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Paris France Culture

Parisians are almost as passionate about their culture as they are about their restaurants. The city is the home for one of the most eclectic swirl of cultures, including national and world, modern and classic.

The French government pays much attention to culture and arts, investing significant sums in the development of cinema as opposition to the Hollywood mainstream. Paris hosts many avant-garde cinema festivals, 300 films are shown every week. There are no English-language cinemas in the city; most films are shown with subtitles. Recommended cinemas include 18-screen Ciné Cité Bercy, Ciné Cité Les Halles, Le Grand Rex. The recent box-office hits Amelie and Moulin Rouge were both set in Monmartre.

Paris is renowned for its music events, from grand orchestral performances to pop-star concerts. Major venues include Palais des Congrès, FNAC Musique, Châtelet Théâtre Musical de Paris, also famous for opera productions, and Cité de la Musique, at La Villette, the strongest in contemporary music and home to the internationally renowned Ensemble Intercontemporain. It also features ancient music, jazz, chansons and world music. Conservatoire National de Musique hosts symphony orchestras, performing classic and modern music. Among the world famous orchestras are Orchestre Colonne, Orchestre Lamoureux and Orchestre de Paris.

Opera lovers should not miss performances at The Paris Opéra, Opéra Garnier, Opéra Bastille, opened in 1989 to the bicentennial of the Bastille fall.

Paris offers plenty of choice and a wide variety of lively festivals. Among these are the free, city-wide Fête de la Musique, 21 June; the Festival du Film de Paris, early April; and the Festival d’Automne, September to December, contemporary dance event. Free concerts are held within the city’s churches during the Festival d’Art Sacré, in the weeks preceding Christmas.

Paris, famous for existentialist movement, is one of the modernist literature centres, with numerous art cafes, featuring unique brilliant and somewhat bohemian atmosphere, sparkling with extravagancy and refinement. In numerous museums and historical residences one can get acquainted with the life and work of the world renowned classics, such as Moliere, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Balzac, Proust, Baudelaire.

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