Top Reasons to Visit France in 2015
The Exchange Rate (November 2014)
The exchange rate has quite dramatically improved for Americans since February 2014 when the euro was at one dollar and 39 cents. As of November 2014, the dollar has much improved against the euro and is now at one dollar and 24 cents. If one can’t go just now, think of going in January for instance, to take advantage of France’s month-long winter sales where prices are discounted up to 70%.
Fondation Louis Vuitton
The ultra-modern Foundation Louis Vuitton opened its doors in Paris on October 27, 2014. Set in the city’s park, the Bois de Boulogne, this extraordinary space for contemporary art and culture was conceived by architect Frank Gehry. The permanent exhibition showcases the extensive private collection of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and the one held by the Foundation itself. The inaugural show "Voyage of Creation," is dedicated to the architecture of the building and includes drawings, models, and other materials. It is an exhibition that coincides with Europe’s first major retrospective of Frank Gehry’s work which is running at the Centre Georges Pompidou through January 26, 2015.
Another greatly anticipated event was the reopening in Paris of the Picasso Museum on October 25, 2014, the birthday of the renowned artist. Housed in the Hotel Sâlé, one of the grandest Parisian mansions of the 17th century, the museum’s 5-year renovation and expansion doubled its exhibition space to include 13 new rooms to showcase the largest Picasso collection in the world, with close to 5,000 works including 4,000 graphic works, 297 paintings and 307 sculptures. The museum also features a new welcome center, auditorium and café.
Within the Quartier de la Confluence urban development and reclamation project, which transformed the traditionally industrial tip of the city’s southern peninsula into green space, Lyon will open the Confluence Museum on December 20, 2014. Dedicated to science, art and society, the museum will feature eight rooms (four permanent exhibition areas and four temporary exhibition areas) with different circulating exhibitions covering topics such as: genetic modification, exchange and innovation, origins of life, biodiversity, global-warming, geopolitics and social behavior.
500th Anniversary of the Reign of François I – 1515 to 1547
The Loire Valley, also known as the playground of the kings, will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the reign of François I which began in 1515. He was the patron of Leonardo da Vinci and of Giovanni da Verrazano, who explored the North American coast including the New York Bay in the service of the king. Events and concerts will be held at castles such as Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Sully-sur-Loire and at the Château du Clos Lucé, which was donated by the king to Leonardo da Vinci, where he spent the last three years of his life.
70 Anniversary of the End of WWII
Commemorations and celebrations will be held throughout France including in Reims, located in the Champagne region, where General Eisenhower accepted the German surrender on May 7, 1945 and WWII ended on both the Western and Eastern fronts in May 1945—VE Day. More information to come.
The Hermione Sails from Poitou-Charentes
2015 is a celebratory year for several regions in France including for the Poitou-Charentes region, a great contributor to the history of Franco-American friendship. On March 21 1780, the Marquis de Lafayette boarded the Hermione frigate, which was built in Rochefort, to rejoin the fight alongside George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. In 1997, a small group of enthusiasts started to build an exact replica of the Hermione in Rochefort and on September 7, 2014, the Hermione departed for sea trials with her new captain and 78-member crew. Following in the footsteps of Lafayette, the new Hermione will set sail from Rochefort to America in April 2015 making a first stop in Yorktown, then calling at ports including Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston before its mid-August return home.