Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature museum
The Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature literally translates to the Museum of Hunting and of Nature and is an unusual museum in Paris that was first founded back in the 1960s by a couple passionate about both subjects.
About the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
Located within the beautiful mansion house of the Hotel Guenegaud dating from the 1650s, the Museum of Hunting and Nature has an intimate atmosphere designed by the founders Francois and Josephine Sommer who were passionate about hunting and of course animals in their natural environment.
Even though many would consider such a museum to be politically incorrect and if you are an animal activist this may not be the ideal museum for you, plus the museum can be very moving, as there is no attempt to hide the reality of the brute force and suffering that humans often used to inflict on animals many years ago.
However, the museum does try to educate people on cruelty issues and how these days we are looking at preserving life rather than hunting for pleasure or massive rewards, which can inevitably lead to virtual distinction.
Having been fully renovated back in 2007, the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature is broken down into different sections displayed in such a way that it tries to get the visitor thinking about the ancient and often mystical relationship between humans and the wild creatures that we have hunted, feared or tamed over the years.
All of the different rooms are themed, for instance you have many objects that relate to hunting including traps or the bugles and hunting horns used, along with ancient weapons that were used by man like spears and crossbows, through to cabinets displaying antique rifles and firearms dating as far back as the 16th century.
In fact, the Musee de l’Armee Museum, which is located at Les Invalides in Paris, donated some hunting weapons to this museum in Paris, so as to enrich the collections even further.
There is also a trophy room with the heads of wild animals such as antelope, wild boar, even a leopard, etc that adorn the walls, one room that has numerous different bird feathers and owls, another that has an unusual chandelier made from antlers, plus there are monkeys displayed in a comical way as though they are having a tea party in another room.
There are also many different taxidermy animals, in other words stuffed animals, such as a polar bear, a deer and many other mammals or their heads mounted on plaques. Yet there is an additional section of the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature with several rooms showcasing paintings and art works depicting hunting scenes, along with another with engravings that were collected by Francois and Jacqueline Sommer.
However, this museum is still not just about hunting, it is also designed to get people understanding the relationships between humans and animals like as pets, their place in history and even in mythology, so there are also interactive displays plus an auditorium.
As we have mentioned previously, this museum was founded by Jacqueline and Francois Sommer, and there is also a documentation centre run by the foundation that they initially set up and contains archives, along with old and current publications, photographs and much more, which is open to students and researchers by prior appointment.
Yet as well as the permanent collections, there are also temporary exhibitions held at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, which are run throughout the year and are based on different themes numerous different themes, often with specific artists presenting their works, and some with publications that are run in conjunction with the Natural History Museum as well.
Visiting the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
Located within the 3rd Arrondissement of Paris the Museum of Hunting and Nature is open on a Tuesday through to Sunday from 11am to 6pm, however there is late night opening on a Wednesday until 10pm.
Yet it is closed on a Monday and on all National French holidays, plus we would like to point out that last entry is 45 minutes prior to closing time, and with the regulations that were put in place after the terrorist attacks, no large bags, suitcases, etc can be taken into the museum.
The normal cost of entry is €8 as of 2018, yet it is free to those under the age of 18, the disabled and those associated with the foundation upon providing proof of eligibility, but any person can gain free entry on the first Sunday of each month.
You will be pleased to know that that the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility and there are descriptions written in French as well as English.
Plus there are guided tours conducted at set times on certain days, such as a discovery tour for children most Wednesdays at 4pm along with cultural events and discovery events that are organised, often around a selected piece of artwork or specific theme.
Groups are also welcome, and receive a reduced rate of €6 per person, however these do have to be booked in advance by email or telephoning +33 (0) 1 53 01 92 40, which is the same number you would need to call for any reservations, information, or making a booking to gain access to the Documentation Centre.
Lecture tours are also organised, with a speaker for a maximum of 20 people at a time and go through the permanent collections along with the temporary exhibition being held at the time, and these can also be organised in different languages.
Access to the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
When it comes to accessing the Museum of Hunting and Nature, you will find that the nearest Metro Stations are the Rambuteau stop serving line 11, the Hotel de Ville stop serving lines 1 and 11, the Arts et Metiers stop serving lines 3 and 11, or the Filles du Calvaire stop serving line 8.
Alternatively, the bus lines 29, 38, 47, 67, 69, 75, 76 and 96 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N11, N12, N13, N14, N16 and N23 will also get you within walking distance of the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature along with many other tourist attractions in the area.
For those of you who prefer to get around Paris on your own steam, you will find that there is also a Velib station for the self service bike hire scheme also located within easy walking distance on the Rue des Archives.