in video

5, rue Vivienne, 75002 PARIS

Opening hours at the Richelieu site

Monday : 2 pm – 7.30 pm l Tuesday: 9 am – 8 pm l Wednesday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 am – 6.30 pm l Sunday and public holidays*: 10 am – 6 pm

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Vous serez contactés en septembre à l’ouverture des inscriptions. Celle-ci vous permet de participer automatiquement au tirage au sort, mais l’inscription ne garantit aucunement une place à l’événement.

Galeries Lafayette vous remercie pour votre participation !

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