National Assembly

Attend a session of debates in the famous Palais Bourbon.

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L'assemblee nationale, a deux pas de l'hotel d'Orsay

The National Assembly is, with the Senate, one of the two assemblies making up the French Parliament. It was created on 17 June 1789, and later took different forms and had different names, before its original name was readopted in 1946. The National Assembly, which is made up of  577 members elected by French citizens, sits at the Palais Bourbon, in the 7th arrondissement, on the left bank, facing the Place de la Concorde and close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The main entrance is at 126 Rue de l’Université and is also known as the cour d’honneur. A library containing 700 000 books is at the disposal of the parliamentarians. The famous hémicycle (semi-circle), where they discuss and vote the laws, is at the centre of the Palais Bourbon.

 

History of the National Assembly

Since the beginning of the 5th Republic, The National Assembly has been continually modernised around two projects.


The first is the creation of a genuine city within the city so that all the parliamentarians can be accommodated and have a place to work. The Hôtel Lassay, connected to the Palais, is the residence of the President of the Assembly. Technical installations have been undertaken and today a complete website is available, along with a special parliamentary television channel, LCP, which is available on DTTV.  With the aim of opening up to the public, the "kiosk of the Assembly" was set up. It publishes all the Assembly's documents. What is more, and in line with republican traditions, all the sessions of the National Assembly are open to the public. Access is possible for the first ten people arriving at the beginning of a session and for people with an invitation from a parliamentarian, within the limits of places available. The Assembly is also open to visitors during the European Heritage Days and the Nuit Blanche event.


The second modernisation project, since the 1980s, has involved opening up the Assembly to contemporary art. Outside the building, the work by Walter de Maria represents a sphere of granite called the "human rights sphere"  because the 17 articles of the Declaration of Human Rights are engraved on it. Inside the Assembly, a number of admirable works are displayed, including those by Olivier Debré (Ocre rayé des Tilleuls), Richard Texier (La Suite des droits de l’homme) and Rotonde by Alechinsky.

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