Musée National du Moyen Âge
The crème de la crème of academia flock to this distinguished university, one of the world’s most famous. Today ‘La Sorbonne’ embraces...
Chapelle de la Sorbonne
The Sorbonne university’s distinctive domed church was built between 1635 and 1642. The remains of Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642) lie in...
Extensively renovated in the 15th century, this Gothic church contains one of the oldest bells in Paris, cast in 1412. Also of note are...
This is one of the most popular of the many Latin Quarter cinemas, featuring classics and retrospectives looking at the films of such...
Inconspicuously situated in a quiet street, this heritage-listed 1906 art nouveau ‘soup kitchen’, with mirrored walls, floral motifs and...
6 place Paul Painlevé, 5e · interesting places nearby
Musée National du Moyen Âge information
The National Museum of the Middle Ages holds a series of sublime treasures, from medieval statuary, stained glass and objets d'art to its celebrated series of tapestries, The Lady with the Unicorn (1500). Throw in the extant architecture – an ornate 15th-century mansion (the Hôtel de Cluny), and the frigidarium (cold room) of an enormous Roman-era bathhouse – and you have one of Paris' top small museums. Outside, four medieval gardens grace the northeastern corner; more bathhouse remains are to the west.
It's believed that the unicorn tapestries – representing the five senses and an enigmatic sixth, perhaps the heart – were originally commissioned by the Le Viste family in Paris. Discovered in 1814 in the Chateau de Boussac, they were acquired by the museum in 1882 and have since provided inspiration to many, from Prosper Mérimée and George Sand to, most recently, Tracy Chevalier.
The mansion's restored 1st-floor late-Gothic chapel, La Chapelle de l'Hôtel de Cluny, – with rich carvings of Christ on the cross, 13 angels, floral and foliage ornaments – has direct access to the garden.