Hotel de Cluny in Messier's Days

Hotel Cluny as it appeared in Messier's time in the 18th century. Messier's observatory, the Observatory of the Marine, is well visible on the top of the tower. This wood and glass structure has been removed in the early 19th century.

According to Owen Gingerich and Robert Garfinkle, Hotel de Cluny is still there in Paris. Robert Garfinkle gives the address as 24, rue de Sommerard, in the Latin Quarter of Paris (Arrondissement 5), and it is now called "Musee des Thermes et de l'Hotel de Cluny"; the museum is open to the public.


Hotel Cluny in 1839. Painting by British artist Thomas Shotter Boys.
The observatory had been removed already at that time.

[cluny1.jpg] The museum of Cluny devoting the Middle Ages is built on sites which sheltered the Thermal baths Romans of the Gallo-Roman time. Unfortunately the thermal baths were destroyed by the Barbarians in 3rd century. The Benedictines of Cluny bought the ground to build an abbey hotel into 1330 there. Jacques d' Amboise makes build from 1485 to 1498 the building which we know today. The hotel was used as residence to the abbots and in 17th century to the nuncios of the Pope.

In 19th century, after having known some deteriorations during the Revolution, the Hotel of Cluny is transformed into museum. The building is one of the rare vestiges of the Middle Ages which remains in Paris. The museum contains a significant number of objects and works of art of the Middle Ages.


The beautiful photos of Hotel Cluny as it appears today, as well as the short history and the historic painting, have been generously contributed by Jean-Bernard Emond.

  • More modern images of Hotel Cluny
  • More info on Musee de Cluny

    Hartmut Frommert (spider@seds.org)
    Christine Kronberg (smil@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)

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    Last Modification: 9 Mar 2000, 22:15 MET