But when will the Musée Carnavalet reopen? The museum devoted to the history of Paris and set in the heart of the Marais, has been under renovation works for over 4 years. We have to say that it is one of the oldest museums in Paris since it has been created in 1880: its collection, included over 610,000 rare items, tells about the history of the French capital from the Antiquity to the 20th century. And you’ll be finally able to (re)discover these historical treasures with the reopening of the Musée Carnavalet from May 29, 2021! Discover the renovated and redesigned museum featuring a new staging and new spaces through our pictures.
But what you can you expect? In four years of renovations, the Musée Carnavalet has bene entirely renovated. And when we know it’s made of two private mansions (the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau), we can guess it was no easy task. It comes back more beautiful and also bigger to house not only an exhibition tour covering 3900sqm (including 3,800 works displayed), but also spaces devoted to events and food.
Consider this a piece of advice: you better get good shoes on to visit the museum! The tour covers over 1.5km and revolves in a chronological order including immersive stagings, especially thanks to reconstructed decors. The tour starts by the Hôtel Carnavalet and goes way back before Paris becomes Paris or even Lutetia. The adventure starts from prehistory, at the time people sailed the Seine on pirogues and this is when the very first Parisians settled in. Then, cross the centuries and see the French capital grow all along your tour.
Be warned, if you thought you knew everything about Paris and its History, this museum will surprise you with facts and little-known stories. The evolution of the capital is decyphered, whether it involves its architectural transformation, its customs, its way of life, its politic, artistic, or even religious aspects... You will even discover familiar-looking masterpieces, iconic sculptures of the Parisian landscape. You will learn that those you walk by outside the museum, in the city itself, are just copies: original ones are kept at the Musée Carnavalet.
The first part of the tour stops at the dawn of the French Revolution. Your journey through time will continue at the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau. You will live the revolution that marked a major milestone in the History of France. Discover the world's greatest collection dedicated to the French Revolution and its pieces telling you this historical event to the very detail. Find the last order decreed by Louis XVI. The museum's rich collection also enables us to grasp and understand a Parisian insurrection: the Paris Commune. This revolution that occured over 150 years ago does not seem so far away.
Furthermore, the Musée Carnavalet shows the evolution of the Parisian way of life, first through fashions including the fascination for hot-air balloons, and through the capital inhabitants' private lives with the evolution of apartments' layouts and decoration. Thanks to items and works representing scenes of the daily life, discover a more peaceful and festive face of Paris. Furthermore, unlike what one can think, filters you find now on Instagram or Snapchat are not new!
Keep on walking up the ages until you get caught by time. Step by step, rooms become more familiar and take you to events you may have experienced and however old you are. Therefore, for Parisians, this is no longer History you are exploring but their past. The permanent exhibition continues up to 2021 and will after. The idea is clear: History is still written today.
All along the works, the Musée Carnavalet has been working hard: it was physically closed, but outside exhibitions have been held. It even took part in Paris European Heritage Days! And now, it will finally reopen to make you discover the treasures of its collection, a first temporary exhibition for its reopening: Henri Cartier-Bresson - Paris, a double photo exhibition that will show you Paris as seen by these two photographers from the 20th century.
And if you are eager to enjoy this museum, we have got a trick for you. Head to the museum, but go to the Square Georges Cain where you will find a few pieces and remnants that come from the Museum's collections.
Square Georges Cain, a little-known open air-like museum garden in Paris
In Paris, the Square Georges Cain is a very outstanding location. Set a stone’s throw from the Musée Carnavalet, this little-known park provides us with a nice green setting where you can discover remnants of monuments. Let us tell you more about this square looking like an open-air museum.
Cover picture: Façade of the cloth merchants' office, musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris © Pierre Antoine
Dates and Opening Time
Starts 29 May 2021
16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois
75004 Paris 4
Gratuit sur réservation