Cluny Museum (Paris)

I admit, I am not the biggest fan of the Middle Ages.  It just has never been as compelling to me. Maybe I just can’t imagine myself in that time period so I have a harder time becoming immersed in it.  I was skeptical when my husband wanted to stop in the Cluny Museum, Paris’ museum of medieval history, but since it was very close to our apartment and we could get in free with the Paris Pass, I said yes.  My kids probably would have appreciated not going in but it is a very small museum that only takes 20-30 minutes to tour so they tolerated it well.  It is housed in a former Roman bath, which is very beautiful.  

The main attraction is The Lady and The Unicorn Tapestries.  The room they are housed in is very dark and small but there is a small bench in the middle for tired little feet.  There is also a laminated explanation of the meaning behind the tapestries but I found that my Rick Steves guide book had a better explanation.  

The other big draw at the museum is the broken off heads from the Notre Dame facade but unfortunately they were not available for viewing while we were visiting.  

The gift shop is very good for such a small museum so I would encourage you to make sure to visit before leaving.

Helpful hints:

  • Tickets cost 5EUR/free with The Paris Pass
  • Recommended: ages 8 and up
  • Very small museum so can be viewed in less than an hour.
  • Not a destination museum but if you’re in the area with time to kill, it is worth a visit.
  • Metro: Cluny-La Sorbonne
  • Dining nearby: You are very near the famous St. Germain district.  Several world-famous restaurants are located there, including Les Deux Magots made famous by Hemingway.  I highly recommend it, even if it does feel a bit touristy. We had one of our best meals there, thanks to an amazing waiter who, seeing the disappointment in my son’s eyes when told that the pasta of the day was spinach, had the kitchen whip up a traditional tomato pasta.  I will forever be grateful!
  • Nearby attractions include: The Sorbonne and Shakespeare and Company book store (large English bookstore right on the Seine)

Books to Read:

Are you a fan of the Middle Ages?  Which tapestry is your favorite?  Comment below!


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