France: cultural events calendar

Whatever your age or interests, there's always something for you to enjoy in France, at any time of year.
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The Independent Travel

TOP 5 OPENINGS

* February 2007: Renovated Château des Ducs de Bretagne in Nantes opens.

* March 2007: Cité de l'Architecture opens in Paris.

* May 2007: Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles opens following renovations.

* 2008: The Beaubourg (at the Pompidou Centre) opens in Metz.

* 2009: The Louvre opens in Lens.

ANNUAL EVENTS

* Journée du Partimoine (Heritage Weekend) on the third weekend in September.

* Nuit Blanche, one night in October when all the museums, public buildings and historic sites are open to the public all night.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

* Palais des Papes in Avignon: Palace Secrets visit, including brunch and wine tasting, on every weekend until June 2007.

* Automobile Museum in Mulhouse: Artists and Stars exhibition, with photographers from Paris Match magazine, on until 18 March 2007.

* Musée du Château de Compiègne: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in Compiègne, on until 29 January 2007.

* Musée du Louvre: Hogarth 1697-1764, on until 8 Jan 2007.

* Musée du Moyen Age in Paris - Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny: Painting with Light, From the Model to Stained Glass, on until 15 January 2007.

* Musée Picasso in Paris: Picasso/Berggruen: A Private Collection, on until 8 Jan 2007.

* Musée Magnin in Dijon: Visions of the Great Flood, From the Renaissance to the 19th Century, on until 10 Jan 2007.

* Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais in Paris: Once Upon a Time, Walt Disney: The Disney Studios' Artistic Sources, on until 15 January 2007.

* Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris - Aquarium Tropical Filet: Fish and Crocodiles in Africa, From the Pharaohs to the Present Day, on until 31 Dec 2006.

* Musée d'Archéologie Nationale, Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye: Objects of Power in New Guinea, on until 7 January 2007.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Log on to www.franceguide.com

HERITAGE SITES

Château de Versailles

Although the palace will always be associated with Louis XIV, the Sun King, there are two centuries of French history to discover in the state rooms, Hall of Mirrors and royal apartments at Versailles. Outside, enjoy the gardens' formal alleys, fountains, lakes and woodlands.

www.chateauversailles.fr

Guédelon fortress

It's back to the future in Burgundy, where a medieval fortress is being built near Dijon. For the past 10 years, craftspeople have constructed Guédelon fortress using building techniques from the 13th century. The lessons learned will play an important part in understanding history.

www.guedelon.fr

Musée Fabre

Due to reopen next year after refurbishment, the redesigned premises of the Fabre in Montpellier will be a stunning museum for the 21st century. The museum has one of the largest collections of European art in France, and nearly 800 works will be on permanent display in the new building.

www.ot-montpellier.fr

WIN A WEEKEND BREAK IN YOUR FAVOURITE FRENCH CITY

For your chance to win a weekend break in Amiens, Le Havre, Marseilles, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nantes, Rouen or Toulouse, plus first class travel with Rail Europe or club class tickets on an LD Lines’ ferry, click here.

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