Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
Hôtel de Guénégaud des Brosses
60, rue des Archives, 3rd
Tel 01 42 72 86 43
Entry: €6 (reduced rate €4.50, free 18 and under)
Hours: open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-6pm
Completely renovated in 2007, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature) is located within an elegant Marais mansion built by François Mansart in 1655. It houses a collection of nature and hunting-themed artworks and antiques, furnishings, a few stuffed animals and a room of stuffed animal heads and hunting rifles which span several centuries.
Temporary exhibitions and contemporary bring out the best of the historic mansion, which has a very whimsical feeling (although not everyone will enjoy seeing stuffed anumals and hunting guns). There’s a very intriguing “curiosity cabinet” style to the way the objects are presented, both for artistic and educational purposes.
Each animal of the hunt – foxes, wolves, deer, etc. – is presented with its skeleton, molds of its tracks, and even what its droppings look like (I know, I’m a tad weird). There’s even a magical little room dedicated to the myth of the unicorn. A unique place to visit in Paris, rarely ever crowded, highly recommended.
The entrance to the former private mansion.
The newly renovated hallways.
A big contrast to the older, wood-panelled and wall-papered rooms that make up the museum.
There are English and French boards that explain what you’re looking at in each room.
This handsome specimen is in the Stag Room.
This is the specially-designed presentation box for the Stag Room…
…with lots of encouragement to open drawers and peek into the binoculars…
…and stag tracks.
Here is another for the Owl Room upstairs.
One of the ancient hallways with the original terra cotta tiles.
Some rooms are quite bright, like the elegant Dog Room.
A clever reminder not to sit in the antique chairs.
I would title this one “Crazy B*tch”. She reminds me of my dog Lena: “Why yes, I do have a ball and some walnuts to chew on, but I’m going to rip up your favorite shoes instead, just you try and stop me, grrrr!”
The Trophy Room with a large collection of animal heads and hunting rifles, under a very contemporary painted ceiling.
I only come up to this polar bear’s armpits. But not even quite that far.
That white wild boar is actually part of an exhibition from 2007. It was quiet when we first walked in, then started talking in a possessed, devil-like voice (its mouth moves). Very creepy.
Some rooms have more traditional “old museum” style.
But they still have some surprises. Notice there are no “Ne Touchez Pas” signs?
This is an artistic rendering of the hunting cabin owned by François and Jacqueline Sommer, the couple who founded the museum in the 1960s.