One of my favorite nights in the spring is European Night of Museums. All over Europe museum doors open from 8pm – midnight offering a FREE visit to visitors. Such a great way to catch up on some culture or make it to that museum you’ve always meant to visit. Always in May, it is worth planning an evening around wherever you may be! Here’s how we spent the night…
As the night was wet we headed to the nearest museum, Musée Magnin, an old aristocratic residence that has been converted into a museum and offers the experience of not only seeing a nice collection of Flemish and 19th century French and Italian art, but also takes a step back in time displaying original furniture, textiles, ceramics and silver from a hôtel particulier of the 19th century (all that silver and all that monogrammed china…makes me want a some for our casa!). The courtyard was especially lovely, with climbing roses and candles glowing in all the windows.
After, made our way to the Fine Arts Museum of Dijon just across the street to see the world-renowned Pleurants, spectacular sculptures that flank the tomb of the Duke of Burgundy Jean-sans-Peur as eternal mourners. They represent every walk of life and stand about 19 inches tall. This September the Hall of the Tombs will be reopened after years of renovations and the mourners will make their way back to the procession of the Duke. If you come to Dijon, you must stop in and see them.
Unfortunately the rain kept us from enjoying a drink the Bar de la Cour, an exposition/cafe featuring original chairs, tables, and stools from the French Industrial furniture company Tolix based in Autun. You’re probably familiar with the classic metal Tolix chair, it has been copied by many companies in the last few years and is all over the interior design world at the moment. An original Burgundian design, once as common as any old stackable chair and now a collectors piece, I’ll be keeping my eyes open at the antiques markets to see if I can get my hands on one for a good price.
Finally, we made our way home though the rain, and topped off our second edition of Night of the Museums with the oh so good, shockingly European, Eurovision song contest finale. For those who are not familiar, Eurovision is a yearly contest to choose the best European song of the year. After a few nights of semi finales, 26 countries make it to the finale where after one performance by each country the phone lines all over Europe open for public voting. You can’t vote for your country, so out of neighborly kindness you usually vote for the country next door. To give you an idea of the calibre of music we are talking about here, Abba came from Eurovision. Denmark won the show this year. If you want a peak at what song will be playing all night long in clubs all over Europe this summer, watch the video of Emilie de Forest here.
Such a great cultural weekend with a dose of classical culture and dose of pop culture. What more can a girl ask for?
Magnin Museum – 4 Rue des Bons Enfants, 21000 Dijon
Fine Arts Museum of Dijon – 1 Rue Rameau, 21000 Dijon