Carnavalet, Paris’s City museum
“I think I’ll be comfortable here,” wrote Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (c. 1670), about the palace-like dwelling that is now the Carnavalet, Paris’s City museum. Our visit begins with that famous owner, whose letters from the Sun King’s time are pearls of French literature: we read some of the famous passages.
Then we explore the three floors of – mainstream – Parisian history. Particularly memorable: the reconstructed settings of aristocratic salons, the moving portrait of courtesan Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione in old age, paintings of privileged life in the Belle Époque and the rooms devoted to the Revolution.
And – as with all history – some things are highlighted, others hidden away. We’ll show corners that most visits miss, because they are literally and figuratively dark.
You will leave this extremely rich museum with a view of the city’s past, as its leaders do – and don’t – want it told.
Carnavalet, Paris’s City museum: 16, rue des Francs-Bourgeois 75003 Paris