The Musée Carnavalet, has more than 100 rooms in two adjoining buildings of the 16C and 17C in the Marais neighborhood area of Paris, one of which, lived Madame de Sévigné, located at 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003, metro St Paul line 1.It is the history of Paris before your eyes and should be seen more by visitors that want to know the city they are visiting from the ground up. I give you a taste and invite you visit it.
In effect the two buildings are those of the hôtel Carnavalet(b. 1544) and the hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau (b. 1687) ,both linked by a gallery with in between the lycée Victor Hugo (high school) . The story of the buildings is that the one of the Peletier de Saint Fargeau had voted for the execution of king Louis XVI during the French revolution ,and later assassinated by a bodyguard of the king in 1793. this later building is richly decorated with amongst other the cabinet of the hotel de Villacerf in painted wooden polychrome motifs; the grand cabinet and one room of the hotel de la Rivière, with its ceilings and tapestries done by Charles Le Brun; two objects of Louis XV style decorated and designed by architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux,both examples of neo Classical period, the café militaire, ,the stairs of Luynes and its composition in trompe-l’oeil ; 8 objects of styles Louis XV and Louis XVI like the cabinet doré, room/chambre polychrome, petit salon, salon bleu, salon gris, and salon turquoise; twelves rooms dedicated to the French revolution; the room of the Second Empire , and the room of Marcel Proust where he wrote “ À la recherche du temps perdu ” . The Hôtel Carnavalet was lived by Madame de Sévigné from 1677 to 1696.
If you want to know the history of the city of Paris, this is the museum to come to. And as such is managed by the city of Paris cultural dept. It is open from 10h to 18h, except Mondays, holidays, and the Sundays of Easter and pentecost. The admission to its permanent collection is free! Temporary exhibition may have a charge, there is ,also, a library open 10-18h open Tuesdays to Sundays.
As I do to help these wonderful properties you too can help defray its cost by becoming a Friend of Carnavalet, the official site in French is athttp://www.amisdecarnavalet.com/index.htm
The official city webpage also part of the city hall or mayors office of Paris is at http://www.paris.fr/english/museums/municipal-museums/p8229 ; the front is in English once you go in is in French, the pdf file at the musée Carnavalet can be printed in English with all museum information.
If you have not enough time to visit the hundred rooms of the Musée Carnavalet don't hesitate to climb to the second floor of the Hotel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau to see a dozen rooms on the French Revolution.
This department illustrates by paintings, engravings, objects, documents, scale models the various stages of the Revolution.
There is the storming of the Bastille, the imprisonment and execution of the royal family members, the feast of the Federation, portraits of the revolutionary chiefs, weapons.
a series of objects which belonged to the royal family at the time of their imprisonment in the Temple are shown in this department.
There is the famous painting of Marie-Antoinette by A. Kucharski. (photo 1).
A part of the apartment occupied by the royal family during their captivity in the Temple has been reconstituted. Furniture and objects used by them have been assembled (photo 2).
One finds also here the famous painting of Bénazech “Execution of Louis XVI, January 21st, 1793” (photo 3). Engravings drawn from this painting diffused out of France the image of the execution of the King.
The Revolution department of the Carnavalet Museum is thus an excellent historical complement for those who visited the museum of the Conciergerie.
Open: 10 - 18 h.
Closed: Monday and some public hollydays (1/05 & 8/05/2011).
Entry is free.
Si vous n'avez pas le temps de visiter la centaine de salles du Musée Carnavalet ne manquez pas de monter au deuxième étage de l'Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau.
Ce département illustre par des tableaux, des gravures, des objets souvenirs, des documents, des maquettes les différentes étapes de la Révolution.
Il y a la prise de la Bastille, l'emprisonnement et l'exécution des membres de la famille royale, la fête de la Fédération, des portraits des chefs révolutionnaires, des armes.
C'est avec quelque perplexité que j'ai pu constater qu'un certain nombre d'objets (comme le tableau représentant la décapitation de Marie-Antoinette) se trouvent présentement en Chine pour une exposition sur la Révolution Française qui se tient à Pékin jusqu'au printemps 2009.
Il reste heureusement à Paris une série d'objets souvenirs ayant appartenu à la famille royale lors de leur emprisonnement au Temple.
Il y a le tableau de Prieur inspiré du fameux tableau de Marie-Antoinette peint par A. Kucharski. (photo 1).
On a reconstitué une partie de l'appartement et rassemblé du mobilier et des objets ayant servis à la famille royale lors de leur captivité au Temple (photo 2).
On trouve également ici le fameux tableau de Bénazech "Exécution de Louis XVI, 21 janvier 1793" (photo 3). Les gravures tirées de ce tableau diffusèrent hors de France l'image de l'exécution du Roi.
Le département Révolution du Musée Carnavalet est donc un excellent complément historique pour ceux qui ont visité le musée de la Conciergerie.
The visitor entering by the Rue de Sévigné can't imagine that this museum comprises a hundred rooms distributed between the Hotel Carnavalet and the Hotel the Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau.
Before visiting this museum belonging to the City of Paris one has to know that the purpose of the collections is to illustrate the history of Paris since the Celtic period till the 20th century.
The exposed works of art such as paintings, statues, furniture and objects of the daily life were selected according to the history which they evoke and not according to their aesthetic value. The visitor should not expect to find here highlights of art as one can see in Le Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, etc.
This being said the art lover will find at the Carnavalet museum some beautiful pieces of furniture, precious objects of decoration like pendulums and a large number of interesting paintings from less known masters.
The museum covers mainly the 17th century with Madam de Sévigné who lived in the Hotel Carnavalet. Schoolboys of my generation will remember her famous letters. Well written but a bit soppy for the teenagers we were.
The 18th century with the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI as well as the Revolution is very well represented. The museum department on the French revolution is most spectacular and occupies the 2nd floor of the Hotel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau.
Very instructive is the 19th c. period which history is complex and which modelled the Paris of today with the vast urban renovation programme of Haussmann.
The museum, whose elegant architecture was described here by others, is located in a picturesque district which comprises an important orthodox Jewish community with the well-known rue des Rosiers. Within proximity is the famous Place des Vosges.
Open: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Some rooms are open on alternate days.
Closed: Monday and some public holidays.
Entry is free.
En entrant par la Rue de Sévigné le visiteur ne peut pas s'imaginer que ce musée comporte au total une centaine de salles réparties entre l'Hôtel Carnavalet et l'Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau.
Avant de visiter ce musée de la Ville de Paris il faut savoir que les objets exposés ont pour but essentiel de faire connaître l'histoire de Paris depuis l'époque Gauloise jusqu'au XXe siècle. Les objets d'art tels que tableaux, statues, mobilier et les objets de la vie quotidienne ont été choisis en fonction de l'histoire qu'ils évoquent et non pas en fonction de leur valeur esthétique. Ce rôle étant celui du Musée des Beaux Arts au Petit Palais.
Ne vous attendez donc pas à trouver ici de grandes oeuvres d'art comme vous avez pu en voir au Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, etc.
Ceci étant dit l'amateur d'art trouvera au musée Carnavalet quelques beaux meubles, objets de décoration comme des pendules et bon nombre de tableaux de maîtres moins connus mais néanmoins intéressants à découvrir.
Le musée couvre principalement le XVIIe siècle avec Madame de Sévigné qui habita l'hôtel Carnavalet (les collégiens de ma génération se souviennent de ces fameuses lettres bien écrites mais un peu mièvres pour les adolescents que nous étions).
Le XVIIIe siècle avec les règnes de Louis XV, Louis XVI ainsi que la Révolution sont très bien représentés. Le département Révolution Française est le plus spectaculaire et occupe à lui seul le 2e étage de l'Hôtel Le Peletier.
Fort instructive est la période du XIXe siècle dont l'histoire est complexe et qui en matière urbaine (travaux d'Haussmann) modela le Paris d'aujourd'hui.
Le musée, dont l'élégante architecture a été décrite ici par d'autres, est situé dans un quartier pittoresque qui comporte une importante communauté juive orthodoxe avec la bien connue rue des Rosiers. A proximité se trouve la célèbre place des Vosges.
I think that I will leave 160 years. I hope so, because this will be the only way to have time to visit fifty percent of the museums in Paris.
Carnavalet Museum is planned to 2036, which means that I will visit it in my nineties, young enough to appreciate it.
Then, I will describe its contents (promise).
This free museum belongs to the City of Paris and is devoted to the history of the city from its earliest beginnings to present times.
Second photo: The museum is easy to reach by Vélib', since there is a station (number 3013) right at the front entrance on rue de Sévigné.
Third photo: In addition to documents, statues and antique furniture, the Musée Carnavalet also features hundreds of original paintings that illustrate various epochs of Paris history.
Fourth photo: While I was there the Musée Carnavalet was showing a special exhibition on "Les Parisiennes de Kiraz" showing over two hundred cartoons by Edmond Kiraz that have appeared over the past six decades in such magazines as Jours de France, Gala, Vogue and Playboy.
These cartoons feature very thin long-legged young women from Paris. For instance two of these Parisiennnes are at the seaside, and one says to the other: "I'm frightfully prudish, I'm afraid. My husband has never seen me naked except on the beach."
Another cartoon shows a mother reproaching her gorgeous Parisienne daughter: "All your friends are getting divorced, and you aren't even married yet."
Or the beautiful Parisienne being carried through the surf by a strapping young lifeguard: "You've saved my life," she says, "so now I'll save yours. Don't marry me."
But I think my favorite Kiraz cartoon is of a lovely teen-aged Parisienne saying to her stout, sedate mother in their fussy, old-fashioned living room: "Mama, would you have married Papa if he had proposed to you while he was chewing gum?"
This lovely lady is Maria Malibran (1808-1836), one of the most famous opera singers of the 19th century.
She was born in Paris, but began her operatic career in London at age 17 when she took over the role of Rosina in Rossini's "Barber of Seville" when the prima donna Giuditta Pasta fell ill.
The following season Malibran sang eight leading roles in New York as a member of the first-ever opera company to perform in that city.
She was the big star of Milan's Teatro alla Scala for three seasons in the 1830s, in fact she was the big star at major opera houses all over Europe, including of course Paris. Venice named a theater after her, which to this day is known as Teatro Malibran.
Malibran was sort of the Anna Netrebko of her epoch, but she did it all without television, without CDs or DVDs, without photos in magazines -- without all the media that help make reputations today. And she must have done all her travels around Europe by stagecoach or on horseback, because there were no airlines in her lifetime, and not even railroads, which she could have used if she had lived longer.
She was only 28 when she died in England, as a result of falling off a horse.
This painting of Malibran at the Musée Carnavalet is by Henri Decaisme (1799-1852).
Second photo: This lovely lady is Juliette Récamier (1777–1849), not an opera singer but a leading figure in French and especially Parisian society in the 19th century, as painted by François-Pascal-Simon Gérard in 1805.
Third photo: The large painting in the center of this photo is a View of the Market and Fountain of the Innocents, painted in Paris in 1822 by John James Chalon (1778-1854). The museum bought it at an auction at Sotheby's, New York, in 1986.
The nearly 100 rooms of the museum show many paintings, scale models and other documents on the transformation of the city between the 16th and 20th century.
From the 17th c. on many major construction programmes changed Paris from a still somewhat medieval city to a large modern capital. In the 18th c. the architectural activity was quite important in the public building as well as the private sector with the emergency of the Rococo style and a later return to classical styles inspired by antiquity.
Remarkable is the painting of H. Robert which shows the destruction of the houses built on the Notre-Dame bridge in 1789 (photo 1). Nowadays it is difficult to imagine that the bridges of Paris supported houses; it is necessary to have seen the Ponte Vecchio of Florence to understand what that could represent.
Many painters especially at the time of the Romanticism fixed the face of the capital with all its picturesque like this Seine' bank (photo 2).
Personally I liked a series of sights of Paris by less known painters of the impressionist period like this scene on a boulevard by J. Béraud (photo 3) and “Aux Champs-Élysées” of A. Truchet about 1900 (photo 4).
Open: 10 - 18 h.
Closed: Monday and some public hollydays (1/05 & 8/05/2011).
Entry is free.
Le musée comporte en ses différentes salles de nombreux tableaux, maquettes et autres documents sur la transformation de la ville du 16e au 20e siècle par les grands chantiers qui ont donné à Paris son visage de grande capitale moderne.
Remarquable est le tableau de H. Robert de qui montre la destruction des maisons construites sur le pont Notre-Dame en 1789 (photo 1). On s'imagine difficilement aujourd'hui que les ponts de Paris supportaient des maisons; il faut avoir vu le Ponte Vecchio de Florence pour comprendre ce que cela pouvait représenter.
De nombreux peintres surtout au temps du Romantisme ont fixé le visage de la capitale avec tout ce qu'elle avait de pittoresque comme ce bord de Seine (photo 2).
Personnellement j'ai bien aimé une série de vues de Paris par des peintres moins connus de la période impressionniste comme cette scène de boulevard de J. Béraud (photo 3) et "Aux Champs-Elysées" d'A. Truchet vers 1900 (photo 4).
The amateur of old furniture finds at the Carnavalet museum a collection of approximately 800 objects which furnished the Parisian residences of the Renaissance till the 20th century. Most represented are the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods.
The visitor will admire the beautiful "commodes" chest of drawers, "secretaries" (of which a very fine made by Delorme), desks manufactured by the great names of the Parisian cabinet work such as Migeon, Riesener (who worked for Marie-Antoinette) or Weisweiler.
One finds here also the new types of seats, more comfortable, created by Masters carpenters like Blanchard under Louis XV.
These pieces of furniture are grouped in living rooms or rooms. Most remarkable are the "Salon bleu" and "Salon jaune" Louis XVI of 1780.
I discovered some “commodes tombeau”, chest of drawers of the tomb type with very short legs.
Of course furniture exposed here is not comparable with that of the Château de Versailles but it is interesting because it decorated the residences of the nobility or rich middle-class of Paris.
Open: 10 - 18 h.
Closed: Monday and some public hollydays (1/05 & 8/05/2011).
Entry is free.
L'amateur de mobilier ancien trouve au musée Carnavalet une collection d'environ 800 objets mobiliers qui ont garnis des demeures parisiennes de la Renaissance au XXe siècle. Ce sont surtout les époques Louis XV et Louis XVI qui sont représentées. On peut admirer de belles commodes, secrétaires (dont un fort beau estampillé Delorme), bureaux manufacturés par les grands noms de l' l'ébénisterie parisienne tels que Migeon, Riesener (qui travailla pour Marie-Antoinette) ou Weisweiler.
On y trouve aussi l'ensemble des nouveaux types de sièges, plus confortables, crées par des maîtres menuisiers comme Blanchard sous Louis XV.
Ces mobiliers sont groupés en salons ou chambres. Les plus remarquables sont le Salon bleu et le Salon Jaune Louis XVI de 1780.
J'ai découvert des commodes de type "tombeau", avec des pieds très courts, que je ne connaissais pas.
Bien sur le mobilier exposé ici n'est pas comparable à celui du Château de Versailles mais il est intéressant parce qu'il ornait les demeures de la noblesse ou riche bourgeoisie de Paris.
Musée Carnavalet is a wonderful repository of the history of Paris --we only had time for what was open on the main floor -- but the old signs and morsels of history were absolutely delicious!
While there are often special exhibits that charge a fee, entrance to the permanent exhibitions is free and well worth your time.
Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris
These Grand-Siècle-style hôtels particuliers are stunning with their beautiful pre-French-Revolutionary period rooms you walk thru to view arts decoratif. You'll even see a model of the Île de la Cité circa 1500s as well as vieux Lutèce and items from the Merovingian era.
The musée is actually 2 adjoining mansions (Hôtel Carnavalet - Paris beginnings-1789; Hôtel Peletier St-Fargeau - 1789-present), done up in the Mansart style, once owned by Madame de Sevigné, famed for her literary salons (hello Natalie Barney!) and hundreds of letters penned to her beloved daughter chronicling the era.
Because it is very easy to get lost in I recommend using Rick Steves' Paris guide walk. BTW, Rick Steves is crazy if he thinks you can do this tour in 90 minutes; I spent a couple of hours here & could easily have spent a few hours more. I know I didn't see even half the place.
Explanations are French only but this will not detract from your visit.
This musée is extremely close to my fave Marais hôtel, Grand Hôtel Jeanne d'Arc (south on rue de Sevigné turn left on rue Jarente). For some great area restaurants turn south on rue Caron from the hotel to picturesque Place du Marché Ste-Catherine.
Hours: Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-6pm
Price: Free for the Permanent Collection
Bus: 29, 69, 76, 96
This photo I snapped from a window of the gardens.
Photos: April 2003 & Feb 2006
this museum tells you about the history of paris, when you know paris a little, you can try to recognize places as they were in 15th century... free entrance (don't worry if they give you a ticket anyway)
Carnavalet Museum is focusing on Paris History from antiquity to modern times. There are many sculptures and furnitures, paintings of course and interesting scale models of the city. It was really interesting to see how a medieval city turned into a modern capital. I loved the museum’s motive not to show top class items but items that really show part of Paris’ history.
By the way if you visit Pont Neuf you will see some really ugly faces carved on it, they are replicas actually while the original ones are located at Carnavalet museum.
We visited on Sunday morning back in 2005, and we enjoyed not only the artwork inside but also the small beautiful garden
As other City Museums there’s no entrance fee. The building that houses the museum was built in 1548, it had several owners through the centuries until 1866 when the city of Paris turned the property into a museum.
It is open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-18.00
Would you like to know how Paris was built and became today's city? Then you will love this museum with a lovely garden. The museum has free entry, only the exhibitions have to be paid. Avoid the weekend and Wednesdays. Crowded.
The Carnavalet Museum is devoted to the Paris History from Antiquity to 20e century.
As all the City of Paris Musums, its entrance for permanent exibit is free.
Open from 10AM to 6 PM, Closed on Monday.
If you wish to see different pictures of Paris through the centuries.
The museum mainly presents paintings, sculptures, furnitures, things and models.
The Renaissance period Hôtel Carnavalet in the heart of le Marais district houses le Musée de l'histoire de Paris, the History of Paris Museum. The mansion was built in 1548 for le comte de Jacques des Ligneris and is decorated with sculptures representing the four seasons by the famous sculptor Jean Goujon. The stunning mansion owes its current name to the widow of François Kernevenoc’h, from Bretagne who purchased the property in 1578. Her Celtic last name was a mouthful for Parisians so it was changed to Carnavalet; more pleasing to francophone ears. The mansion changed hands a number of times, but one of its most famous residents was la marquise de Sévigné who lived in it in the 17th century. A number of renovations and expansions were made over the years including works by the architect François Mansart in 1660. In 1866, the City of Paris purchased the property and turned it into a museum dedicated to its history. The museum is free of charge and walks the visitor through an impressive collection of paintings and artefacts related to Paris. Most educational is the reconstruction of Paris during mediaeval times, before Napoléon, Haussmann and others permanently changed the face of this ancient city.