Musée de Cluny - (Medieval Art)

No other museum can rival the Musée de Cluny collection of medieval art and artefacts

Headless sculptures in the Musée de Cluny
Headless sculptures in the Musée de Cluny cc licensed photo by Olivier Bruchez

The Musée de Cluny is one of the most fascinating museums to visit in Paris. Situated at 6 Place Paul Painleve 75005 Paris, the Musée de Cluny is the National Museum of the Middle Ages. There is no other museum that can rival the Musée de Cluny in terms of the extent of their medieval collection of art and artefacts. The museum is also well known for its unique display as the actual building is a combination of medieval architecture and Gallo Roman ruins.

Among the many attractions within the vast museum are sculptures that date back to the 7th and 8th century respectively as well as a number of very important manuscripts from the medieval period which was well known for elaborate art work within these manuscripts. There are also a number of antique furniture and furnishings to be seen, gold and ivory art pieces and tapestries from many castles and noble homes around France.

Among these tapestries is perhaps the most famous tapestry collection in all of France, La Dame a la Licorne or the Lady of the Unicorn. These famous tapestries are said to have been woven in Flanders from silk and wool and are considered to be the finest example of tapestry art still in existence from the entire medieval period.

The original building in which the museum is housed was once a hotel — the Hotel de Cluny which, in the early part of the 14 century, was owned by the abbots of Cluny. The abbots of Cluny owned this hotel for a century by which time it was taken over by the Bishop of Clermont who lived in it as his official residence. The bishop rebuilt much of the hotel and many examples of the period's Gothic and renaissance elements remain intact to this day.

This museum definitely falls into the must see list of heritage sites for those who are in love with the Medieval period. Ensure that you allocate enough time on your itinerary to do it justice.

Nearby attractions: Latin Quarter, Pantheon and Notre Dame

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes, however entry is free with the Paris Pass.

Address: 6 Place Paul Painlevé, 75005 Paris, France

Phone: 01 53 73 78 00

Official Website: Musée de Cluny - (Medieval Art)

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M10Cluny - La Sorbonne‎3 minutes
M4 / RER-B and CSaint-Michel - Notre-Dame‎‎6 minutes

How to get to Musée de Cluny - (Medieval Art) by Metro / RER

By Metro M10: Take Metro Line 10 to Cluny - La Sorbonne‎ Station. Exit the station and Cross over Bd Saint-Germain and walk south on Rue Saint-Jacques then right on Rue du Sommerard.

By Metro M4 or RER: Exit Metro Line 4 or RER Line B or C at Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame. Walk south on Bd Saint-Michel to Rue Pierre Sarrazin and go left. Musée de Cluny is just ahead on your left.

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Reviews

Rated 4.4 out of 5Cluny Museum - National Museum of the Middle Ages Star Rating

5 Star Rating This place was wonderful! It was under renovation when I was there but the building itself is beautiful and the displays inside are fascinating. The tapestries are beautiful and there was a lovely exhibit on medieval stained glass that even my three year old really enjoyed. It felt like a hidden jewel in Paris. Even though we were there at a high season and everything else was packed, this place had no line at security and felt fairly empty. It was beautiful and well worth the visit.

Sarah Monnier - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating This is where you see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries from the 14th century! If you ever want to experience the medieval world this is the place -- rare stained glass windows and other treasures.

Carey Adina Karmel - 1 month ago

4 Star Rating Under extensive renovation 01/2018, so only parts of the museum and collection were open to the public. Roman baths and artifacts are very interesting but the exhibitions provide insufficient context/information about them. A very artifact-driven museum experience overall, which doesn't really manage to connect the artifacts to each other, the site, or history more generally. But perhaps the renovations will be an opportunity to address this! Still a worthwhile 1.5 hours if you are in the area.

Andrew Woodrow-Butcher - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating This is a great museum. Your visit should not take too long but the journey through medieval exposition is pleasant and thoughtful. The objects of everyday life are accompanied with practical uses and examples in paintings/books/other art. The setting is pretty spectacular as well and stained glass pieces are up close for viewers examination. We experienced no wait time.

Natalia Ekisheva - 3 months ago

5 Star Rating With so many famous art museums in Paris, it would be easy to overlook the Cluny. But there's a lot of great art in here! The Lady and the Unicorn is a fantastic collection of tapestries of a lady, a unicorn, and an oft-forgotten lion. Each tapestry is enormous and detailed, with an explanation in a number of languages. A bunch of other great medieval art in here as well.

Dan Keshet - 4 months ago

Video


A video tour of the Musée de Cluny by Paris eGuides

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