The Cluny Museum in Paris – A trip to the Middle Ages


Push the door of the Cluny Museum, is first to enter a unique building that meets in the heart of Paris two prestigious buildings: the Gallo-Roman baths of Lutetia, built in the late first century, and the Hôtel des abbés de Cluny built in the late fifteenth century.

It is also access to a major collection of works from a broad geographical area extending from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia and the British Isles. Colorful, diverse, sometimes bizarre, the collections include paintings, sculptures, tapestries, stained glass, silverware or ivory, and offer a rich panorama of the history of art.

The Lady and the Unicorn, tapestry with a romantic story a thousand times celebrated, sculptures of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris and the windows of Sainte-Chapelle, or the Rose and the Basel golden altar are some of the masterpieces that are kept there.

The medieval garden offers a nice extension to the visit and establishes a connection between the original collections, the building and the urban environment.



History of the Baths

The Bath of Cluny

The palace of the Thermes, or hot baths, served at the same time also as a citadel, it was built probably in the time of Emperor Constantius, the Caesar in Gaul, the conqueror of England, who lived from 287 to 292 AD in Lutèce.

In the year 360, the Caesar Julian the Apostate was in this same palace proclaimed Augustus, that is to say emperor by the army and the people and he fastened his fame, as it is commonly called the Baths of Julian. After him, the emperors Gratian and Valentinian spent the winter.


History of the Hôtel de Cluny

This building, started in 1485 by Jean de Bourbon, abbot of Cluny, continued in 1490 by his successor Jacques d’Amboise, was completed in 1514. It has one of the most elegant monuments ever produced by Gothic art on the eve of the next evolution in the Renaissance inspirations.

It was in this house that the abbots of Cluny nobles were hosting the crowned heads; first it was Mary of England, sister of Henry VIII and widow of Louis XII; she left her name to the chamber of the white queen to remind that the widows of the kings of France were mourning in white; Jacques then king of Scotland, who celebrated his marriage to Madeleine de France, daughter of Francis I, and the princes of Guise, the papal nuncios, etc.

Became national property in 1790, the Hôtel de Cluny was sold to Dr. Baudot, then to Mr. Leprieur, a large Paris bookseller, who installed their stores. In 1833, Mr. Sommerard the son of a rich business man, gather old masterpieces, weapons, costumes, manuscripts, ceramics, statues, paintings, fabrics and jewels for his personal collection, and he decided to install his valuable collection in the Hôtel de Cluny. At his death, the hotel and the collection are purchased by the State, the museum was born.

Alexandre du Sommerard

Mr. Sommerard son, worthy collaborator and continuer of the work of his father, died after serving until his last day as curator of the National Museum of Cluny.


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Ray Collins photos – Waves like Sculptures


The photographer has chosen to illustrate the power of the sea by capturing the waves during processing. Combined with a striking light wave is seen frozen to turn into true living sculpture.

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Find all the work of the photographer on his website.

You can also check this great video.

Ray Collins is a 33-year-old photographer from Thirroul in New South Wales, Australia, he divides his time chasing incredible images of waves and mining coal in a local underground mine.

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From Paris, With Love: Fantastic Free Things To Do In Paris

Referred to as the city of love, art paradise and fashion powerhouse, Paris has something to offer to everyone. Think a vacation to one of the most beautiful cities in the world will break your bank? It doesn’t have to!

Let Paris charm you with her hospitality with these free things that you can indulge in with your family and friends:

Take Advantage of Free First Sunday Programme!

If you’re visiting Paris for a few weeks, time it right! You could enjoy the generous free first Sunday programme benefits. According to this, you can gain access to some of the most sought after tourist magnets. What are these beautiful venues that you can visit without paying a door fee? Take a look:

  • Louvre (the largest and most visited museum in the world!);
  • Musee d’Orsay (fine arts from mid 19th century to beginning of 20th century);
  • Musée du Quai Branly (Primitive Arts);
  • Centre Pompidou (Modern art);
  • Musée Guimet (Asian Arts)
  • – Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Best photo exhibitions in Paris)
  • – Maison de Victo Hugo (house of Victo Hugo and now a museum about the author of Les Misérables, located in Place des Vosges)

Parc de la Villette free open air cinema

A fan of the theatre? Make the most of your summer trip with a stop at the Parc de la Villette open air cinema. Every year, during July and August, they screen various movies with specific themes. From Where the Wild Things Are, to The Killing, enjoy a picnic cum movie perched comfortably on the warm grass with the cool summer wind in your hair.

Picnicking at the Square du Vert-Galant

Looking for a bit of an outdoor excursion? Then the Square du Vert-Galant is your place to be! A bohemian vibe, relaxing environment and the view of boats sailing past is what you should expect from this trip. Usually a hot-spot for tourist, it is never a challenge to find a good spot where you can enjoy the magic of Paris in all its glory.

Place des Vosges

Regal and glorious, this arcaded square is a beautiful reminder why Paris is one of the most popularly visited places in the world. This town has somewhat evolved as a park, with benches, climbing frames, with the Pavillon de la Reine and Pavillon du Roi on the north and south of its side. You will come across stunning art galleries, restaurants, courtyards and mansions that are sure to take your breath away!

Looking for more things to do in Paris? Let Citibreak be your ultimate guide! We are one of the most comprehensive online guides for France, offering you access to some of the hottest cultural events in Paris, information on the latest happenings, events, exciting places to visit, art shows, and exhibitions!

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EVENT : Velazquez Exhibition in Paris



The exhibition intends to present a comprehensive overview of the work of Diego Velázquez. It also gives mission to bring to the main questions within recent years, putting in some cases for the first time, the newly discovered works.

The exhibition shows his work in dialogue with paintings by artists of the time he got to know, admire or influence. It also addresses the issue of changes in styles and subjects in the first compositions of Velázquez, the passage between naturalism and Caravaggio, as well as his equal ability to perform landscapes, portraits and history paintings.



Born in Seville in 1599, Diego Velázquez, leader of the Spanish school, is the official painter of King Philip IV when Spain dominates the world. However, although it is one of the most famous artists and admired then as now, no monographic exhibition in France never showed the genius of the “painter of painters”.

The rarity of his paintings and their legitimate concentration in the Prado Museum make it particularly difficult to organize a comprehensive retrospective. This is the challenge faced by the Louvre and the Grand Palais, which join forces in collaboration with the Kunsthistorishes Museum in Vienna and with generous support from the Prado Museum. Some loans quite exceptional were thus obtained, as the Forge of Vulcan or absolute masterpieces like Venus with a Mirror or Portrait of Innocent X.


To learn more about this great event, click on this link :


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Street Art brings Museums Paintings on Your City Walls

Paris, France

Launched in June 2014, the Outings project aims to bring out the works of the museum in an original way, through posters created by anyone with a mobile phone. A new way to combine art and photography and pass less famous paintings galleries in the street.

London, UK

Artist, but before that a journalist, writer, director and producer, Julien de Casabianca, originally from Outings project defines the project as a “link between our daily lives and our collective culture places”. He explains his approach by the desire to get these anonymous characters of works of art museums where “no one will see them. So it is they who will see people “.

And indeed the project website encouraged to choose anonymous characters and not known figures (“neither king nor queen nor Mary, Jesus, etc …”), from any century from a museum of the city where you want to display its creation. So the link is maintained between the works and the collective consciousness.

Portland, USA

This is for the participants, both amateur and professional artists to choose this anonymous character of a painting in a museum in their city, photograph it and print it on a large poster. It is stuck on a dilapidated wall and then turns into a new work. The process, described in detail on the internet is gently mocked the anti-photography museums regulations “if you are quick and discreet you will manage to take pictures before we ask you politely to stop.”

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Outing is an achievement that easy interests flourishing all over the world: France, Spain, Brazil, United States of America, Paraguay, Pakistan, Uganda, Australia, Mexico …


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Stunning Photos from Blake Little

In his book, Preservation, American photographer Blake Little did ask his models … covered with honey. A surprising gamble, but the result is worth seeing for its strange aesthetic, which highlights the contours and give the characters a surprising color.

“[Honey] can distort and amplify forms, highlight physical perfection, engender repulsion, and suggest both immortality and death” wrote Kenneth Lapatin of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, in the foreward to the Preservation book.

While the photos capture a beautiful golden warmth, the human form coated in honey is decidedly unsettling, suggesting some sort of strange, science fiction–esque rebirth. Little has other, equally creepy ideas: “When you cover someone in the honey, it has the effect of making them look like they’re in amber—that they’re preserved,” said the photographer in a video about the work.

You can see an overview of the work of Blake Little in the video.
Blake Little

Blake Little is an award winning, Los Angeles-based photographer best known for his ability to intimately capture the energy and personality of his subjects. His skills as a portrait photographer have garnered him a reputation as a favorite amongst celebrities, international publications, and corporate clients.

He has worked with Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Cruise, Aaron Eckhart, Marcia Cross, Colin Powell, Kevin Spacey. k.d. lang, 50 Cent, Iggy Pop, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, and Jane Lynch among many others.

He has photographed for publications such as London Times Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, People, Time, Los Angeles Magazine and ESPN the Magazine.

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Château d’If – Between Myth and Reality


Twenty minutes by sea off the coast of Marseille, on the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago, the island of If displays its three hectares of limestone rock…


Until the 16th Century, If was a wild islet, an occasional refuge for pirates and smugglers, or fishermen caught out by storms. In 1516, François 1st became aware of the place’s strategic importance and decided to build a fortress there as an outpost of the town, designed to control entry into the Phocean port. Work began in 1524 and was completed in 1531. The fortifications consisted of ramparts erected on the white rocks, and a keep flanked by three round towers, linked by high walls and equipped to house a defensive system composed of heavy artillery.


The structure still retains the oppressive appearance of a feudal chateau of pre-bastion craftsmanship, but it is definitely a fortress, most notably because of its corner towers, which are more compact than medieval towers. Housing canons whose range was no more than 150 metres, the château d’If could not fulfil its defensive duty during the siege of Marseille in 1536 by Charles Quint’s troops. Having never experienced war, the fortress was converted into a state prison at the end of the 17th century. From 1689 onwards, many protestants died within the damp walls of its terrible dungeons, whilst more favourable conditions of imprisonment were offered to eminent prisoners, wayward women or the bad boys of the family, such as the young Mirabeau.

The insurgents of 1848, the communards: the château d’If held political prisoners before losing its prison status in 1890, when it was opened to the public. Today, within the compound’s walls, commemorative plaques still evoke the memory of the thousands of protestants and political internees of 1848.

Contrary to the legend, the Iron Mask and the Marquis de Sade were never incarcerated at the château d’If. Between myth and reality, the château d’If also conjures up images of Alexandre Dumas’ “Count of Monte-Cristo”, although José Custodio Faria and Edmond Dantès probably never stayed there.

During the First World War, Germans and then French draft dodgers were detained there. Classified as a historic monument in 1926, the château was taken over by German troops during the Second World War.

To see more about the Château d’If, check this video.


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Robot a new friend for the Museum

The robot left between fiction and massively enter in industry, services and everyday life. Museums and heritage sites are no exception to this trend. A French monument has even been pioneering in 2007. Panorama robotic practices in heritage in France and throughout the world.

The robot can first get over the remote visitor. French authorities and several museums are adopting robots, structures on wheels equipped with cameras, a microphone and a screen. The visitor away geographically, or because of his health or physical disability can take easily control and conduct the visit remote museum. Placed at eye level, the camera zooms in and examine the objects in the collection as microphones and speakers make possible interaction with other visitors.

This technology is already used in permanent museum Autun since early 2014 or the Museum of the Great War in Meaux from December 2014.


The robot explorer takes the place of the visitor there any visitor can get. Too fragile areas, night museum visitors away … then take control of the robot usually consists only of cameras and thus enjoy a unique experience.

Precursor, the Palace of Versailles has installed a robot within its walls in 2007, in the Grand Versailles Numérique project. Through a partnership with Orange, closed to the public rooms were visitable by the owners of a good internet connection.


The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo hosted in June 2014 two androids responsible for the reception and mediation with visitors. Docent guide the robot was he present in a Korean museum for several years.




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HYPNOTIC – kinetic sculptures by Netherlands-based sculptor Jennifer Townley


Jennifer Townley works derive from her fascination with science, with an emphasis on physics, engineering and mathematics. Geometric patterns in Islamic art or mathematical drawings of Dutch artist M. C. Escher often serve as an inspiration. Images where lines and figures match each other so perfectly they could be repeated indefinitely. This infinity, regularity and obedience is what Townley also finds fascinating about mechanical machines; they are robust, strenuous and seemingly immortal. She is captivated by how a machine can convert a simple circular motion (rotary engine) into a very complicated nonlinear or chaotic movement pattern.

Jennifer Townley

Besides her love for mechanics, human perception is also an area of great interest. The capability of our brain to simplify confusing visual information is a phenomenon with many examples, like optical illusions.

Check this video to discover the magic.


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