Musée de Cluny

Our discovery of medieval Paris started at Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages. Parts of the building date back to the times of the Romans. The frigidarium, a room that is part of the Roman bathhouses for resting, still exists today. The Roman ruins were incorporated into the medieval building.

The museum also contains the original heads of the kings from Notre-Dame. During the French Revolution, the Revolutionaries mistakenly thought that the gallery of kings on the façade of Notre-Dame displayed the kings of France (the kings were actually the kings of Judea). The government had the stone kings decapitated. A brave young man collected the heads and hid them. The heads were discovered only in 1977. If you look closely, you can see the traces of color on the lips of the statues.

We also saw one of the most famous tapestries, The Lady and the Unicorn. The tapestry depicts (surprisingly) a fair-haired maiden and a unicorn on the brightly-colored background, in a peaceful garden setting. If you look closely, you may find mistakes in visual perception—such as the tree foliage being in front, while the trunk remained in the background—but these mistakes take nothing away from the beauty of the tapestries.

Related journal entry:
le 10 janvier