In May 2011, I visited Paris for a scientific conference and chanced upon one of the most beautiful entrances to any building, ancient or modern. Here is the gateway to the French Institute of Oceanography.
A giant bronze octopus straddled the doorway to the institute. This building, known as "The Home of the Oceans," was designed in 1911 by famous French architect Henri-Paul Nénot. Famous artists and sculptors of the time helped decorate it.