The Musée des Plans Reliefs, a unique collection in Paris

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Published by Margot de Sortiraparis, Rizhlaine de Sortiraparis · Photos by Margot de Sortiraparis · Published on May 2nd, 2024 at 11:37 a.m.
The Musée des Plans Relief, located in the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, houses some 100 relief plans of fortified towns. Once used for military purposes, they are now preserved in their original state at the Invalides, where you can discover these immense models of French towns.

"The plan-relief is actually a battlefield," explains Jean-François Paillet, the museum's general secretary. A battlefield that it was customary to represent from the 17th century, under Louis XIV, in order to develop siege techniques during wars. These military objects, once widely used, have been preserved and displayed since 1987 at the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, in theHôtel des Invalides.

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So, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs exhibits 28 plan-reliefs representing the whole of France, from Mont Saint-Michel to Antibes, via the South-West, the Pyrenees, the English Channel... In reality, the collections on display represent only a small proportion of the plan-reliefs held in the reserves of the Hôtel des Invalides: there are 97 in all, all waiting to be exhibited when the Musée des Plans-Reliefs is enlarged. Some of the plans-reliefs are also equipped with digital devices, allowing visitors to explore these immense models in greater detail: indeed, the largest of them (kept in reserve) covers an area of 160m²! For children, a free booklet-game allows them to explore the collections in an even more playful way.

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Discover the city of Bayonne and its landscape dating back several centuries, the city of Toulon or, even more unusual, the Fort d'If in miniature, the Lerins islands off the coast of Cannes or the unmissable Mont-Saint-Michel, a plan-relief given to the King of France by a monk of the abbey for his collections. To ensure the proper preservation of the plan-reliefs collection, it was classified as a historical monument in 1927, since the new range of 20th-century artillery (weapons are more powerful and can injure or destroy for miles) meant that plan-reliefs were no longer useful by the end of the 19th century.

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The museum is open every day except the first Monday of the month (except July, August and September), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (October 1 to March 31) or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April 1 to September 30). Admission is €15 per person (full price) and €12 per person (reduced price), with no admission charge for under-25s. Once purchased, your ticket also entitles you to admission (on the same day only) to the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération, the Musée de l'Armée and Napoleon's tomb at Les Invalides. The Musée des Plans-Reliefs is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility.

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To get there, take metro line 8 (Tour-Maubourg or Invalides stations), line 13 (Varenne or Saint-François-Xavier stations) or RER C (Invalides station).

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From January 9th, 2024 to December 31th, 2027

× Approximate opening times: to confirm opening times, please contact the establishment.

    Location

    Hôtel national des Invalides (côté Esplanade des Invalides)
    75007 Paris 7

    Prices
    Moins de 25 ans: Free
    Tarif réduit: €12
    Plein tarif: €15

    Official website
    www.museedesplansreliefs.culture.fr

    More information
    Opening hours: 10am-5pm (October-March) - 10am-6pm (April-September) - closed on the 1st Monday of the month

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