The Palace of the Legion of Honor is a three-quarter-scale replica of the 18th-century building of the same name (the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur) in Paris. This version was built in 1924 to commemorate California soldiers who died in WWI. Its site is known as Land’s End, located in Lincoln Park and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, and the entire cityscape. The Court of Honor, an outdoor portion of the breathtaking grounds, is where you’ll find Rodin’s Thinker, one of the more than 70 Rodin sculptures in the collection.
The museum itself contains a great collection of European art; fans of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists will delight in the many works of Degas, Monet, and Renoir that the galleries have to offer. If you visit on a weekend at 4 p.m. you’ll be lucky enough to catch a recital on the museum’s symphonic organ, commissioned in 1924 and housed above the main galleries. The single instrument is capable of producing sounds similar to that of a full orchestra with its various sonics, including bass drum, castanets, crash cymbal, echo, and more. The informal twice-weekly recitals are a transporting experience, and not to be missed if your visit happens to coincide. Membership benefits at the Legion also apply at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.
California Palace of the Legion of Honor (The Legion) Information
- Public Transportation: Very Good (steps from MUNI bus 18 at the Legion of Honor stop)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 9:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
- Admission: $10, seniors (65+) $7, youth (13–17) $6, children (12 and under) free
- Free Day: First Tuesday of each month is free. Special exhibition surcharges still apply. Admission tickets to the Legion may be used on the same day for free entrance to the de Young. Muni riders with Fast Pass or transfer receive a $2 discount
- Tours: Regularly scheduled drop-in tours available Tuesday–Sunday
- Audio Tours: Audio tours are available for $6
- Membership: Individual membership, $80 annually, includes unlimited free admission for one member and a guest to the permanent collections and most special exhibitions at the de Young and the Legion of Honor, invitations to special members-only events and viewing hours, priority ticketing for special exhibitions, as well as exclusive offers and discounts on museum special events, films, lectures, and concerts. Special discounts are offered on memberships for the following: student $45/annually; senior $50/annually; teacher $55/annually; out-of-state $60/annually.