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The Cluny Museum

Known also as the Musee National dy Moyen Age (literally a museum about the middle ages), the Cluny museum is a worthwhile museum destination comparative to the Louvre & Musee d’Orsay.  The Cluny Museum is the hub of all things medieval in Paris, boasting exhibits of art, architecture & culture from Medieval Paris, complete with Roman ruins as an added attraction.  The Cluny museum was founded in 1843, when it was decided that 2 edifices in the Latin Quarter should be combined to represent Medieval Paris (namely the Gallo-Roman Baths & the Hotel D’Cluny that housed the abbots of Cluny).  This was around the same time many of the ancient buildings were renovated and transformed into various Paris luxury vacation rentals, hotels & commercial buildings. 

Over the years, the museum acquired rich sculptures, tapestries, and works of precious metals.  Some of the collections include Antiquity & the Early Middle Ages, Romanesque Art, Gothic Sculptures, Goldsmith work, Paintings & stained glass.  The Gallo-Roman baths are one of the most spectacular representations of roman architecture, and the Hotel D’ Cluny is a beautiful representation of 15th Century Gothic architecture.  The museum itself is known most famously for displaying the “Lady & The Unicorn” tapestries, which are considered to be the greatest treasures of the Middle Ages. Outside the museum lies beautiful gardens open to the public.  While they were only constructed in 2000, the gardens were designed to complement the medieval theme, and include a Unicorn Forest, a Celestial Garden & numerous herbal/flower gardens. 

The Cluny Museum is located in the 5th Arrondissement, on the left bank of the Seine.  If you’re staying in a hotel or Paris vacation rental in the Latin Quarter, the museum is within walking distance. Visitors staying in other arrondissements can utilize the Metro and exit at Cluny-La Sorbonne.  Once you exit the Metro, you’ll head east to Rue de Cluny, hang a right, and walk south about a block to the Place Paul-Painleve where you’ll make another right to the museum.  The entrance is inside the courtyard and tickets price around €8.5. You can also use a Monument-Museum card, which be purchased at participating museums, main metro stations, tourism offices, or through your booking agent at your Paris apartment rental; this will give you direct access to over 60 museums & monuments in Paris. The museum is open from 9:15-5:45, but it’s closed on Tuesdays.  The garden is open for approximately the same hours, but will stay open till 9:30pm in the summer time. And lastly, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop where you can purchase gifts for all ages and for all purposes.