Our charming guide from the Cité de l'Architecture turned out to be of German origin and therefore terribly precise in his explanations and determined that we'd follow his thread and appreciate the beauty of each object, model, mock-up and drawing he was zealously laying out for us.
Our bunch of International ladies more or less followed suit trying to sneak in the odd photograph at times. The view, oh the view from the first floor onto the Eiffel Tower was breathtaking! Too bad they never clean the windows! Let's just pretend the grey film on the photos is a layer of smog rather than dust.
Apart from the exquisite view, the museum offered a journey through the rich architectural heritage of France, from the Middle Ages to the present day, stretching over 8,000 m² . Some examples include life-size productions of the doorway of Chartres cathedral, the painted cupola of the cathedral of Cahors and an apartment from Corbusier's 'Cité radieuse', reproduced in full size.
It all started in 1795 with the collection of actual pieces of French Medieval and Renaissance art, which were removed from churches and castles during the French Revolution. At the Bourbon Restauration many works were returned to their rightful owners, but not before plasters were made, which we see now. The museum shows a vast collection of sculptures from all periods with a strong emphasis on the Romanesque and Gothic periods. It has highly influenced French taste and has inspired many artists.
So, please, even if you don't have a castle to restore or a 1950 social housing project on your hands, go ahead and get inspired...
Putting it into perspective
A view behind the scene
Light and reflections
Learning about the Cluniac Order
Interesting mix of architecture
Ever seen a smiling angel before? Remember you're in France!
Let the sunshine in
Why does this fellow remind me of Dorothy's friend, the Cowardly Lion?
A scene out of Umberto Eco's "The name of the Rose"
Beautiful model of the Arc de Triomphe
Breathtaking view onto the Eiffel Tower
As if we were in need of more inspiration... delicous lunch at the Café du Musée de l'Homme