Paris history buffs take note! The Musée Carnavalet, the museum dedicated to all things Parisian history, is closing for renovations at the end of 2016. Starting in October, the museum will be shut its doors for around 2 years, maybe more, according to officials.
Nestled in the heart of the Marais, better known to you as the home of Paris’s many gay bars, the Carnavalet is home to thousands of objects, sculptures, and paintings documenting the city’s history. The best part? It’s absolutely free to enter. It’s a favorite for savvy tourists and locals alike. We stop in with tourists all the time, if even just to use the bathroom. From the Romans to Napoleon, this museum covers every step of the city’s long, long history.
All that is changing, we learned, during a tour with the museum’s communications director who told us the entire layout will change over the coming years. The goal is to refresh the buildings and organize exhibits more thematically, instead of chronologically.
The galleries, however, should maintain their homely feel. Visiting the building is like walking through a 17th century mansion, even though it is a hodgepodge of styles and architecture. The original building was home of 17th century writer Madame Sévigné but renovations in the 19th and 20th century saw expansion. The current structure is actually several buildings that were reassembled on the site, though the casual visitors (us included) would never notice. Rooms are decorated with art and furniture to mimic the looks of the 17th and 18th century. It’s like Versailles, but without the hordes of tourists.
The building, after the next wave of renovations, won’t change much. The inside, however, will receive a much needed overhaul. We’re excited to see what happens, and if all goes well, it should be reopening – hopefully – before the mayoral elections in 2020.
Get there quickly before it closes. This is France, after all, so who knows when it will actually reopen.