Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We're not quite sure why we didn't discover Musee Carnavalet on our 2006 trip - maybe we didn't know it existed or maybe it was just a time thing. This time with one whole week in a Paris apartment, we had more time to indulge ourselves with the museums of Paris.
Musee Carnavalet is located in two mansions on Rue de Sevigne in the Marais and is devoted to the history of Paris from prehistoric times. The Hotel Carnavalet was built in 1548 and the Hotel Peletier during the 17th century.
Some of the exhibits came from an archaeological dig in the Parc de Bercy in 1992 when a neolithic village was unearthed. I have to admit that my memory becomes a little hazy when looking back on the photos of Carnavalet and my other favorite museum on the Left Bank - the Musee National du Moyen Age, but that comes next week.

Statue of Louis XIV in the courtyard of Carnavalet.

The painted wall room of two centuries ago.
We've mentioned before of our passion for the Art Nouveau period of furniture, architecture and sculpture. Australia does have some fine examples but Paris, New York and Glasgow, Scotland I believe sprouted the origins. We loved the exhibits at the Musee d'Orsay but relocated the showroom of the Jeweller, Georges Fouquet absolutely enthralled us. One could imagine the wealthy wanting the beautiful pieces made by this craftsman.

The entrance to Fouquet's shop front.
His whole interior design was the work of Alphonse Mucha - I didn't realise this at the time of the visit and its only when researching for this post, I became aware of this fact. I'm a big fan of Mucha since my early art student days.
Many of Fouquet's pieces were designed by Mucha. I found some examples posted below.

What an inviting entrance to do business with Monsieur Fouquet.
Looking out from the reception area.

The crab necklace.

Two pieces designed by Alphonse Mucha and produced by Georges Fouquet.
Paintings hanging on the walls follow the history of Paris over the centuries.

Models of Medieval Paris are recreated in glassed boxes hence the reflections.
I probably could have stood for hours looking at Paris once was!
In the forecourt of Notre Dame you can discover the Gallo Roman foundations of the Parisi tribes ancient city. We saw it on our first trip. The buildings you see in this recreation no longer exist.

Well worth a visit - don't you think?


  1. Yes well worth a visit (or 2). Genie had a great story today.
    (about a boulangerie)
    I think you will like it.

  2. Thanks Nadege - I have just read Genie's post and she is now on my sidebar so I don't miss anymore interesting posts.

  3. Art Nouveau is a favourite of mine too. There are many splendid Art Nouveau buildings in Belgium. Most of them are by the famous architect Victor Horta. Maybe you are familiar with his work? Martine

  4. Martine - I googled him, yes very impressive.
    Maybe a day trip to Brussels is in order next year

  5. I have been trying to write a comment on this blog all day but I keep being distracted!!! When I see all your posts around Paris I realise how much there is for us still to see. Last year when I had people staying here house hunting, they took me to see one of their favourite houses which was built Art Nouveau, and furnished the same style throughout it was gorgeous. I was quite sad that they did not buy it as I would really have enjoyed visiting them as they could have bought it quite reasonable fully furnished. In fact they bought nothing and are still looking, nothing has been perfect!!!! They seem to think they will find the right house and property that will want nothing done to it :)) Take care Diane

  6. Diane,
    I agree about so much to see, especially a city like Paris. Nex t May we can say that in coming and going it will 10 times in Paris and there are places we've missed and will revisit. The real delights are in the rural regions like where you live.
    Its a shame your visitors were searching for perfection, I'm told it doesn't exist, but you can have fun searching.

  7. Would you believe I walked right by this magnificent place and didn't go in!!! Dratt! My sister and I were on our way from Rue Montorgueil to take a cruise along the canal St Martin and saw the signs - not enough time. Art deco is just so.... stunningly beautiful.

  8. Dianne,
    put it on your list for next time. Next weeks museum is also a cracker. See you next Wednesday.
    May I also be so bold to ask if you to suggest to your very sad Paris blog readers to check out Wednesdays in France.

  9. Leon, I was thinking of you as I was reading David's blog about "Poilâne"
    I don't know if you have ever tasted a "Paris-Brest" (it is a pâte à choux filled with hazelnut cream) and name for a bicycle race. It is one of my favorite pastries; I am sure you will take notes and try out some of the sandwiches too when you guys are in Paris next year.

  10. Oh, this is fascinating, especially the model of the old city. We were in Paris earlier this year and know we will have to return some day.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I'm always happy to have such friendly visitors!
    -- Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  11. Nadege - Being a foodie,Sue often reads David's blog often.
    As for the Paris - Brest, Australia's (Sir)Hubert Opperman won the Paris Brest Paris in the Pre-War days. He also rode Le Tour and several French Classics.

  12. Kay - And welcome to you also. I shall look forward to visiting your blog on a regular visit.
    Back to France for us next May for my wife's 60th. She loves it.

  13. Art Nouveau is a favourite of mine too. There are many splendid Art Nouveau buildings in Belgium. Most of them are by the famous architect Victor Horta. Maybe you are familiar with his work?


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