Institut de France

St-Germain & Les Invalides

The French Institute, created in 1795, brought together five of France’s academies of arts and sciences. The most famous of these is the Académie Française, founded in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu. Its 40 members, known as the Immortels (Immortals), have the Herculean (some say impossible) task of safeguarding the purity of the French language.

The domed building housing the institute, across the Seine from the Louvre’s eastern end, is a masterpiece of French neoclassical architecture.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St-Germain & Les Invalides attractions

1. Bibliothèque Mazarine

0.02 MILES

Within the Institut de France, the Mazarine Library is France’s oldest public library, founded in 1643. You can visit the bust-lined, late-17th-century…

2. Académie Française

0.02 MILES

The French language and all its nuance are guarded with care by 40 Immortels (Immortals) of the French Academy, founded by Cardinal Richelieu in 1635. The…

3. Monnaie de Paris


The 18th-century royal mint, Monnaie de Paris, houses the Musée du 11 Conti, an interactive museum exploring the history of French coinage from antiquity…

4. Square du Vert-Galant

0.16 MILES

Chestnut, yew, black walnut and weeping willow trees grace this picturesque park at the westernmost tip of the Île de la Cité, along with migratory birds…

5. Pont Neuf

0.17 MILES

Paris’ oldest bridge, misguidingly named 'New Bridge', has linked the western end of Île de la Cité with both riverbanks since 1607, when the king, Henri…

6. Musée National Eugène Delacroix

0.21 MILES

In a courtyard off a tree-shaded square, this museum is housed in the romantic artist’s home and studio at the time of his death in 1863. It contains a…

7. Musée du Louvre

0.23 MILES

It isn’t until you’re standing in the vast courtyard of the Louvre, with its glass pyramid and ornate façade, that you can truly say you’ve been to Paris.

8. Église St-Germain l’Auxerrois

0.23 MILES

Built between the 13th and 16th centuries in a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles and with similar dimensions and ground plans to those of Notre…