Discover the free Legion of Honor Museum: a journey through the history of honors

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Published by My de Sortiraparis, Julie de Sortiraparis, Rizhlaine de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on June 3rd, 2024 at 08:29 a.m.
Immerse yourself in the history of honors at the Musée de la Légion d'honneur et des ordres de chevalerie, housed in the magnificent Hôtel de Salm in Paris.

As you wander around Paris, you're bound to come across some little-known monuments and intriguing wonders. If you're walking along the banks of the Seine in the capital's 7th arrondissement, chances are you've already noticed this beautiful palace opposite the Musée d'Orsay. This is theHôtel de Salm, a magnificent mansion now known as the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur. Today, it houses the museum dedicated to this national order.

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TheHôtel de Salm was built between 1782 and 1788 by architect Pierre Rousseau for Frederick III, Prince of Salm-Kyrbourg. Acquired by the Légion d'Honneur in 1804, the building was enlarged around 1860 by architect Lejeune and burnt down by the Communards in May 1871. Rebuilt between 1871 and 1874 by architect Anastase Mortier, it respects Rousseau's original design, while incorporating decoration by the official artists of the day. Finally, from 1922 to 1925, architect Jean de la Morinerie constructed the buildings to house the Legion of Honor Museum on the site of the former stables on rue de Bellechasse.

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Opened in 1925, the museum is a world reference in the field of decorations. It houses a collection of nearly 5,000 art objects and insignia, tracing the evolution of French and foreign honors from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Discover how the concept of orders evolved, the values they embody and the merits of the men and women who created them.

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As you explore the museum, you'll discover a wealth of Napoleonic memorabilia, including theEmperor Napoleon I's grand collar, a reminder of Napoleon Bonaparte's creation of the Legion of Honor in 1802. Since the Second Empire, this grand collar has been the distinctive sign of the Order's Grand Master, the Head of State.

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The museum occupies a modern wing built between 1922 and 1925 on the site of the former stables of the Hôtel de Salm, overlooking the Musée d'Orsay forecourt. Its permanent collections are displayed on several levels, in themed areas devoted to the history of the palace, chivalric and religious orders, French royal orders, the Legion of Honor, imperial orders and First Empire souvenirs, foreign orders and French orders, decorations and medals from 1789 to the present day.

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Don't miss this unique opportunity to discover a fascinating journey through the history of honors and orders of chivalry. Come and enrich your knowledge and marvel at the treasures of this exceptional museum, nestled in the historic and sumptuous Hôtel de Salm. The architecture and decoration of this 18th-century neoclassical palace add an extra dimension to your visit, testifying to the rich past of this emblematic site.

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In conclusion, the Musée de la Légion d'honneur et des ordres de chevalerie is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of honors, chivalry and French cultural heritage. Don't hesitate to come and admire the collections and learn more about this part of our history in the prestigious setting of the Hôtel de Salm.

Practical information

  • Address: 2 rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris 7th arrondissement
  • Access: Metro Solférino, RER Musée d'Orsay, Bus 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94
  • The Museum is free and open to all
  • Opening hours : Open daily from 1 pm to 6 pm, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, exceptional closures on January 1, May 1, November 1 and December 25. Last admission: 5:30pm.

The museum also regularly organizes large-scale exhibitions and special exhibitions on orders, decorations and medals.

Practical information

Location

2 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur
75007 Paris 7

Accessibility info

Prices
Free

Official website
www.legiondhonneur.fr

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