The National Archives Museum - Hôtel de Soubise

A beautiful little museum with its garden located in the Marais district of Paris, the entrance is free!

The National Archives were created during the Revolution in 1790, the purpose was to store all the official documents of the French State in one building. Today, this former mansion (the Hôtel de Soubise) is no longer suitable for storing documents and the building has been transformed into a museum.

The museum is difficult to understand because it tells the story of the National Archives and the history of the Hôtel de Soubise before the transformation of the hôtel particulier into a national archive. One does not know exactly what one is visiting, even the name of the museum is rather misleading (are we visiting a museum or a mansion?). Apparently potential visitors were disconcerted and in 2020 the museum became free to attract more people. Of course the free entrance allows the visit without the risk of being disappointed, the Soubise hotel has become a nice little museum that can be visited in 1 hour. Don't forget to visit the gardens on the side.

Interest: ratingvery good (2 users)
Difficulty: difficulty
Duration: 2 h.

The comments

Inconnu09/06/2021 16:23:36 rating very good

Un très bel endroit à découvrir.

The Soubise Hotel

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The Soubise Hotel
The Hôtel de Soubise is a former mansion that was transformed into a building dedicated to the national archives during the Revolution (1790).

The gardens of the National Archives Museum

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The gardens of the National Archives Museum
Very nice garden to the right of the entrance courtyard, the place is closed and gives a feeling of calm and serenity in the center of Paris

The gardens of the National Archives Museum (continued)

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The gardens of the National Archives Museum (continued)
The place is very bucolic with some benches to rest. Be careful, works are in progress in 2021, they will last several years, you can't walk everywhere in the garden.

The inner courtyard of the National Archives Museum

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The inner courtyard of the National Archives Museum
Very nice interior courtyard, you can find a video inside that explains the history of the building.

The archives

The archives
It is a museum of archives, so one expects to find archives. The first room explains the different ways to save documents (parchments, paper, computers...). Not very exciting.

The prince's room

The prince's room
In fact there are not many archives presented, we walk mostly in the old hotel of Soubise. The decorations of the prince's room were made in 1740.

Le grand cabinet

Le grand cabinet
This room was mainly used as a dining room.

The grand staircase

The grand staircase
A huge staircase allows you to access the first floor.

The Edict of Nantes

The Edict of Nantes
We continue the walk in the hotel of Soubise, In the middle of the rooms you can find official documents coming from the archives. On the picture you can see the Edict of Nantes (1598). It is not the original, it is a copy but it is remarkable.

The ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts

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The ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts
Another official document scattered throughout the rooms: the ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts. This ordinance obliged the parishes to record the dates of births and deaths of the inhabitants. It also stipulated that French was the official language and no longer Latin. This is also a copy.

The ceremonial room of the princess

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The ceremonial room of the princess
Apparently the princess was not sleeping in this room but in the room next door.

The bedroom of the princess

The bedroom of the princess
The princess did not sleep in the ceremonial room but in this more intimate room. The visit of this museum does not last more than one hour. It is really worth the detour.
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