In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

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In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

Bold, passionate, artists and scientists, these famous women have left their mark on the history of Paris. Retrace the footsteps of these great figures on the occasion of International Women's Day.

In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

Boldness at the Palais Royal with Colette

In February 2019, the allée Colette was opened in the gardens of the Palais Royal, a new affirmation of the importance of this female author in this place, already steeped in history. It was here, at 9 rue de Beaujolais that the artist spent the last years of her life, until 1954. She could often be seen leaning at her window overlooking the public gardens and will remain forever linked to this spot beloved of Parisians. With her daring homoerotic shows staged at the Moulin Rouge, Colette sparked the imaginations of her peers. Today, her words are engraved on the benches of the Palais Royal, like this extract from La Naissance du Jour: “This place overflows with life, especially at daybreak and sunset”. An opportunity for you to (re)discover her texts as you stroll around the exquisite walkways of this garden.

Palais Royal gardens
2 Galerie de Montpensier
75001 Paris
France
+33(0)1 47 03 92 16
www.domaine-palais-royal.fr/en/

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In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

Drama at the Odeon Theatre with Sarah Bernhardt

The “golden voice”, the “divine”, “the Empress of the theatre” …there is no shortage of epithets to describe this most famous woman of her time. The consummate actress Sarah Bernhardt made her name in 1869 at the Odeon Theatre, on Paris's Left Bank. Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand, Tristan Bernard… this icon worked with the greatest authors of the era. Sarah Bernhardt was a lot more than just a voice, she also took an active part in history. In 1871, during the siege of Paris, she transformed the lobby of the Odeon Theatre into a makeshift military hospital. Even today, the building's walls resound to the lines of Ruy Blas, declaimed by this timeless female figure. Before enjoying a show here, many of which are surtitled in English, venture into the superb Luxembourg Gardens or stop for refreshments at The Cod House. Its bold cuisine wouldn't have disappointed Sarah Bernhardt.

Odeon Theatre
Place de l'Odéon
75006 Paris
France
+33(0)1 44 85 40 00
www.theatre-odeon.eu/en

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In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

Science, the Nobel prize and Marie Curie

After the stage, we turn to science. Set off on the trail of one of the emblematic figures of modern physics in the heart of the 5th arrondissement. The Marie Curie museum is her former laboratory; here you can explore the world of this Polish researcher who became a French national. For her work on radium, for which she paid with her life, she became the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize. In the 120 m² of the museum, you can explore the importance of her research for modern science and all of the Curie family's discoveries, before learning more about the current work of the Institute which bears her name.

Musée Curie
1 rue Pierre et Marie Curie
75005 Paris
France
+33(0)1 56 24 55 33
musee.curie.fr/

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In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

A 17th-century tour with Madame de Sévigné

American feminists see Madame de Sévigné as one of the first figures of women's emancipation. This great 17thcentury author gained her freedom through intricately written letters. Her keen-edged pen highlighted all the idiosyncrasies of her time with relish. To find evidence of her in Paris, head for the beautiful St Paul's Church, in the heart of the Marais district. It was here that she was baptised before the reconstruction of the building in a flamboyant Baroque style which still amazes 21st-century travellers. You can stay here for hours admiring the building's high, majestic arched ceilings.

Saint-Paul's Church
99 rue Saint-Antoine
75004 Paris
France
+33(0)1 42 72 30 32

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In the footsteps of the great women of Paris

A wild dance with Josephine Baker

Is anyone more Parisian than Josephine Baker, who sung about her love for the capital? Is there any individual more French than this native of Missouri who worked for the French Resistance during the Second World War? More than anyone else, the artist has left her mark on the memories of Parisians. When you arrive at the Champs Elysées Theatre, you will recall the scandalous performances which led to her becoming the muse of great painters, such as Fernand Léger. Here, the dancer introduced the Charleston and jazz to a dazzled French audience. You won't fail to be enthralled by the auditorium's architecture, which ranges from neoclassical to art deco. In the evening, audiences are captivated by the concerts, operas and ballets which fill the stage, as in the time of Josephine Baker.

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne
75008 Paris
France
+33(0)1 49 52 50 50
www.theatrechampselysees.fr/en/