Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Musée Carnavalet

During our stay in Paris last May, John and I walked by the gates of the Hôtel Carnavalet every day since it is situated on the major Marais street, Rue Francs-Bourgeois, which leads from Les Halles to Place des Vosges.
During the day often the gates were open and one could enter the courtyard. The building was built in 1648 and later renovated in the 18th century. It was here that the famous 17th century letter writer, Madame de Sévigné lived.
Hotel Carnavalet and its neighbour, Hotel Le Peletier, now house the huge, free museum of the history of Paris. The beautiful parterre gardens in the courtyard
are painstakingly cared for by a team of gardeners.
John took this photo of the garden and a hose that seemed to be mimicking its baroque patterns.
The museum houses objects and whole rooms dating from prehistory and Gallo-Roman periods to early 20th century furnishings. For example, in the 18th century room above a collection of figures and painting inspired by the commedia dell'arte are displayed.
John positioned the reflections "just-so" on the cover of this early edition of the works of 18th century Romantic writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau
and liked this 19th century stained-glass window from a demolished church.
Here we see him admiring a huge, stairwell mural painted by the Brunetti brothers and moved here from a demolished mansion in the St Germain neighbourhood.
Even the signage for the mural was worthy of our attention.
The bookstore for the Carnavalet Museum has many books and souvenirs related to the history of Paris. John liked this painting of Napoleon III and Baron Hausmann used on two different books on Hausmann's city planning.


  1. Another treasure to save for another visit. I'm pretty sure we walked by the back of this Musee.

  2. You'll love it, rarecat! An amazing collection and absolutely free.