Reopening Bibliothèque Nationale de France: Weekday Wandering in Paris

Bonjour Weekday Wanderers… today, along with My French Life Paris-based member contributor Jacqueline Dubois Pasquier, we visited and presented a LIVE video from the newly-reopened Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF) Richelieu (2ème, Rue Vivienne/Richelieu), for a first-time bilingual experience!

I presented in English as usual and Jacqueline presented in French to cater to our bilingual audience and also to help those anglophones of you who are studying the French language.

Reopening Bibliothèque Nationale de France: Weekday Wandering in Paris

Jacqui Lucquin Edwards and Jacqueline Dubois Pasquier
Jacqueline dubois Pasquier (left) and Jacqui Lucquin Edwards (right)
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF) Richelieu
Watch video here:

BnF Richelieu has just completed 12 years of refurbishment.

  • We began in the Mazarin gardens on Rue Vivienne with an intro in French and entered the reception area by Rose Bakery Café and the ticket desk.
  • We visited the exceptional Salle Ovale (see below for more details), and saw the controversial new staircase (upper access only for members or ticket holders).
  • Down the ornate hallway to the bookstore and eating area, graced with a stunning chandelier, we then took a glimpse at the breathtaking Salle Labrouste (access to researchers only).

We ended our walk in the courtyard on Rue Richelieu.

Today we saw only the areas freely available to the public, though there is so much more to see if you are able to visit in person, including the museum on the 1st floor, and guided tours of the whole complex.

Salle Labrouste (access researchers only)

Thank you again to everyone who joined us live, and also to everyone who views the video at a time of your convenience afterward. There is a wealth of information available on the BnF Richelieu contained in the video, and some links are available in the photo descriptions and further information below.

It was a pleasure to present alongside Jacqueline Dubois, thank you!
And to Judy (MacMahon) and all our viewers, thank you again for joining us… we look forward to seeing you again next Friday for yet another ‘Weekday Wandering in Paris’ LIVE video at 10:30 am Paris time.


Jacqui Lucquin Edwards

The complete Presentation by Jacqueline Dubois can be found in French & English here

Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
This is the original staircase, built in the style of Louis XIV, which was demolished in favour of the new metallic staircase.

Salle Ovale

Have you visited the renovated Bibliothèque Nationale de France yet? Did you previously realise that you can join these ‘weekly wanderings for free? – they’re amazing. Merci mille fois Jacqui What are your thoughts on the NEW modern staircase?


Image credits – all photos copyright Jacqui Lucquin Edwards except where noted.


NOTES about IMAGES of Bibliothèque Nationale de France:

  1. Host and Guest:
  2. In the Salle Ovale, there are a number of interactive panels which give a huge amount of information about the library, and its collections, including this one that shows the physical structure and history of the Salle Ovale itself. Also refer:-
  3. Entrance on Rue Vivienne via the garden of the original Palais Mazarin.
  4. Salle Ovale
    Salle Ovale – the only one of five rooms with free access to the general public. Among its works is the enormous collection of Bandes dessinées (comic books/graphic novels).
  5. Salle Labrouste is one of four rooms accessible only to researchers.
  6. to 8. This is the original staircase, built in the style of Louis XIV, which was demolished in favour of the new metallic staircase. Photo credit: A. Goustard – BnF

About the Contributor

Jacqueline Lucquin

I'm from New Zealand but my heart has always belonged in France. A lifelong passion for the French language, history, and culture, I finally visited Paris as an adult and yearned to return permanently. I now live here with my family, exploring its hidden treasures and marvelling at its timeless beauty.

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