Carnavalet Museum

Carnavalet museum in Paris exhibits the city’s history in the premises of two magnificent city-palaces, Hôtel Carnavalet and Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau.

The idea to have a museum dedicated to Paris’ history came from Baron Haussmann.

Haussmann was the city official, under whose direction Paris was rebuild into its current glory, during the late 19th century.

To provide premises for this new museum, municipal council of Paris acquired the one-of-a-kind Hôtel Carnavalet in 1866.

After renovations done at the palace, the Paris history museum opened its doors to public in 1880.

With time, towards the late 20th century, Hôtel Carnavalet expanded its collections, and started to require additional space.

To solve the need for more exhibition space, the museum acquired the palace of Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau in 1989, located next door to the original museum building.

Carnavalet Museum in Paris

PHOTO: A view to the Hôtel Carnavalet entrance at 23, rue de Sévigné.Courtyard, into which you enter from the main entrance, contains a unique statue of Ludwig XIV and other artworks.

At the museum, you’ll be able to learn about the developments that transformed an ancient Roman empire village, originally called “Lutèce“, into the current international metropolis.

Museum collections include…

  • 2,600 paintings,
  • 20,000 graphics,
  • 300,000 wood carvings,
  • 150,000 photographs,
  • 2,000 sculptures, and
  • 800 period furniture pieces.

Some of the smaller collections, but equally interesting include Parisian miniatures, archeological findings from local excavations, coins from Paris’ history…

…and for many, a highlight of the collection are the objects related tofamous Parisians of the past, including:

  • paintings of Madame de Sévigné, “the most beautiful woman in Paris” (who lived at Hôtel Carnavalet 1664-95)
  • personal belongings of Queen Marie-Antoinette (who died at the guillotine), and
  • the imperial crib of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (child of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie).

Carnavalet Museum
23 Rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris, France

Also, an interesting part of the collection are the objects related the everyday life of the ordinary Parisians, throughout the centuries.

To plan your visit to the museum, one of the best sources of information is their official website, at