Paris Travel Planner   Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris
A prominent Ottoman-Jewish family's opulent Paris mansion is now a museum of decorative arts...and of distinguished but ultimately tragic family history.





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Paris's Musée Nissim de Camondo is a treasure-house of exquisite 18th- and 19th-century domestic decoration, an hôtel particulier of richness and elegance that also records the sumptuous—but ultimately tragic—history of a successful banking family.

Located at the edge of Parc Monceau in the northwestern 8e arrondissement (map), the Musée de Camondo is a branch of Paris's Les Arts Décoratifs, the group of French national museums dedicated to décor, furniture, textiles and fashion.

Library, Camondo Museum, Paris
Graceful library, Musée Nissim de Camondo.

  Abraham-Solomon Camondo
Abraham-Solomon Camondo

Abraham-Solomon Camondo (1781-1873) founded a bank in Constantinople in the early 1800s. The Camondo bank, and family, prospered, and spread their interests beyond the Ottoman Empire to other countries in Europe.

In 1867, King Victor Emmanuel II conferred the title of Count on Abraham-Solomon Camondo for his financial help during the unification of Italy.

About this time, brothers Abraham-Behor (1829-1889) and Nissim (1830-1889) relocated to Paris and established homes at the edge of the recently-laid-out Parc Monceau.

Camondo Mansion on the Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey
Camondo Mansion on the Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey

Nissim's son Moïse (1860-1935) followed his passion for 18th-century European art and décor. By 1911 his collection became so large and important that he had the current mansion designed as its showcase. After his son Nissim (1892-1917), a French aviator, died in battle during World War I, Moïse dedicated the remainder of his life to establishing the museum in his son's memory. He then bequeathed it to the French nation.

Family photographs and mementos add depth and poignancy to the museum's collections.

Tragically, Moïse's only daughter, Béatrice (1894-1945), her husband and their children, all perished in Nazi death camps, ending the family's distinguished history. (The tombs of family members who died in Paris are in the Famille Camondo sepulchre in Paris's Cimetière de Montmartre, near the confluence of the cemetery's avenues Cordier and Hector Berlioz. More...)

Combine your visit to the Musée Nissim de Camondo with some time in the neighboring Parc Monceau, and it makes a pleasant few hours or half-day in fine weather. You may even want to walk to/from the Arc de Triomphe, 1.5 km (1 mile), a 15- or 20-minute stroll southwest along Avenue Hoche. More...

Métro: Villiers (Lines 2 & 3), Monceau (Line 2)
Bus: 30, 94, 84

Paris Museum Pass accepted. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

Musée Nissim de Camondo
63 rue de Monceau (map)
75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 53 89 06 50

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Musee Nissim de Camondo, Paris, France

Above, palatial salon in the Camondo mansion.

Below, the mansion's façade.

Musee Nissim de Camondo, Paris, France

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