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Discovering Medieval History: Museum of the Middle Ages

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It seems Paris is a most beautiful picture painted by a most talented artist who not only most accurately picked the colors, but also paid a most careful attention to every detail. Everything in this city is so harmonious that even the garbage can seem a masterpiece. To be honest, sometimes it even seems the city has combined most popular historical wonders. One such ancient venue is the National Museum of the Middle Ages, where you will appear face to face with the rich middle-age heritage of France and get a unique experience exploring the thousands of paintings, sculptures and items the museum houses. So let’s together discover medieval Paris!

The National Museum of the Middle Ages is located in the center of gorgeous Paris, on the left bank of the Seine. The museum represents two periods: Antiquity and the Medieval Period. Consequently, you will learn the history of France dating from the 6th century BC to the early 16th century AD. The museum boasts of one of the biggest medieval collections in the world. It has a beautiful garden to have a rest and enjoy artistic atmosphere. If offers an incredible collection of items representing Gothic sculptures and paintings, illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows, tapestries and fabrics from the Middle Ages.

The Museum was founded in 1843 by a man who was passionate about the Middle Ages: Alexandre Du Sommerard. Since then the collection has been enlarged with new valuable items. The Museum of the Middle Ages features the Cluny thermal baths, which are the best preserved of the three Gallo-Roman baths built in Paris in the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Centuries ago these baths made from stone and brick were meant for the public. Still three rooms are visible. They are the frigidarium (cold room) and two caldaria (hot room). You will also find jewelry and coins, Gallo-Roman remains like the Pillar of the Boatmen and sculpted ivories from the Eastern Roman Empire.

There is another part in the museum called Abbots of Cluny, more popular as Hotel de Cluny. It dates back to the 15th century and is the largest Parisian Manson built between courtyard and garden. The Medieval garden of the museum of the of truly relaxing and intriguing spaces including the vegetable garden, the celestial garden and the garden of love is inspired by the medieval collections inside.

Don’t miss the first-floor room full of back-lit stained-glass, which you can see closer than you could ever hope to in a church. The second-floor room of reliquaries is fabulous as well. Where else could you see something built to hold Christ’s umbilical cord or a Pope’s ring?

And lastly, a tip for families with kids (or adults) who are Harry Potter fans — near the top of the stairs taking up to the Unicorn tapestries, Nicholas Flamel’s tombstone (which he himself designed before he died) is displayed on the wall. Anyone who has read the first Harry Potter book and was inspired by it like once I did, will love it!

Photos credits to 1,2,3,4

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