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Musée de Cluny

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This site is composed by two museums : « The Hotel of Cluny », which presents medieval collections, and « The Public Baths », from the Gallo Romain period. This museum, founded in 1844, is an essential testimony of life before the Renaissance.

The Hotel of the Abbots of Cluny :
« The Hotel of Cluny » was built beetween 1485 and 1510, to lodge the people of the rich Abbey of Cluny, from the region of ‘Bourgogne », and reserved for their journey in Paris. This medieval building is one of the oldest example of the civil Parisian architecture.

Cluny museum – The Hotel of the Abbots of Cluny

« The hotel of Cluny » is just near the Gallo-Roman Baths, from the second and third century.
The Roman Baths were composed of three large rooms : the Caldarium, the hot baths, the Tepidarium for medium baths, and the frigidarium, the cold room.
The walls and the ground of the Caldarium, were heated by lead and terra cotta drain pipes, linked to underground furnaces.
The impressive room of the Frigidarium, with 13,50 m height, 20 meters long, of walls 2 meters width, is almost intact.
On y donne aujourd’hui des concerts de musique médiévale. Le sous sol vouté, ou était installé la chaufferie, se visite certains jours.

Medievales collections :

Cluny Museum

The first rooms of the Museum are about the tapestries, ironwork, and trunks of the Middle Age.
You’ll see also the original galery of the kings, from the XIII century, which were on the front of the cathedral Notre Dame (21 heards among 28).
Many cathedrals and religious buildings were vandalized during the French Revolution. People thought these statues represented the french kings, symbols of the French Monarchy, and they beheaded them.
Actually, they come from the biblic history, and they represent the kings of kingdom of Judah.
We had lost any hope to find them , but in 1977, they were discovered, buried in the courtyard, during some works in the street of the « Chaussée d’Antin ».

The Heads of the kings of Judah (1220 – 1230)

Pilier des Nautes

An other jewel/important piece exposed in the museum is the « Pilier des Nautes ». Discovered in 1711 under Notre-Dame, this is the oldest sculpture of Paris.
It is supposed to belong to a temple at the exact place of the cathedrale, and dedicated to the God « Jupiter », in the beginining of the first century.

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry
The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry / La Dame à la Licorne

A l’étage, la salle 13 est une retonde concue afin de mettre en valeur la célèbre galerie des tapisseries
de « The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry« , datant du 15 ème siècle.
Les 5 premières tapisseries seraient des allegories des 5 sens (taste, hearing, sight, smell, touch). La sixieme s’orne de la mystérieuse devise à« A mon seul désir à» qui symboliserait le renoncement aux plaisir des sens. Très fréquente dans l’iconographie médiévale, animal fabuleux, incarne la pureté et la chasteté. Elle se défend avec férosité si on l’attaque, et ne se laisse apprivoiser qu’au contact d’une vierge.

Access :

Musée national du Moyen Age – Thermes et hôtel de Cluny
6, place Paul Painlevé
75005 Paris

Metro : Saint-Michel ou Odéon

Open every day, except tuesday, from 9 h 15 to 17 h 45
Fermeture de la caisse à 17 h 15
Fermé les 1er janvier, 1er mai et 25 décembre.
Entrée : 7.50 Euros

More information :
http://www.musee-moyenage.fr [3]