"National Museum of the Middle Ages" Top 5 Page for this destination Musée National du Moyen Âge (National Museum of Medieval Art) Tip by Nemorino

  1. Cluny Abbey
by Nemorino
  • 1. Cluny Abbey - Paris
      1. Cluny Abbey
    by Nemorino
  • 4. Guiterne - Paris
      4. Guiterne
    by Nemorino
  • 3. Heads without statues - Paris
      3. Heads without statues
    by Nemorino
  • 2. Statues without heads - Paris
      2. Statues without heads
    by Nemorino
  • 5. Concert cancelled - Paris
      5. Concert cancelled
    by Nemorino

This museum itself is historical, since it was founded in 1843. The building is the house of the Cluny Abbots, built in the late fifteenth century on the site of the Gallo-Roman baths from the first to third centuries.

Parts of the original Gallo-Roman baths are still (or again) visible, so when you go down some steps you are suddenly dropped from the Middle Ages back into Roman times, more than a millennium earlier.

Second photo: Excavations and building projects in the nineteenth century turned up numerous medieval statues, often without heads, since in some phases of French history it was the custom to behead the statues of people they no longer liked, such as kings or bishops.

Third photo: But the heads were also found and brought to the museum.

Fourth photo: In a temporary exhibition in 2012 the National Museum of the Middle Ages was displaying this intricately carved guiterne from the 14th-century. The guiterne was an ancestor of the guitar, but this one was transformed into a violin in the 16th century, which is why it looks like a mixture of both.

Fifth photo: The National Museum of the Middle Ages in Cluny Abbey sometimes offers concerts of medieval music, but the one I wanted to attend in 2006 was unfortunately cancelled because of the illness of one of the musicians.

Next review from January 2012: Woodcarvings in the Cluny museum

Address: 6 place Paul Painlevé, 75005 Paris
Vélib' 5030
Métro Cluny-Sorbonne or Saint-Michel
GPS 48°51'1.17" North; 2°20'38.73" East

Phone: 01 53 73 78 00
Website: http://www.musee-moyenage.fr/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Feb 15, 2013
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse

Comments (6)


“The world is full of wonderful places. Help keep them wonderful by not driving in them.”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 1 8
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 3 8

Have you been to Paris?

  Share Your Travels