My Favourite History Place: The Musée Carnavalet, Paris

Historian article

By Seán Lang, published 5th May 2022

The Musée Carnavalet, Paris

Until it was overtaken in the twentieth century by Berlin and Moscow, Paris was the political, cultural and revolutionary hub around which Europe revolved.  When the revolutionary Parisian crowd trudged out to Versailles in 1789 to attack the chateau and bring the king and his family back to the capital, they can hardly have known that they were inaugurating a new golden age for the French capital.  Nineteenth-century Paris would be transformed from a medieval huddle of narrow streets into the boulevarded City of Light, the dream of the celebrated Baron Haussmann.  The Musée Carnavalet, housed in a grand renaissance hôtel in the Marais district and recently opened after a long period of renovation and extension, tells the history of Paris from the earliest traces to the sprawling metropolis of today.  For my money, it tops any amount of time spent admiring the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe...

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