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.

Open Now: No

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 9:15 AM – 5:45 PM
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 9:15 AM – 5:45 PM
  • Thursday: 9:15 AM – 5:45 PM
  • Friday: 9:15 AM – 5:45 PM
  • Saturday: 9:15 AM – 5:45 PM
  • Sunday: 9:15 AM – 5:45 PM

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 4.2 out of 5

5 Star Rating Unicorns. Unicorn tapestry and unicorn (maybe narwhal tusks) horns...perfect place to wile away an afternoon.

Abbey McNair - 9 days ago

4 Star Rating An interesting museum, however, most of the time we felt lack of information in English. Not overcrowded hence the visit rather pleasant, however, the security check at the beginning a tad long. Put a second person to check the bags, maybe?

Deimantė S - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating My new favourite Parisian museum. I was there shortly after it opened in a Sunday morning and had entire rooms to myself a few times before it started to get crowded at midday. Having stained glass windows at eye-level rather than in their natural habitats far up a cathedral wall is incredible. I loved examining the detail up close and the printed exhibit guides in each room are wonderful for getting insight into what's on display. The 'Lady and the Unicorn' tapestries were a high point and I spent about half an hour examining them with only a handful of people coming in and out of the gallery.

Laura Matheson - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating The temporary exhibition on Merovingian France (the early Middle Ages) is terrific. Much of the fantastic permanent collection is also on display. Don't let the construction work or security measures put you off. Make sure to use the toilet before entering the museum, if you need it. It's down the stairs next to the reception desk.

David McKay - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Absolutely brilliant. Huge collection of beautiful medieval items; the goldsmithing room is particularly impressive. Fantastic Merovingian exhibition when I visited.

Arthur Livesley - 2 months ago

Video


A video tour of the Musée de Cluny by Paris eGuides

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