Carnavalet Museum

Carnavalet Museum (34)

The Musée Carnavalet is known as the most Parisian museum in Paris. The two mansions that house it represent the museum dedicated to the history of Paris. 

It comprises, firstly and chiefly the small Renaissance palace Hôtel Carnavalet, from where it gets its name, in which the writer Madame de Sévigné lived for more than 20 years; and secondly, the adjacent Hôtel Le Peletier de St-Fargeau.

The Hôtel Carnavalet was built in 1548 for the President of the Parliament and transformed into the current mansion by Mansart a century later. The name Carnavalet comes from one of the 16th century Breton owners, Kernevenoy, who gave himself the name Carnavalet to be more French and more easily pronounced.

During the remodelling of Paris in the 19th century, Haussmann asked the authorities to buy the Hôtel Carnavalet to store parts of the buildings that were being demolished. To do this, the mansion was enlarged with Renaissance galleries and architectural elements from other buildings, such as the vaulted landscape of Nazareth, which comes from the old Palais de la Cité.

The works you can find here explain the ancient history of the city, from the origins of Paris to the Revolution in 1789. Prehistory, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, Lutetia, the Middle Ages, etc. Here you will find objects ranging from large archaeological pieces through to medieval stained glass windows.

The second part of the collection, in the Hôtel Le Peletier, includes portraits, jewellery and other objects and mementoes from the Revolution until today.

Among the curiosities in this museum, we would highlight the Ballroom of the Hôtel de Wendel with an enormous and delightful mural, work of the painter Josep Maria Sert y Badia, born in Barcelona, in which we can observe the entourage of the Queen of Sheba.

You must not miss the ceilings of the old studio and grand lobby of the Hôtel de la Rivière, work by Charles Le Brun, one of the most important artists in France during the 17th century.

Another room worthy of mention is the reception of the Hôtel d’Uzès, in white and gold. It was designed in 1761 by the French architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux for an old mansion in Rue Montmartre.

Additionally, you should check the activities organised... because temporary exhibitions and concerts are sometimes held here. Naturally, it is a real luxury to be able to attend any event in such an exceptional setting.

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