Monday, November 16, 2009

Musee Carnavalet

This afternoon I went to visit the Musee Carnavalet with some friends.  This is by far my favorite museum in Paris.  You see, I'm a big history nerd and I'm completely obsessed with French history.  The Musee Carnavalet is the Paris history museum and for a history buff like me, it is heaven.  Ever since my history professor recommended it to me years ago, I've been in love.  On my next trip to France I made sure to visit it and I go back quite regularly.  It is just that good!

The Musee Carnavalet is located in the Marais district of Paris, snuggled in between falafel restaurants and the beautiful Place des Vosges.  It is also free.  All the time.  For everyone.  All the permanent collections are free, you only have to pay to see the special exhibits.  And even then the price is very reasonable.  Usually 5 euros for full entry, 2.50 if you are under 27 years old.

This specific trip was to see their new special exhibit, La révolution française, trésors cachés du musée Carnavalet.  It opened in October and I've been dying to go.  This is totally my kind of exhibit because I think the French Revolution is one of the most fascinating historical events ever.  And it definitely lived up to my expectations.  The Musee Carnavalet already has the largest permanent collection of French Revolution items, but for this exhibit they took out everything else they have that is not normally on display.  I think my favorite thing were the clothes worn by le dauphin (Louis XVII) and la dauphine (his sister) while they were imprisoned in the Temple Prison during the Revolution (and where Louis XVII died of tuberculosis in 1795).  Unfortunately, photos were not allowed in the exhibit, but I recommend going to see it yourself.

The exhibit itself was somewhat small only 5 or 6 rooms, but in my opinion it was definitely worth the 2.50 euros.  After we wandered through the rest of the museum and went to check out the permanent French Revolution collection to continue the theme of the day.  I was in heaven.

A model of the Bastille carved out of a block from the Bastille.  After they tore it down people collected pieces of the Bastille and carved models out of them to keep as souvenirs of the event.  This is one of those.  This is actually part of the permanent collection since I couldn't take pictures in the exhibit.


View out of a window of the musee Carnavalet overlooking the courtyard.

The banner for the French Revolution exhibit.  Unfortunately the photo is a little dark.

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