Musee de l'Histoire de France
The National Archives

The Musee de l'Histoire de France and the National Archives are located in the Hotel de Soubise and the Hotel Rohan at 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois.

The Museum of the History of France is open from 1:45 a.m.-5:45 p.m. everyday but Tuesday and holidays.

The Hotel de Soubise remains one of the most beautiful mansions of the Marais district. It was built between 1705 and 1708 for the Princess de Soubise.

The mansion was built on the site of a much earlier medieval building, the only remaining traces are the towers.

The building's interior was decorated by some of the most famous artists and craftsmen of the period, including Boucher, van Loo and Lemoyne.

The private apartments of the Princess are very interesting and give a true glimpse into the life of the nobles during the early 18th century.

The Hotel de Rohan was built for the Archbishop of Strasbourg.

The National Archives contain documents dating from the 5th and 6th century of the Merovingian period up to the 20th century.

They are marvelously displayed and give any history buff plenty to occupy hours of investigation.

Among the highlights are:

  • The Edict of Nantes of 1598, which established freedom of religion in France ending the Wars of Religion
  • The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 which ended the Thirty Years War
  • The Declaration of Human Rights of 1789 at the overthrow of the French Monarchy
  • The Last Wills of Louis the XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Of lasting interest also is the diary of Louis XVI. For July 14th 1789, the day of the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution there is a one word entry: "Rien" meaning, "Nothing".

    A fine museum in a wonderfully picturesque area of Paris. Well worth the small entrance fee of 4 euros.

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