Few Europeans have the opportunity to visit their parliament, the historic home of their democracy. Now, however, technology and the Internet offer a glimpse into the splendours of the some of these hidden chambers where important decisions are made.

To mark this year’s European Heritage Days (where people can get a peek inside iconic buildings not normally open to the public), we joined with the French National Assembly on two exciting projects. From today, you can virtually visit the Palais Bourbon, seat of France’s National Assembly via Street View in Google Maps. A trolley equipped with fifteen lenses took 360° pictures allowing anyone with an Internet connection to virtually explore the architecture, paintings and decor of this impressive building. At the click of a button you can transport yourself to the centre of decision-making in France.


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The Street View imagery is also featured in an online exhibition created by the National Assembly using imagery from the the Google Cultural InstituteG. Entitled "Enter the Chambers", the exhibition features photos and historical commentary on the European Union’s 42 parliaments, ranging from the Bundestag in Berlin to the Sejm in Warsaw. ontributions have been made from many individual Parliaments to showcase an impressive array of buildings and architecture rarely seen in a single place.

The parliamentary initiative is not the only one way we are working to bring online historic buildings and sites On our Cultural Institute platform, we offer virtual tours of many sites around the world, from the archaeological site of Pompeii to the Versailles Palace and even the art collection of the White House in the US on the Cultural Institute site with content contributed from cultural institutions from all around the world. We hope you enjoy exploring.