History and world cultures

Artists’ houses, history museums, collections of non-Western art … in Parisian museums

History museums

Paris offers you an incredible journey through time at its many history museums! Step through the doors of the Musée d'Archéologie national, the Musée de Cluny (reopening on 12 May 2022), the Musée Carnavalet and the Archaeological Crypt on the square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral to learn more about Prehistory, Antiquity and the Middle Ages in France, as well as the origins of the French capital. the Musée de l’Homme focuses on the evolution of man and societies.

Lontemporary history enthusiasts can immerse themselves in numerous documents at the Mémorial du général Leclerc de Hauteclocque et de la Libération de Paris – Musée Jean-Moulin, the Mémorial de la Shoah de Paris and the Mémorial de Drancy in order to find out more about the Second World War, the French Resistance, and the history of the Jews in France during the Holocaust.

The Musée de la Légion d’honneur et des ordres de la Chevalerie with its fine collection of medals and decorations, the Centre historique des Archives Nationales with its important documents about the history of France, and the Musée de l’Armée  with its military collections reveal treasures of French heritage. The Musée national de l’Histoire de l’immigration, for its part, retraces the history of immigration in France, from the 19th century to the present day. Finally, the Musée national de la Marine (closed for renovation work) perched on Chaillot hill, devotes its museum spaces to the maritime history of France.

World art and culture

If you would like to discover art and civilizations from around the world then look no further, you’ll find them all here in Paris! Many of the capital's museums highlight world cultures.

The museuls Guimet, Cernuschi and Ennery unveil the richness of their collections of Asian art to the public. The Institut du Monde arabe presents the cultural diversity of the Arab countries. The Musée d’art et d’histoire du judaïsme reveals the heritage and traditions of the Jewish communities. Finally, the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac which has celebrated its 15 years of existence in 2021, invites visitors to discover the art of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

A change of scene guaranteed!

In the footsteps of great men

Kept in their original state or converted into museums, the houses of artists reveal the intimacy of writers and poets to the visitor. Paris and its surroundings account for several former residences of great figures of French literature - Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas, Claude Monet, Auguste Comte, Elsa Triolet et Aragon, Stéphane Mallarmé – as well as former residences of important figures in the world of French science and politics - Clemenceau.

See also…

Music lovers can enjoy strolling around the Musée de la musique,  at the new Philharmonie de Paris, and learn lots of fascinating information about Western music from the 16th century. And for movie fans, the landmark Cinémathèque française reveals the many aspects of cinema.