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.