Paris Travel Planner   Musée Carnavalet, Paris, France
A fascinating museum of the history of Paris, housed in two beautiful adjoining mansions in the Marais section of Paris.

 Le Chat Noir, Musée Carnavalet, Paris
Sign for the famous 19th century Montmartre Cabaret, Le Chat Noir.



Paris's Musée Carnavalet, in the historic Marais district near the heart of the city (map), is the museum of the history of Paris. With over 100 galleries, it traces the history of Paris from prehistoric times to the present day. Visitors can get a sense of how the city looked at different points in its history and can see how it evolved over the centuries.

Located in the heart of the Marais, this museum provides a wonderful sense of the history of Paris. The collection ranges from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted in 1789, to historic merchants' signs, to a couple of the original carved heads from the Pont Neuf, to souvenirs of Napoléon, to prehistoric artifacts, to paintings, sculptures, and furnishings from the 16th century to the present.

Note: The Musée Carnavalet has reopened in 2021 after extensive restorations.

As Paris was and is the heart and soul of France, the city's history mirrors that of all France.

Here are Marie Antoinette's personal effects left behind when she went to the guillotine, models of the Bastille fortress (now completely gone), the storming of which by the mob signalled the beginning of the French Revolution. The museum also has numerous paintings of the guillotine in use, as well as small models of this infamous executioner.

The museum is housed in two adjoining mansions. The Hôtel Carnavalet, a Renaisance palace dating from 1548, was renovated and transformed (1655-1661) by the renowned architect François Mansart, just in time for it to become the palatial home of Madame de Sévigné.

Musee Carnavalet
Lovely building and gardens of the Hôtel Carnavalet.

The second mansion, the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, became part of the museum in 1989. It is known for its magnificent staircase and its collection of art and artifacts from the French Revolution, the prehistoric and Gallo-Roman period, and the 19th century and early 20th century. The two building are connected by the Link Gallery, with temporary exhibits and art from the Belle Époque (about 1900).

The Carnavalet is one of the Museums of the City of Paris. Admission to the permanent collection is free. Closed Monday.

Métro: St-Paul or Chemin Vert
Bus: 29, 69, 76, 96

Musée Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris
23 Rue de Sévigné (map)
Paris 75003
Tel: +33 1 44 59 58 58

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Musee Carnavalet, Paris

Entrance to the grand
Musée Carnavalet, Paris, France.

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