French Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Today, I’d like to show you a few pictures of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officially called Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Européennes (I don’t think I need to translate) and usually called Quai d’Orsay from its location.


Quai d'Orsay


This building is unique among all of the government buildings in the fact that it was designed and built in between 1844 and 1856 with hosting such a diplomatic building in mind. All other government buildings were previously something else (with the exception of the more recent ones of course).

And if you wonder why it took so long to build it, while I don’t know all the details, the Revolution of 1848 is the main reason.

So I had the chance to visit the Quai d’Orsay a few years ago, and this time it had nothing to do with my old job bringing me to the most unique places (I got to visit Hôtel Matignon, not once but twice thanks to it though, I’ll tell you about it one of those days). That time, it was not a private visit, and you too can visit it if you’re in Paris in September as it was open as well as most other public buildings for the European Heritage Days.

It was pretty interesting to see such a building from the inside, and not only because it shows how different the reality of the people who govern us is compared to the one of the people they govern..



The Rome Treaty


The Minister’s office and desk – at the time it was Bernard Kouchner, one of the worst foreign affairs ministers we’ve had in recent memory.


The EU Treaty. I remember when it was signed, I was so full of hopes for Europe at the time. Hard to not be bitter when seeing this and what it has become since…


I’d like to have this in my office.


Pont Alexandre III seen from the Ministry.


In short, if you get the opportunity, I warmly advise you to visit the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and similar places (Heritage Days is your best option).


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David Billa

David was born and raised in the French South West. After a few years in the US and a few more in Paris, he finally settled down in Japan. He blogs here about his various experiences and travels, with an emphasis on his home country, France.

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