It's no secret that Paris is a treasure trove of amazing museums. From historic monuments to the most cutting-edge modern art galleries
, this city has it all. Some of them even serve as the perfect resources for learning all about French culture, history, and heritage. Their displays show what French culture is all about. Their artifacts give a peek into the country's colorful history. And they regularly hold exhibitions that delve deeper into people, events, and more that left a mark on France as a whole. In museums like the Louvre, Musée Carnavalet, Versailles, and more, you'll get to know a lot more about everything French.
Right off the bat, let's start with what is perhaps the most famous museum in the world, the Louvre. Located in the 1st arrondissement
of Paris, it's one of the city's crowning jewels. The museum seems hundreds of thousands of visitors per day, some of whom have traveled all the way to the French capital just to see it in person. In a way, the Louvre is as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are. And it's where you'll get to see a few artworks that depict the magnificence of France, such as “Liberty Leading The People” by Eugène Delacroix and “The Coronation of Napoleon” by Jacques-Louis David.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Hôtel des Invalides
Technically speaking, Hôtel des Invalides isn't your average museum in Paris. Louis XIV ordered the building of this complex to serve as a home and a hospital for the aged and disabled. In a way, it served as one of the very first healthcare institutions and even luxury apartments in Paris
. Over the years, however, the building complex changed. Today, it's become many things. Some parts house museums that showcase the history of the French military. And famously, another part serves as the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. With all these on offer, Hôtel des Invalides is as integral to French heritage as many world-famous monuments.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Musée Carnavalet on Rue de Sévigné is all about the history of Paris. From its Roman foundations to how it became the bustling metropolis it is today, this museum shows everything. And since Paris is the capital city of France, Musée Carnavalet also displays a good chunk of French history too. It's here where you can learn about how the French Revolution started, for example, or the liberation of France from German occupation at the end of the Second World War. Located in Le Marais
, the oldest district in the city, the museum is among the most historic spots in Paris.
Source: Musée Carnavalet
Musée de Cluny
Right by Boulevard Saint-Germain in the 5th arrondissement
, you'll find Musée de Cluny, another museum in Paris where you can learn about France. More specifically, the Middle Ages. The building itself served as a Medieval fortress and has barely changed its architectural aesthetics. Right off the bat, you can already tell how much history the place has to offer just by looking at it. And when you get inside, you'll delve even deeper with all the Medieval artworks and artifacts in store. It's important to remember that the Middle Ages were integral in how France became one of the most influential countries in Europe.
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Musée des Egouts
Musée des Egouts is undoubtedly one of the most unique museums in Paris
. Instead of historic artifacts and priceless artworks, this gallery shows the history and evolution of the French capital's stage system. Pretty fascinating, sure, and understandably weird to the general public. But does it teach you about France too? In a way, it does! Don't forget that as its capital, Paris is the most influential city in the country. Learning about how its sewer system came to be gives you a glimpse of how the systems are in other parts of the country.
Source: Musée des Egouts
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
It's not necessarily accurate to say that the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle on Rue Cuvier will teach you all about France. Rather, the place is more about the history of the planet as a whole. Think human evolution, general biology, studies on various animal species, and the like. Far from the other museums in Paris on this list, you'd hardly learn anything about the country here. Nevertheless, learning about the world's natural history will give you a better sense of France's own natural wonders. From forests and mountains to beaches and waterfalls, it's a side of the country that most people tend to forget about.
Source: Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle Facebook Page
Palace of Versailles
Instead of a museum that outright teaches you about France, the Palace of Versailles is more of a glimpse of what the country was like back when it was under a monarchy. Though to be more accurate, it shows one side of what France was like at that time. In a way, the former French royal court, with its ornate grandeur and dazzling gilding preserved, is as much a symbol of France as, say, the Eiffel Tower. But while the latter symbolizes France in the new age, the former symbolized the old France. A country devoted to nobility, dedicated to its glamour, but mere decoration to cover up its real issues.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Out of the many great museums in Paris, there are those where you can learn all about France. From its history and heritage to its culture and customs, these places are the best resources for getting to know the country more.