20. MUSEE DES THERMES.
from 11 to 4; daily (except Monday) from 11 to 4^2 t0 strangers
provided with a passport (or visiting-card); on Mondays, Tues¬
days, and Saturdays to students. The catalogue, which may be
purchased at the door for 2 fr., is indispensable for those who
desire to make themselves acquainted with all the objects of in¬
terest in this splendid collection.
The Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus, who resided in Gaul
from 292 to 306, is believed to have been the founder of the
palace, of which the baths (Thermes) still existing formed a
portion. It is an historical fact that Julian was here proclaimed
emperor by his soldiers in 360; the early Franconian monarchs
also resided here.
At the close of the 15th cent, the abbots of the wealthy
Benedictine Abbey of Cluny in Southern Burgundy, who pos¬
sessed property of considerable extent in Paris , but no suitable
residence , caused a small mansion, the Hdtel de Cluny of the
present day, to be erected on the site of the ancient Roman
palace. This edifice still retains its mediaeval exteri»r, and is
a fine specimen of the style of the transition from Gothic to
Renaissance. The abbots, who seldom resided in Paris, placed
their mansion at the disposal of the monarchs of France, and we
accordingly find that it was occupied in 1515, soon after its
completion, by Mary, sister of Henry VIII. of England, and
widow of Louis XII. Her apartment is still termed la Chambre
de la Reine Blanche, it having been the custom of the queens of
France to wear white mourning. On Jan. 1st, 1537, the nuptials
of James V. of Scotland with Madeleine, daughter of Francis L,
were celebrated here.
The first revolution converted this ecclesiastical estate into na¬
tional property, and in 1833 the Hotel de Cluny fell into the hands
of M. Du Sommerard, an enthusiastic collector of mediaeval cu¬
riosities; on his death the edifice with its collections was pur¬
chased by government, and united with the Roman Baths which
had hitherto belonged to the municipality of Paris.
The Collection of Mediaeval Curiosities, belonging principally
to the 14th—16th cent., and exceeding 3000 in number, is of
such an extent as to defy enumeration. It consists of reliefs,
carving , ecclesiastical decorations and vestments , furniture , ta¬
pestry, weapons, carved ivory, musical instruments, missals, stained
glass, pictures, etc. The large hall contains some interesting rem¬
nants of episcopal robes, and a crozier of the 12th cent., dis¬
covered at Bayonne in 1853. The three lower rooms contain
objects of less interest than the upper.
2nd Room: 532. Bench of a refectory of the 15th cent.;
537. Another of the 16th cent.; 612. Cabinet of the loth cent.;
104. Statuette of Diana of Poitiers as Diana; r,, by the window,
keys of various periods.