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Chopin, Cycling, Stylish Shows and Spanish Art

10 July 2015


Tour de France – Champs Elysees Finish

26th July

Since 1975, the finish line of the most famous cycling event in the world has been located on the most famous avenue in the world. Handily, the Champs Elysees also happens to be the most beautiful avenue in the world, which makes for quite the spectacle as the remaining riders sprint home along the smooth tarmac. In addition – thanks to a partnership with the French National Monuments Centre – the last hour of the race takes on an unabashed cultural tone. Each lap of the final circuit traces a route around the Arc de Triomphe across to the Place de l’Etoile and then down on to the Avenue Champs Elysees.

On the day, spectators and cycle fans will line the famous street to watch the final exciting circuits. Pavement cafes and restaurants will be packed with those looking to cheer the occasion and enjoy a glass of exceptional wine; businesses will host parties in their offices overlooking the road… and the whole event will culminate in a podium presentation for winners of the individual disciplines and the overall winner of the coveted Yellow Jersey. It’s quite the spectacle, and certainly worth a look if you’re in the city.


Velazquez Exhibition – Grand Palais

Until 13th July

Jointly curated by the Grand Palais and the Louvre, this carefully produced exhibition celebrates the career of one of Spain’s most renowned artists, Diego Velazquez. The most significant artist of the Spanish Golden Age, Velazquez’s work paved the way for the realist and impressionist painters of the 19th century, and was a major influence on both Picasso and Dali.

Described by Manet as a ‘painter of painters’, Velazquez is celebrated for his vivid brushwork, expressive style and carefully constructed motifs. Hailed as a master of European Baroque art, the artist infused his work with philosophy and theology, tackling his themes with wit, intelligence and thoughtfulness.

This latest production has been carefully put together to deliver a comprehensive picture of a master at work, and is a must-see exhibition within a city of must-see art.

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Chopin Festival – Parc de Bagatelle Orangery

Until July 14th 2015

Held in the majestic Parisian botanical gardens within the Bois de Boulogne, This year’s Chopin Festival promises to be a Prelude lover’s dream.

Chopin, the undisputed master of the Prelude, brought a new level of expressiveness to the genre. He created atmospheric compositions that were not merely improvisations… but actually art in their own right.

The composer’s set of preludes covers 24 keys and, with each an entity in their own right, this unusual event is using a Chopin Prelude to showcase a range of other masterworks: Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Debussy and a host of others will all be given an unusual new twist with a Chopin Prelude.

Seldom attempted, this musical experiment asks a lot from the listener… but in turn promises a an unusual, challenging and fulfilling experience.

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Haute Couture – Paris

5th July – 9th July 2015

With all the Haute Couture surprises being kept tightly under wraps, journalists, the fashion world elite, and scores of famous spectators are champing at the bit in anticipation of the latest shows… and with a packed four day schedule, along with around 40 fashion houses, designers and marquee brands taking part, this will likely be a memorable start to the season.

And with the grand doyenne of the fashion world, Jean Paul Gaultier, having announced that he is now concentrating exclusively on his Haute Couture range, his could well make for the most interesting show of the week.

Check out the dates and times for all upcoming shows here…

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Hotel Balzac’s Guide to Christmas Markets in Paris

This winter, immerse yourself in magic with a visit to Paris’ famous Christmas Markets - with three of the best arriving at Champs-Elysées, La Défense, and the Alsacien marché at Gare de l'Est. Enjoy all of this and more as you delight in a five-star festive stay at Hotel Balzac.

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Grand Palais

The Photographs of Irving Penn and Princely Portraits by Rubens

See the photographs of Irving Penn at the Grand Palais in an all-encompassing retrospective this September. In October, Peter Paul Rubens is the focus of the Musée du Luxembourg’s exploration of his Princely Portraits.

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6 rue Balzac, 75008, Paris, France, Tel: +33 1 44 35 18 00, Fax: +33 1 44 35 18 05, reservation-balzac@jjwhotels.com