Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes
This museum retraces the history of the botanical gardens from its inception as a royal garden almost 400 years ago through to the current day with numerous rare and valuable items on display.
A bit of history..
The Hotel Magny was constructed by the architect Pierre Bullet in 1696, and it got its name from the family who owned it in the mid 1700s. And at this time, it was the Comte de Buffon who was in charge of the Jardin du Roi, which was the royal botanical gardens, and the mansion house was located on the outskirts of this.
So, Buffon decided to persuade King Louis XVI to purchase the property, which he did so in 1787, and the Hotel Magny became a part of what is now known as the Jardin des Plantes with offices and living rooms for stewards, gardeners and directors to meet.
The Hotel Magny has been extensively renovated and has been classified as an historical monument in Paris, and on the ground floor of this fabulous mansion house the museum called the Cabinet d’Histoire du JHardin des Plantes first opened its doors to the public in 2008.
About the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes Museum
The unique atmosphere of the Hotel Magny is a wonderful and very appropriate setting for this museum in Paris that retraces the history of the Jardin des Plantes from its inception in 1626 with the first botanical and medicinal plants through to its expansion and the key events that have taken place over the past four centuries.
At the entrance to the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes a bell from the chapel of the royal garden welcomes you, which is the oldest example in existence. And then you go into the first room, which portrays the start of the Royal Gardens and even includes a signed etching dating from 1636 that shows the layout of the original Jardin du Roi, created by Guy de la Brosse who was the kings doctor.
The next room portrays the era when the Comte de Buffon was in charge and you can discover a bust of him signed Pajou and a portrait of him that was produced by the artist Francois-HubertDrouais. And it was during this time that the gardens were substantially enlarged and a major transformation was taking place including having a centre for research and a museum, which you can discover more about from the large model that is positioned within the centre of the room.
The third room of the museum traces the history of when specific areas within the historical botanical gardens were constructed, such as the beginnings of the Les Grandes Serres, the Zoology galleries, which are now known as the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution and the Galerie de Mineralogie et de Geologie, along with the Menagerie.
The last two rooms of the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes museum are dedicated to temporary exhibitions of items that are too fragile to be on permanent display, and these rooms have soft lighting and maintain a constant temperature in order to ensure that old documents, etc are preserved.
The precious, rare, valuable and unique documents on temporary display could include old architectural drawings and maps along with rare shells, fossils, books, etc, so whenever you decide to revisit this museum, you are in no doubt that you will discover something different each time.
Visiting the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes Museum in Paris
As we have already mentioned before, the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes is situated within the historical building of the Hotel Magny within the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th Arrondissement close to the River Seine.
It is open from 10am through to 5pm on a Tuesday to Sunday, yet is always closed on a Monday along with major National French holidays such as 1st May, but we would like to point out that last entry is a minimum of 45 minutes prior to closing time.
The cost of entry is €3 as of 2015, yet there is a reduced rate for children and it is free for children under the age of 4 along with those that are disabled upon proof of eligibility.
And when it comes to getting to this museum in Paris, you will find that there are a few Metro stations within walking distance, which include the Censier Daubenton stop via line 7, the Jussieu stop via line 10 and the Gare d’Austerlitz train station via lines 5 and 10, which also serves the RER trains on line C.
Alternatively, other options for public transport in Paris including the bus numbers 24, 57, 61, 63, 67, 89 and 91 or the Batobus, which is the water bus shuttle service that has a docking station on the River Seine right by the Jardin des Plantes.
Yet there are also Velib stations for the self service bike rental located close by including one by the Place Valhubert opposite the woolly mammoth statue in the gardens, plus the bus tours in Paris like l’OpenTour will also get you close to the Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes.
Related attractions in Jardin des Plantes
- Jardin des Plantes
- La Baleine restaurant
- Menagerie Zoo Historique de Paris
- The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution Museum
- Galeries d'Anatomie Comparee et de Paleontologie
- Les Grandes Serres
- The Grand Amphitheatre
- Galerie de Mineralogie et de Geologie
Related photo images
- Photos of Jardin des Plantes
- Photos of Galerie de Mineralogie et de Geologie
Address and Contact Details
Cabinet d’Histoire du Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes
57 Rue Cuvier
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 79 56 01 or +33 (0) 40 79 54 79
Tourist attractions close by
- Place Valhubert
- River Seine
- Jardin Tino Rossi
- Pont d’Austerlitz bridge
- Pont Sully
- Square Barye
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