The Lady and the Unicorn: To My Only Desire
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Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
National Museum of the Middle Ages
Cluny Museum
Musée de Cluny
Musée National du Moyen Âge
48.850392° N, 2.343999° E
6 place Paul-Painlevé

Essays (1)

  • Collections

    The museum's collections are vast and a must-see for medieval art lovers. The following numbering of rooms is used in the museum's visitor guides. The list of exhibits in each room is not comprehensive but gives an indication of the most prominent and characteristic artworks. Rooms 1-6 (ground floor) and 17-23 (first floor) are housed in the 15th-century Hôtel de Cluny. The rest are in 19th- and 20th-century rooms. See the official website for a map of the museum using this numbering.

    Ground Floor

    1. Museum Shop
    2. Tapestry of St. Boatmen's Pillar (1c), Saint-Landry's Pillar (2c)
    3. Romanesque Room. view full text →

    4. History

      The Musée National du Moyen Age (National Museum of the Middle Ages) is housed in the Hôtel de Cluny, one of only two remaining medieval homes in Paris (the other is the Hôtel de Sens in the Marais). The building was founded by the rich and powerful 15th-century abbot of Cluny Abbey, Jacques d'Amboise, who constructed his mansion over the ruins of a Roman bath.

      In addition to abbots, the Hôtel de Cluny hosted other notable residents, including Mary Tudor, widow of Louis XII, beginning in 1515. Seized during the French Revolution, the Cluny was rented in 1833 to Alexandre du Sommerard, an amateur art collector who was fascinated with the Middle Ages. After his death in 1842, the government bought the building and the collection. view full text →

Bibliography (1)

Comments (1)

  • I visited the museum July of 2004 and it was quite a shock to see so much great art, and the building was being renovated at the time, so better now I am sure.

    ken price
    May 22, 2014
  • Chapel of the Hotel de Cluny: an intriguing historical incident. After the death of Louis X11,his widow, Mary Tudor (the sister of King Henry V111), entered into a secret marriage with Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. The ceremony took place sometime in February 1515. It is likely that Anne and Mary Boleyn were among the witnesses. Charles Brandon had committed a capital crime by marrying a princess of royal blood without royal permission and Henry V111 was also outraged by his sister's impetuous marriage. My recollection is confirmed in Alison Weir's history - cited above.

    Lillian Irene Taylor
    May 16, 2014

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Article Info

Short URL
Submitted by
Holly Hayes
First published
October 8, 2013
Last updated
July 11, 2014

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