Yet moving on, from the late 1700s it was owned by the state and in the early 1800s it was lived in by an art collector called Alexandre du Sommerard. And it was his collection that was donated to the state and the city of Paris when he died in 1842, and a museum in the Hotel de Cluny was opened a year later.
About the Musee de Cluny or Musee du Moyen Age
The Musee du Moyen Age has a very extensive collection of objects that relate to everyday life during the Middle Ages, and especially from the latter part and in the hall of the maner you can discover some of the activities of lords and ladies such as hunting, reading, poetry, etc.
Another room is devoted to every objects of a home such as chests, cabinets and wall hangings along with tableware in pewter and ceramics. There are also items of jewellery, combs, weights and coins along with travel boxes and some signs of distant pilgrimages that used to take place, like that of the Saint-Jacques de Compostela to Spain.
There are magnificent examples of tapestries to be discovered at this museum in Paris that reflects different techniques from antiquity to the late Middle Ages including those from Egypt, the Byzantine Empire, Spain, Italy, the UK and of course France. And the Musee de Cluny has one of the best and most magnificent collections of tapestries in the whole of France including the famous tapestry called The Lady and the Unicorn.
The Museum of the Middle Ages is also fortunate to have one of the most beautiful collections of jewellery and enamels, and the objects in gold, silver or copper, often enamelled or adorned with jewels form the treasure of rich abbeys and royalty.
And here you can discover the famous votive crowns that come from Guarrazar and the churches of Toledo in Spain where kings and other nobility used to place offerings in the 7th century, along with an alter dating from the early 11th century that belonged to the cathedral of Basel in Switzerland.
Plus there are an exemplary set of enamels from Limoges in the Limousin region of France and a collection of Ivory, which with the famous Musee du Louvre, these two museums have the two most major collections of ivory in Paris.
You can also discover a room dedicated to weapons, armour and numerous other objects that related to chivalry and war through the Middle Ages. Not forgetting that there is now a Medieval Garden with herbs used in medieval medicine such as sage, a vegetable garden, a courtyard, and a garden area that was inspired by the tapestries located within the Musee de Cluny.
And for anyone interested in history, you can also get to see the Gallo Roman baths of the Thermes de Cluny, so this is a fascinating museum with a rich history and a unique collection that is well worth a visit while you are on holiday in Paris.
Access to the Musee de Cluny or Musee du Moyen Age Museum in Paris
The Musee de Cluny is open on a Monday and then on a Wednesday through to a Sunday from 9.15am to 5.45pm, however it closes on a Tuesday and on major national French holidays such as 1st May, but we would like to point out that the ticket office closes 45 minutes prior to the normal closing time.
The Medieval Garden is open daily from 9am through to 5.30pm with completely free access, but it is open slightly later in the summer months, plus there is a boutique or bookshop and gift shop that is open during the museum opening hours, bar closing for the traditional French siesta lunch break.
To access the Musee National du Moyen Age is a cost of €8 or €8.50 during temporary exhibitions as of 2013, however, it is free to those under the age of 18 and students under the age of 26 that are resident within the European Union along with being free to anyone on the first Sunday of each month.
Yet an audio guide is also available in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese, and is included in the cost of entry, or a charge of €1 for those that can gain free entry, although a guide for younger children is only available in the French language.
And situated in the 5th Arrondissement this museum is located within the Latin Quarter close to the Sorbonne and within walking distance of numerous impressive tourist attractions in Paris. For instance you could also discover the Ile de la Cite island in the River Seine that has monuments such as the Sainte Chapelle, the palace turned to a prison called La Conciergerie and the fabulous Notre Dame Cathedral. But other monuments in Paris like The Pantheon and the tallest fountain in Paris called the Fontaine Saint-Michel are also close by.
So if you are thinking of arriving on the public transport in Paris you could utilise the Metro stops called the Cluny - La Sorbonne via line 10, the Saint-Michel stop via line 4 or the Odeon stop. Whereas if you are travelling on the RER you would need line C for the Saint-Michel stop or line B for the Cluny - La Sorbonne stop, or alternatively the bus numbers 27, 38, 63 and 86 will also get you close by.
More information on Musee National du Moyen Age
- Thermes de Cluny Roman Baths
Address and Contact Details
Musee de Cluny - Musee National du Moyen Age
6 Place Paul Painleve
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 73 78 00 or +33 (0) 1 53 73 78 16
Tourist attractions close by
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- The Pantheon
- Musee de la Prefecture de Police
- Square Andre Lefevre
- Refectoire des Cordeliers
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Musee de Cluny or Musee du Moyen Age Museum in Paris
This museum in Paris is ideal for those of you that love history, as it is classed as the Museum of the Middle Ages and has numerous artefacts from jewellery through to tapestries, not forgetting you can discover the Gallo-Roman baths of the Thermes de Cluny as well as a reconstructed Medieval garden.
A quick bit of history..
The Museum of the Middle Ages is housed within a Gallo-Roman monument from the 1st to 3rd centuries and the Hotel de Cluny, which was an abbey belonging to the Monks of Cluny that originally dates back to the late 15th century.
The Hotel de Cluny was then rebuilt and turned into a mansion house by Jacques d’Amboise, the abbot of Cluny, at the end of the 15th century, which is the place that is what you will be able to discover today. In fact, even though there have been alterations throughout the centuries, the Hotel de Cluny has still managed to retained the original layout of its rooms.