Musee du Barreau de Paris
Translated to English, this is the Museum of the Paris Bar, which is an unusual museum located in the heart of Paris in the cellars of a historical building where you can discover different works, pictures, documents etc that all relate to the Paris bar and historical events that have taken place in the city.
About the Musee du Barreau de Paris
You will find this unusual museum located in the Hotel de la Porte, which is a mansion house dating from the 1600s that was owned by Antoine de la Porte, who was a fish merchant and a mayor of Paris, and this building was restored to its former glory during the 1980s.
Yet the collections are actually contained within the old vaulted cellars of this building, which has in itself been classified as a historical monument in Paris, and the Musee du Barreau even has the ordinance of 23rd October 1274 from Philip III, which is when the Paris bar was first established.
You can discover legal history from key events that have occurred from the 17th century including manuscripts from the trials of King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the Dreyfus Affair to name a few, along with notes from defending lawyers in different cases such as those of Leon Gambetta.
Following history of the old regime through to the revolutionary process and beyond that are reminders of the history of Paris from a judicial perspective, which also includes numerous works of art that have been incorporated within the Musee du Barreau de Paris. And these include drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs that all relate to the Paris bar and legal proceedings that have occurred in the capital city over the centuries.
Visiting Musee du Barreau de Paris
The Musee du Barreau is free of charge to those who belong to the Paris bar, however, the museum is normally only open upon prior reservation on specific days. Yet there are guided tours available for groups and with a minimum of 10 people, this is a cost of €50 as of 2014 and €70 for groups of between 11 and 15 people.
However, as we just mentioned above, individual visits are organised on specific days of the year with prior reservation, yet during the Journee du Patrimoine or National Heritage Days, there is no booking necessary and guided tours are available at set times on these days completely free of charge, even for individuals. But do bear in mind that spaces are always limited.
Now as we mentioned above, this unusual museum is located within the Hotel de la Porte close to the Saint-Eustache church in the 1st Arrondissement and the nearest Metro stations are either the Les Halles stop or the Etienne marcel stop both via line 4. However, if you are travelling via the RER trains, then you would need the Chatelet - Les Halles stop.