The Musée de Cluny, officially known as Musée National du Moyen Âge, is a museum in Paris, France. It is located in the 5th arrondissement at 6 Place Paul Painlevé, south of the Boulevard Saint-Germain, between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Rue Saint-Jacques.
Originally the hôtel, was part of a larger Cluniac complex that also included a building (no longer standing) for a religious college in the Place de la Sorbonne (just south of the present day Hôtel de Cluny along Boulevard Saint-Michel. Although originally intended for the use of the Cluny abbots, the residence was taken over by Jacques d'Amboise, Bishop of Clermont and Abbot of Jumièges, and rebuilt to its present form in the period of 1485-1500.(Horne 2004:62). Occupants of the house over the years have included Mary Tudor, who was installed here after the death of her husband Louis XII by his successor Francis I of France in 1515 so he could watch her more closely, particularly to see if she was pregnant. Seventeenth-century occupants included several papal nuncios including Mazarin. (Horne 200$:65).
In 1793 it was confiscated by the state, and for the next three decades served several functions. At one point it was owned by a physician who used the magnificent Flamboyant chapel on the first floor as a dissection room. (Michelin at 265-266).
In 1833 Alexandre du Sommerard moved here and installed here his large collection of medieval and Renaissance objects. (Album de Museé at 5). Upon his death in 1842 the collection was purchased by the state and opened in 1843, with his son as the museum's first curator. The present gardens, opened in 1971, include a "Forêt de la Licorne" inspired by the tapestries..
The Hôtel de Cluny is partially constructed on the remains of Gallo-Roman baths dating from the third century (known as the Thermes de Cluny ), which are famous in their own right and which may still be visited. In fact, the museum itself actually consists of two buildings: the frigidarium ("cooling room"), where the remains of the Thermes de Cluny are, and the Hôtel de Cluny itself, which houses its impressive collections.
Other notable works stored there include early Medieval sculptures from the seventh and eighth centuries. There are also works of gold, ivory, antique furnishings, and illuminated manuscripts.