About the Cluny Museum of the Middle AgesThe best example of a middle age architecture in Paris is the the National Museum of the Middle Ages (Musée de Cluny), which is located in the fifth district of paris. In 1843 Alexander Di Sommerard, a collector of middle age art, purchased the building, housed his collections in it and turned it into a Museum. After his death, the collection was purchased by the country and his son became the museums first curator. The museum became public in 1833.
In the museum you can find art and furniture from the middle ages as well as golden jewelry and ivory artifacts. The museum has a rich collection of sculptures, ceramics, carvings, carpets, various artifacts in gold and bronze, glass works, metal, wood and ivory, weapons, jewelry and everyday medieval objects. The most notable exhibits are the outstanding wall hangings that display the well known piece now known as "The Lady and the Unicorn" - a series of 6 beautiful wall hangings from the 15th century, displaying a female character next to a unicorn.
Archaeological ExhibitsThe importance of the museum is not only in its rich and impressive collection, but also in the combination of authentic archaeological exhibits displayed in it from the ancient times until today. Remains of Roman baths were discovered beneath the building from the 13th century called "Cluny Baths". In the baths you can find items from the Roman period such as "Pillars of the Descendants" also known as "The Sailors Pillar". Carvings from the first century of mythological Roman gods were found on the limestone pillar. It is thought that the pillar stood in the Gallic-Roman temple that was in Paris before. It was originally 5.24 meters high, however, only broken pieces of it are left today. Some of the ancient baths were preserved very well. Such as the 'cooling hall' in which the walls are about 2 meters thick, and the ceiling is 15 meters tall.
In the next hall there are 21 statue heads on display, some of them broken, and they are treated as the kings of Judah and Israel. The truth is that the statues don't belong to that place - they were discovered by accident in an ancient building in Paris, and an examination revealed that the heads were removed from statues that stood on the facade of Notre Dame Cathedral. During the revolution, the revolutionaries mistakenly thought that these were statues of French kings, and in a fury against the royal house, shattered them without knowing that these were all statues of the kings of Judah and Israel who had done them no harm.
In the museums garden you should pay attention to the ancient well, that was used by the monks at the time, it is no longer in use however, it still full of water.
About the Lady and the UnicornAt the Cluny Museum you will find the renowned piece "Lady and Unicorn", a medieval creation of six wall hangings woven in Flanders in the 16th century.
Five of the carpets describe the five senses: taste, hearing, sight, smell and touch. The last carpet is called "my only passion".
Please note that the carpets are very large and impressive. Come closer and see the colors in which they were painted with. These are natural pigments created at the time by using ancient techniques. Sit with your back to the biggest rug of them all, the one with the blue tent. Now look at your left side. To the first carpet.
In the carpet that describes the sense of taste, the lady is shown taking a candy from a tray held by a servant. The lion and the unicorn stand on either side and hold banner flags.
In the carpet that describes the sense of hearing, the lady plays on an organ that is on a table covered with a Turkish rug. The maid in this case holds the organ. Here too, the lion and the unicorn stand on both sides of the Lady holding banner flags, however, unlike in the other carpets they turn in opposite directions.
In the carpet that describes her sense of vision, the Lady sits and holds a mirror, a unicorn kneels at her feet and looks at his reflection in the mirror. The lion stands on her left side and holds a banner flag.
In the carpet that describes the sense of smell, the lady stands holding a bouquet of flowers. Her maid stands holding a basket full of flowers. On both sides of the Lady stand the lion and the unicorn holding banner flags.
In the carpet that describes the sense of touch, the lady stands and touches the horn of the unicorn. In the other hand she holds the banner flag. The lion looks at her.
In the last rug, called "For my only desire," the lady stands in the middle of a the carpet and her servant stands to her right and holds a box. The Lady puts the necklace she's wearing in the box. To her left you can see a bag with coins. The lion and the unicorn are also here on either side of the Lady, holding the banner flags.