Gare de Lyon Clock Tower. Built between 1895 to 1902; expanded in 1927. It stands 67 meters high, has four faces each measuring 6,5 meters in diameter.

Journées du Patrimoine 2013-Reserve Now for Gare de Lyon

Gare de Lyon Clock Tower. Built between 1895 to 1902; expanded in 1927. It stands 67 meters high, has four faces each measuring 6,5 meters in diameter.
Gare de Lyon Clock Tower. Built between 1895 to 1902; expanded in 1927. It stands 67 meters high, has four faces each measuring 6,5 meters in diameter.

Reserve to visit the historical train station Gare de Lyon, in the twelfth arrondissement, Paris, and trains from the Orient Express. During the Journées du Patrimoine, SNCF is arranging visits to familiarize visitors with the history and heritage of the Gare de Lyon.

During this annual weekend event, monuments are free, however, some places may charge or require a reservation. The Gare de Lyon for the clock and fresco gallery tour and for the mythical trains tour require a reservation. Sign up at the SNCF-Gare de Lyon page.  Reservations opened noon August 29.

How to reserve

Each reservation is individual and requires separate email addresses. Signing up for a module is easy with the date and time drop-down menus (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). You can send an email to confirm your reservations and receive a response. You can only do one event a day (Saturday, the clock and Sunday, the mythical trains, for example). Only eighteen people at a time may take the tour.

For particular sites, scroll down the  “A la Une” page.

The visit includes a tour of the clock tower and the gallery of the frescoes. With its clock tower and the Belle Epoque restaurant, Gare de Lyon is a real Paris monument.

The Clock and the Trains

The construction of the Clock Tower (La Tour de l’Horloge La Gare de Lyon) dates from 1895 to 1902 with an expansion in 1927. It stands 67 meters high, has four faces each measuring 6,5 meters in diameter.

The two halls of the Belle Epoque restaurant on the first floor house the frescoes. They represent the principal destinations departing from the Gare de Lyon. The frescoes are located in the

Originally called “Buffet de la Gare”, this Empire style restaurant was inaugurated in 1901. In 1963, the name changed to “Train Bleu” in honor of the old night trains that traveled “Paris-Nice-Vintimille”.

In 2013, on Voie M (platform M), these mythical trains are on display (Reserve a time with the drop time menu for “Les Trains Mythiques”). A steam engine, the 231K8, a regular site at Gare de Lyon in the 1940s will be attached to four cars of the Orient Express.

Another train on display is “Le Mistral”, the 6500 model and a wagon of Inox 1969, which was characteristic of trains in vogue during the 1970s.

Listings and Other Information

Free brochures with themed visits for Ile-de-France (Paris) are available Sept 9-15, 182 rue St Honore 75001, 0930-1900/Sun 0930-1600.

Journées du Patrimoine is celebrating thirty years. Each year produced a new poster that you can see on the 30 éditions, 30 affiches page.

Newspapers for listings and maps
Check the Thursday newspapers “Aujourd’hui“. “Le Parisien” or L’Etudiant” the weekend before the event for a hard copy of the addresses and times.

Go on line and use the search keywords “journees du patrimoine” for these newspapers every year. Chances are they will have a listing of patrimony openings in Paris (by arrondissement) and in France. You choose the “Ile-de-France”, “Paris 75” and then an “arrondissement number”.

Enlarge the map or scroll down for the list of open venues in that arrondissement. Choose one, for the days and times and a history.

Le Parisien has an application “LeParisien.sortie” to download on either iTunes or Samsung.

Alternative Online Information
Two other alternatives for help in finding information: (1) the iPhone and smartphone application “Patrimap” and (2) a sense of adventure.

The Download
Downloading the “Patrimap” is the easiest way to search for the story behind Paris patrimony anytime. The app is available on iTunes and for other smartphone downloads. On the iPhone/iTunes, it is located in the “Travel” section in English.

Once you open the application, “Patrimap” your top choice is “Nearby”. The app will read your location and list the venues in your vicinity and a short description about the place. It does not list the hours. It is useful even when it is not time for Journées du Patrimoine.

While in Paris, use the nearest park for a WiFi connection to avoid roaming charges or download an application to find Hotspots.

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This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!