Through a collection of model ships owned by royalty, the idea of
a museum was born, but never came about until many years later, but during the 1700's
there were already avid collectors of these model ships.
One such collector, Henri Louis Duhamel, who became the Inspector General of the Navy,
created the Naval School of Engineering and Construction in 1741 and in 1748 offered King
Louis XV his entire collection of model ships to be displayed in The Louvre. Then later on in 1801 the whole
collection along with many other maritime objects was moved to a naval gallery at the
Place de la Concorde.
King Charles X decided to create the maritime museum in 1827, which he named the Musée
Dauphin but after 1830 the name was changed to what we know it as today, the Musée de
The Palace du Trocadéro was built for the World Fair in 1878 and the Musée de Marine was
established within this building, but when the Palais de Chaillot was built for the 1937
World Fair, the Musée de la Marine was relocated and has remained at the Palais de
Chaillot ever since.
You will be able to find the museum and the Palais de Chaillot on the right bank of the River Seine facing the Eiffel
Tower situated in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris,
which is known as The Trocadéro.
The Musée de la Marine includes models of merchant ships, sailing boats, fishing boats
and pleasure craft from the last few centuries along with maritime paintings, weapons like
canons, navigational instruments, sculptures and mementoes from shipwrecks are exhibited
within the permanent collection presented in two large galleries.
There are also more up to date models such as those of aircraft carriers and a nuclear
submarine, plus this museum explores the progress of the Navy and marine research and is a
fascinating place not to be missed by anyone who is interested in boating, history, the
Navy or model making.
And yes, the Musée de la Marine also has a model ship building studio, where you can
watch the restorers at work, and the main purpose of this workshop is to restore models
that are in the museum collection, by only using the original materials such as ebony and
There is also a gift shop and bookshop, plus you can also arrange for a guided tour and
the admission allows you to see both the permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The museum is open from 10am through to 6pm on a Wednesday to Monday but is closed on a
Tuesday and on national holidays.
Address & Contact Details:
Musée de la Marine
Palais de Chaillot
17 Place du Trocadéro
Telephone: 1 53 65 69 64