The official seat of the French National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) is located in Paris’ Palais Bourbon, on the south bank of the Seine river. The building, which lies south of the Place and the Pont de la Concorde, is one of the two houses of the French Parliament (the other is the French Senate, located in the Palais de Luxembourg). Palais Bourbon, designed for the Duchess of Bourbon (Louise Françoise de Bourbon, daughter of Louis XIV), was completed in 1728 and declared a ‘property of the people’ during the French Revolution in 1791. It was purchased by the country in 1827, when it became the permanent home of the French National Assembly. Today, the Palais Bourbon displays numerous works of contemporary art, and is open to visitors. Guided tours take place on Saturday (when the Assembly is seated) and open visits are available Monday to Saturday (when the Assembly is not seated, otherwise known as periods of adjournment). The tours are about an hour long and focus on art, architecture, and basic French government processes. Visitors may also observe sessions of the National Assembly.
During periods of adjournment, four open visits are offered every day, Monday to Saturday, at 9.30am, 10.30am, 2pm, and 3pm, for 50 people maximum per visit. These are guided tours in French by a civil servant of the Assemblée Nationale; foreign visitors have to access to audio guides in English, German, or Spanish. Due to security reasons, visitors that have booked their visit in advance should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour – they will lose their place if they are not 15 minutes early. Visitors who haven’t booked a tour can arrive 15 minutes early to get an available space on the tour. This is a working government building, so visitors are subject to background checks and must provide ID (national identity card or passport) and be dressed in proper attire – long sleeves in particular.