The main building, the Hôtel Carnavalet became the home of
writer Madame de Sévigné in the mid 1600's and you can find a very interesting gallery
devoted to Madame de Sevigne.
Madame de Sévigné was a young widow and mother and has become known for writing
absolutely hundreds of letters to friends and family providing gossip and general
goings-on through her life in Paris and her letters
are considered to be one of the best archives of life in aristocratic Paris.
The Hotel Carnavalet has a beautiful sculpture by Jean Goujon on its facade along with a
statue of Louis the XIV in the main courtyard at the entrance of the museum.
You can also get to view lots of paintings and prints that are on display, just to remind
us of how Paris has changed over the years and how rural this city was until only a few
hundred years ago.
For a general history guide of Paris, then look
no further, as this museum has it all. From the many reconstructed palace rooms, to
its collections of paintings, artefacts such as the canoes used by Parisii Tribes, to the
furniture of the bedroom where Marcel Proust wrote his legendarily long novel, there is
something for everyone to admire.
The exhibits on the Revolution are of interest to many, especially with the scale models
of guillotines but this museum has around 140 rooms with a rich and diverse collection
that retraces architectural evolution, historical events, aristocratic life and fashion,
etc all about Paris.
The great staircase, with its mural paintings by Brunetti, and the drawing room of the
engraver Demarteau, are especially impressive. But you can walk through rooms with a
vast assortment of exceptionally well reconstructed interiors from the Middle Ages through
to Art Nouveau and this museum even includes the original furnishings from the Café de
A lot of people feel that the best thing about the Musee Carnavalet is that it tells the history of Paris in chronological order with
everyday objects like dishes, old newspapers and souvenirs of historic events. And
if you are interested in a specific time period you can go directly to that section or you
can start at the beginning and work your way right through this very large museum,
although we would suggest allowing yourself plenty of time here.
The gardens are designed in the classic 18th century French style and are also very
pleasant with hedges made into a formal pattern.
It is surprising that there are not more people that know about this museum with its
intriguing mix of old and new, especially since it has been open since 1880, but whilst
you are on holiday in Paris, it is definitely well worth a visit. You will not be
Because most of the information is only in French, it is very worthwhile purchasing a
guide from the gift shop before going round the museum, so that you can get the full
appreciation of all the displays.
The Musee Carnavelet is open from a Tuesday through to a Sunday from 10am to 5pm, but is
closed on a Monday and on national holidays.
Address & Contact Details:
23 Rue de Sévigné
Telephone: 1 44 59 58 58