Paris”Grand Siècle” 3 : musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnavalet is close by place des Vosges and hôtel de Sully, at the corner of rue de Sévigné and rue des Francs-Bourgeois, a very popular shopping area too, as you can see:

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Hotel Carnavalet is originally a beautiful Renaissance town house, (mid sixteenth century) transformed a hundred years later (circa 1650) by François Mansart, famous French “Grand Siècle” architect. It became the Parisian home of Madame de Sévigné (best known for the letters she wrote, mostly to her daughter).

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The entrance is on rue de Sévigné, in a courtyard with a statue of king Louis XIV. The musée Carnavalet is dedicated to Paris history.

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It is formed by two buildings, hotel Carnavalet and hotel Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, built at the end of seventeenth century. The beautiful “à la française” garden can be seen at the gate on rue des Francs-Bourgeois.

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If you go inside, you can wander at ease throughout centuries.

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Just follow the corridors at random, it’s more fun.

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On first floor you pass from one building to the other, then follow these stone heads example, look at the ceiling.

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There is no rush, sometimes you’re on your own, and it’s really unusual.

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But you’re not really alone, just look through the window : children circle Louis XIV.

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Don’t miss “l’escalier de Luynes”, a most beautiful staircase with a “trompe-l’oeil” on the wall.

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And leaving, have a look through the window to a small inner garden, with king Henri IV riding on the back wall.

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Musée Carnavalet (Paris history), 23 rue de Sévigné, Métro Saint-Paul, tel 33(0)1 44 59 58 58, everyday but Monday 10 to 18, free entrance except for temporary exhibitions. www.carnavalet.paris.fr/ –

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