A Paris classic
It’s not quite as iconic as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame, but, with its magnificent glass-domed roof, the Grand Palais is definitely unmissable on any visit to Paris.
Our Paris bus tour gives you a great view of the Grand Palais from a variety of different angles. As you approach, you’ll see the French tricolours fluttering above the Belle Epoque-style pinnacle. Then you witness its grand colonnade. And you’ll even get near enough to appreciate the world-famous statues, including the iconic ‘Galloping Horses’.
Best of all, you can disembark at Big Bus Tours stop 9 and explore the Grand Palais at your leisure.
History of the Grand Palais
For more than 100 years, the Grand Palais has been a public exhibition hall hosting some of the world’s most sumptuous events. Following the success of the Eiffel Tower, the pressure was on to build something monumental. The Grand Palais was commissioned for the Great Exhibition of 1900. In fact, 4 architects were given only 3 years for construction.
The inside was incredibly innovative for its time. Reinforced concrete and ironwork created the huge barrel-vaulted glass ceiling that floods the building with natural light. Externally, the building is an ornate mix of Classical stonework and Art-Nouveau mosaics.
Other interesting facts about the Grand Palais
- The Grand Palais is currently the largest existing ironwork and glass structure in the world (a title once held by London's Crystal Palace)
- Its roof has 9,400 tons of steel, 15,000 square metres (162,000 square feet) of glass, and about 5,000 square metres (5,400 square feet) of galvanised iron/zinc roofing
- The fashion label Chanel hosts many of its shows here
- There’s a major police station in the basement to help protect exhibits
- It was the HQ of the French resistance during the liberation of Paris in 1944 (and was badly damaged in the battle)