Musée de Cluny - National Museum of Middle Ages

Musée de Cluny - Musée national du Moyen Âge

The Museum of the Middle Ages is housed in two exceptional Parisian monuments: the Gallo-Roman thermes (1st-3rd centuries) and the Cluny Abbey hotel (late 15th century).

It was founded in 1843 with the collections of an art amateur fascinated by the Middle Ages, Alexandre Du Sommerard who lived in the Hôtel de Cluny.

The collections have grown over the years and today they offer a unique view of the art and history of man in Roman Gaul at the beginning of the 16th century, fifteen centuries of European art and history one location.

The Gallo-Roman baths are one of the most spectacular examples of ancient architecture still preserved on Gallic soil, especially with the frigidarium ("cold room") and its 14m high vault. 
At the beginning of the 13th century, the university moved to what was to become the "Latin Quarter". Like many others, the powerful Cluny abbots made it a college and living quarters. The college, built over the second half of the 13th century, was located where the Sorbonne is now, and the living quarters were near the thermes. At the end of the 15th century, Jacques d'Amboise, Cluny abbot in Burgundy (1485-1510), decided to rebuild the Parisian abbey residence next to the thermes. The rapidly accomplished construction is today's oldest example of an individual inn between a court and a garden. Closed to the city by a blind crenelated wall, pierced by only a wagon gate and a door, the facility is made of up a group of residences with two wings encircling a court. Its two stories are topped by a high slate roof dotted with dormers. A balustrade with a heavy overhang hides its edge. The levels can be reached by three spiral staircases. Inside, the hotel has maintained its original layout: the size of the rooms, the façade and the chapel.

The museum houses famous collections of sculptures, stained-glass, ivories, tapestries, paintings, enamels, and many other marvels from the 1st to the 15th centuries. Among them, one grat  attraction is the series of  around 1500 tapestries, The Lady and the Unicorn, which have been recently restored and are now shown in a completely renovated room.
More changes are planned for the following years, with the "Cluny 4" project, including a new entrance and improved disabled access.

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