There has been much buzz around Paris museums during Covid. One thing they kept saying was how happy they were to have the time to do restorations. The Louvre opened a new location. François Pinault opened his collection at the Bourse which I’m excited to view (before the chairs melt). And now the Carnavalet has had a complete restoration.
The Carnavalet for those that do not know about it is a museum dedicated to Paris’s history. There are a lot of little knickknacks saved from over the years. Things like shop signs, models of buildings, even Marie Antoinette’s shoes and furniture, it really was a lot of random. Apparently Haussmann commissioned this museum because he knew he was destroying Paris’s history and wanted to preserve some of it.
I don’t know if many of you have visited it, but the Carnavalet was a mess. Neatly tucked away in the 3rd of the Marais, it was always free to enter, and it seemed like that was also the reason it was so unloved. Going into it was like going into a hoarder’s den. I went twice over the years and never saw the “5 years” of work it was undergoing. I didn’t even know it was closed.
To be fair it wasn’t even on my top 10 Paris museums list because it was such a headache. I would have never recommended it even if it is free, unless someone was bored and really needed to kill some time. I love seeing little bits and pieces of history, but the museum didn’t make sense.
Now thanks to the city it has been completely overhauled, and the pictures make it look stunning. Almost as stunning as the École Militaire. If anyone has not been to the École Militaire, you must go. It is my favorite museum in Paris because the layout is beautiful, and really shows off the pieces. Now the Carnavalet looks just as modern.
For information on visiting the new Carnavalet go here.