That’ll teach ‘em!

When I was a child, I loved the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, so I was confident I would also like the one in Paris — and I do.

The one in Paris is officially called the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, with sciences in the plural and the word Cité to suggest that it is more than just a museum. The slogan Ça leur apprendra! (first photo) means That’ll teach ‘em!

Two other Paris museums use the word Cité in their names, namely the nearby music museum Cité de la musique and the architecture museum Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine. Another, the National Museum of the History of Immigration, also used to call itself a Cité, but later dropped the word after deciding it was causing confusion.

Looking down at school classes gathering in the lobby

On school days the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie is visited by dozens of school classes, but they don’t get in each other’s way (or yours) because it is a huge building that is designed to handle crowds without feeling crowded.

Cité des sciences et de l’industrie from the outside

Actually, the building was originally intended to be the main slaughterhouse of Paris, but it was never used as such, because with the coming of industrial refrigeration a slaughterhouse could be anywhere and didn’t have to take up valuable real estate within the city limits.

Permanent exhibits in the Cité

Permanent exhibits? Not really, because the sciences and industry are constantly changing, so the museum scrambles to keep up-to-date.

Our world as seen by satellites

All the exhibits in the entire Cité have explanations in French, English, Spanish and Braille for the blind (French Braille, presumably).


The creative and constantly evolving transportation exhibit includes a model of a tram station, complete with a Métro entrance, bus stop and Vélib’ bikes.

My photos in this post are from 2012 and 2019. I revised the text in 2020.

See also: Palace of Discovery in Paris.

4 thoughts on “That’ll teach ‘em!”

  1. I remember a quick visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, as well, though most of my science visits were to the much closer Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Amazing discoveries to be found.

  2. We love the Cité de Musique but have only seen the outside of the Science Museum. It’s on our list of things to do in Paris . . . a list that never seems to get any shorter no matter how often we visit.

    My Dad took me to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago when I was a kid and I was amazed and delighted. Coming from a small town in Ohio, this was a miracle to me. I still have a couple photos from that visit a half century ago.

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