A city so rich in history, art, characters and events as Paris could not be without its own museum of Parisian history. Located in the Marais neighborhood, the Carnavalet Museum (Musèe Carnavalet) is a gorgeous, two-part museum dedicated entirely to the colorful, enchanting history beneath one of the world’s most important cities: Paris.
The Carnavalet Museum consists of two adjoining mansions, one built in the 11th century and the other, in the 17th. Beautiful sculptures by Jean Goujon on its façade and a statue of Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, greet you outside as a warm first impression. The first mansion, the Hôtel Carnavalet, displays artifacts and objects dating from pre-history to the times of Louis XVI. The Hôtel Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, the other building, houses everything you need to see about Paris from the French Revolution to present day.
The mansions are connected by a modern gallery. Everything from Gallo-Roman artifacts to lost jewels to present-day objects can be found at the Musèe Carnavalet, as well as an invitation to explore the spooky Catacombs of Paris and the Notre Dame Archaeological Crypts.
Make sure you walk the short distance from the museum to the Place des Vosges, the city’s first royal square. The Place’s typical Parisian old-world charm and breezy foliage makes it the perfect place to rest after a day of museum-hopping and shopping (the museum is nearby the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois and its trendy fashion shops).
For diehard historians, curious kids, interested locals or any great Paris lover, the Carnavalet Museum is definitely the place to go.
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