Here are some amazing things you can do in the Cluny Museum
1.) Visit the Roman baths
The Gallo-Roman baths are among the most spectacular evidence of ancient architecture retained on Gaul’s soil. Paris, which former name was Lutetia, was divided into two urban zones, one nestled inside the City and the other on the left bank of the Seine (Montagne Sainte-Genevieve, where the Pantheon is now). This is where villas and grandiose monuments flourished: the Forum (under the rue Soufflot), the rue Monge’s arenas, the Southern Baths (rue Gay-Lussac), The Eastern Baths (under the College de France) and the Northern Baths, the Cluny ones. You will learn a lot about the Roman’s way of life and truly enjoy their famous architecture.
2.) Take a guided tour of the Cluny Museum
The Hotel de Cluny hosts the most impressive collection of medieval artifacts in France: Gothic sculptures, goldsmiths and ivories, paintings, illuminations and stained glasses, tapestries and fabrics, daily medieval life objects… After that, Middle Ages won’t have secrets for you anymore. Discover the curtains with the famous Lady and the Unicorn, the stained – glass windows and stunning ancient sculptures.
3.) Go to a peculiar concert
Almost every week, you can enjoy very peculiar concerts within the Cluny Abbey: from traditional folk song sung by troubadours to Gregorian chants, the diversity will bring you back to all times of the Middle – Ages. You even have a special musical day for the “Fête de la Musique” (World Music Day) on the 21st of June.
- There is a park behind the Cluny Museum that is a very pleasant place to rest. Make use of the wi-fi Internet connection while bathing in a medieval atmosphere.
- During your visit, do not miss The Lady and the Unicorn, which may be the most beautiful work of art in the museum.
- Every first Sunday of the month the museum is free (like every Parisian museum)!
- On Sundays, you may also have the opportunity to visit the museum with students coming from the Louvre school, or some specialized universities who will comment the works of art presented.
Why it’s worth visiting
- It has one of the world’s largest collections of artifacts and works of art from medieval times.
- It is an architectural wonder and makes you travel back to Middle – Ages thanks to its impressive realism.
- There is a lot to learn about France during the Middle – Ages, a lot of stories to listen to.
Facts about the Cluny Museum
The National Museum of the Middle Ages is hosted in two exceptional Parisian sites: the Gallo-Roman baths (first-third centuries) and Cluny Abbey’s hotel (a private mansion from the late fifteenth century). It was created by the State in 1843.
The original collection belonged to a great amateur of the Middle-Ages: Alexandre Du Sommerard who lived in the Hotel de Cluny (and gave his name to the street nearby). Enriched over the years, the collection now offers a unique view of art and human history, from Roman Gaul to the early sixteenth century. This only place concentrates almost fifteen centuries of art and history!
The Cluny Abbey Hotel welcomed abbots of Cluny and important dignitaries. The young Mary of England was locked there for 40 days in 1515 to ensure she had not given life to an heir after her husband, King Louis XII of France, died. The crown hence passed to his cousin, the former king François 1st.
The Cluny Museum is not only the museum of the Middle – Ages in Paris. It is also a medieval castle where you will immediately picture knights, seigneurs and their liegemen, the ditches and the drawbridge. After your visit, you will never lack legends and stories to tell.Georges
How to get there
Line 10, Cluny-La Sorbonne
Line 4, Saint Michel
Line C Saint-Michel / Line B Cluny – La Sorbonne
Lines 21 – 27 – 38 – 63 – 85 – 86 – 87
- 13 million visitors a year 99%
- Incredibly detailed 80%
- Contains hidden mysteries 70%
Everyday except on Tuesdays, from 9:15 am to 5:45 pm No entrance after 5:15 pm
Closed on January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th
1.) Notre Dame Cathedral:
A medieval architectural wonder, which construction lasted from 1163 to 1345. The cathedral hides secrets behind its renovated façade (1840s), but you will anyway marvel at the bas-relief and the stained glass. Everything was made to impress you, from the rose window to the height of the cathedral, from the Gargoyles to the flying buttresses. You will understand why the hunchback of Notre-Dame still loved living there.
How to get there:
Metro: Cité Station, line 4; Cluny-La-Sorbonne station, line 10.
RER: Saint – Michel Notre Dame station, RER B and C.
2.) The Panthéon:
It was originally built as a church to honor Saint Genevieve. It is a republican symbol par excellence. Do not miss this gigantic monument, which is a mixture of many architectural styles, and where all the Great Men (and Woman – Marie Curie is the only one) of France are buried.
How to get there:
RER B: Luxembourg Station
3.) Latin Quarter Walking Tour:
If you want to go behind the scenes of the “intellectual” quarter of Paris, to feel the young dynamic atmosphere, to know what is being a student in Paris, and to enter and wander through the narrow medieval streets in Paris, don’t miss the Latin Quarter – Left Bank Walking Tour.