Thursday, 17 January 2013

All in the name of research...

We broke our journey again back to Barrou by staying with my brother Richard and his wife Francoise in their apartment in Paris.It was a chance to catch up plus to do a little further research for my site about this great city As on previous visits we walked for miles - its such a great place to wander around in but we also had a couple of visits we wanted to make.

One of these was to the 'Mussee Carnavalet', which we had not as yet visited. This imposing museum is housed in two 'hotel particuliers' (mansion houses) Hôtels Carnavalet and Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau. These grand houses date from the 16th and 17th centuries but from the street, Rue de Sevigne, you might easily pass them by, as I'm sure we have on previous visits to this part (Marais)of the city. You cannot really appreciate their grandeur until you venture into the courtyards.

The museum's collection offers over a hundred rooms (too many for one visit) devoted to the history of Paris, from its origins to the present day. They include paintings, sculptures, furniture and archaeological finds, many in reconstructed room settings - if like us, you've trekked around most of the grand chateaux of the Loire Valley this way of exhibiting can become a bit 'samey'. The collection is meant to deliver an insight into the story of how cultural life in Paris has evolved over the centuries but although it was very interesting because of its sheer scale and opulance, you find yourself a bit lost in history and searching for the real Parisians.

The great thing about this museum is however that it is free to visit so if you need more time you can always return.

One of our favourite settings was the reproduction of a Parisian jeweller's shop from 1900 by Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist.

We also liked the model of the Bastille of which there is nothing remaining today.

We have visited most of the main tourist attractions of Paris but it is always good to find new places.

You can visit the website of the museum here.

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