Jan 18, 2010

One of only two remaining medieval homes in Paris (the other is the Hôtel de Sens in the Marais)is the Musée National du Moyen Age, housed in the Hôtel de Cluny. Located at 6, place Paul Painlevé , 5 th arrondissement, founded by the rich and powerful 15th-century abbot of Clunny Abbey and Jacques d'Amboise constructed his mansion over the ruins of a Roman bath. The exterior of the beautiful Gothic building includes many symbols of the Abbot of Cluny's power, from the crenellated walls to the carved Burgundian grapes. The scallop shells on the façade symbolize the great Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, which once began just around the corner and was overseen by the Abbey of Cluny.

The design of the museum's medieval garden, inspired by the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry and provides a pleasant oasis in the heart of the city. It covers 5000 square meters and includes medicinal plants, a "kitchen garden" of herbs, and a section with a "thousand flowers" (mille fleurs). The most famous attraction is the Lady and the Unicorn (Dame à la Licorne) tapestry, the most acclaimed tapestry of its kind. In room 9 are the ruins of Roman baths, dating from about 200 AD. The best preserved section is the frigidarium (cold water bath), with ribbed vaulting resting on consoles evoking ships' prows.

Station on Paris metro: Cluny- La Sorbonne