Cluny – Musée Nationwide du Moyen Age
6, place Paul Painlevé, fifth
M° Cluny-La Sorbonne or Saint-Michel, RER Saint-Michel
Tel 01 53 73 78 00
Within the coronary heart of the Latin Quarter, this nationwide museum — reopened in 2022 after in depth renovations — holds a wealthy assortment of artwork from the Center Ages inside a medieval mansion as soon as belonging to the Cluny Abbey, itself constructed up in opposition to ruins of Gallo-Roman baths relationship again to the 2nd century. Noteworthy works embrace the well-known Unicorn Tapestries.
Regardless of its prime location, the Cluny Museum was typically a quiet little museum that appeared to keep away from the highlight — and the crowds. However after a number of years of renovations, it’s now on everybody’s must-see listing. It’s price a go to if you happen to’re fascinated about studying concerning the evolution of the (largely spiritual) arts from the early via the late Center Ages into the early Renaissance interval, in addition to the Gallo-Roman vestiges of Paris when it was often known as Lutetia.
The setting is vital right here, as a result of the museum itself is constructed inside two historic monuments, price a go to in their very own proper: the ruins of the Gallo-Roman bathhouses relationship again to the 2nd century AD, and the Fifteenth-century mansion constructed up in opposition to the ruins by the Abbots of the celebrated Cluny Monastery to make use of whereas in Paris (it was constructed within the Latin Quarter close to the Sorbonne for that reason).
When the mansion initially grew to become a museum within the mid-Nineteenth-century, it had been the non-public residence of a collector of Medieval artwork. A lot of the museum’s decor was, apparently, extra Medieval “themed” than authentically historic. When you recall visiting the museum earlier than the renovations all through the 2000s, you would possibly keep in mind it as a little bit of a darkish and dusty place, a bit like an previous Gothic church with creaky wood flooring. What it has misplaced in environment after the current renovations, it has gained in consolation. It’s clear, climate-controlled, straightforward to get round (with elevators), and straightforward to learn the descriptions (that are in English and Spanish in addition to French now).
Listed here are just a few images from my go to final week (click on to see full dimension and caption):
The brand new entrance is spacious, with free lockers to retailer your coat and further luggage. You need to use the printed map or simply observe the indicators to every room, beginning downstairs, then the bottom flooring, and ending on the first flooring (which People name the 2nd flooring). Your entire assortment could be visited in two hours simply, with a pause on the newly-opened café (which has further seating within the courtyard, now solely open to museum guests).
The urged route via the museum is generally chronological. You may breeze via and simply cease to benefit from the paintings or items that catch your eye, however it’s price taking your time and searching on the artworks shut up, as chances are you’ll discover one of many many hidden particulars that may be fairly enjoyable and naughty (even in supposedly spiritual artworks). There are audio guides obtainable (€4) and smartphone apps that can provide you further element, however if you happen to can take a guided tour you’ll get a greater concept of the context for the artworks in Medieval Paris. In case your French is nice (or you’ve a very good translator app), there are themed “parcours” of the artworks on the French model of the web site, together with “Medieval Ladies, Trendy Wishes”.
Extra images (click on for the captions):
Opening Hours: Day by day besides Monday, 9:30am-6:15pm (final admission 5:30pm). Open Thursday nights 6:15-9pm, final entey 8:30pm. Closed January 1, Might 1 and December 25. Closing at 4pm on December twenty fourth and December thirty first.
Tickets: Entry to the museum is €12 (€13 if you are going to buy prematurely on-line); €10 for college kids, and everybody on Thursdays after 6pm. Museum passes accepted.
Free Entrance : Children below 18, lecturers, EU nation college students and disabled guests; everybody on the primary Sunday of the month.
Information and Providers: There’s a bookstore with some reward gadgets accessible to the general public till 6pm, and a casual café inside the museum (solely open to ticket holders) with seating within the courtyard. Surrounding gardens are open every day to the general public without cost (closed in 2022 for renovations).
Don’t miss it: There are sometimes reside musical live shows (Renaissance and Medieval classical music) and sketching excursions obtainable on the museum, be sure you test the program!