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Best Local History & Culture in Paris

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Mémorial de la Shoah

Mémorial de la Shoah museum treats its visitors with informative exhibits and guided tours on World War II and the disturbing Holocaust, which is referred more appropriately as 'Shoah'. Focusing on the violence against Jews, the museum holds a permanent exhibition, which displays the life of Jews during this period with documented evidence. The museum regularly hosts collaborative events with German cultural centers and there are guided tours in English and French. There are also special tours intended for children, check website for details.

Paris, France
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Museum of Hunting and Nature

Located in the Marais district, the beautiful Hôtel de Guénégaud, built by François Mansard in 1654, now houses the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature). There is a variety of objects representing cynegetic art: from paintings to stuffed animals and weapons. On the first floor, three rooms are dedicated to a large collection of paintings from the 18th and 19th Century, such as hunting pictures by Desportes, Oudry, Chardinand and a sketch by Rembrandt. The Arms room presents an amazing and impressive collection of weapons from the 16th to the 19th Century. In the last rooms, discover animals very far away from their natural habitat: moose, panthers, polar bears, and many more.

Paris, France
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Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny)

The Cluny National Museum of the Middle Ages is located near the famous Sorbonne University and is one of the best examples of 15th-century architecture. The museum showcases armor, chests, ivories, mirrors and hangings which were gathered by Alexandre du Sommerard to portray the Medieval ages and the Renaissance. There is a whole room depicting the most amazing pieces of art from the 16th Century, such as Dutch tapestries full of flowers and birds, a woman spinning while a cat plays with the end of the thread and a pretty woman in her bath, overflowing into a duck pond. But the best exhibit is that of 'The Lady with the Unicorn' tapestry, which features six inscrutable scenes of a beautiful woman flanked by a lion and a unicorn.

Paris, France
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Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum houses one of the largest collections of artwork and antiquities in the world. The museum is located inside the Louvre Palace, which was constructed in the 12th Century as a fortress by Philip II. After Louis XIV decided to move his court to Versailles, the palace was occupied by a variety of institutions related to the arts. The museum was first opened under the National Assembly in 1793. The establishment is separated into sections, including drawing, painting and sculpture, and houses antiquities from Egypt, Rome, Greece, and several other cultures. Visitors to the museum can explore its many wings and see famous works like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Liberty Leading the People.

Paris, France
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Army Museum

This national military museum was established in 1905 following the merging of the Army History Museum and Artillery Museum. It is touted to be the nation's largest military museum and is among the world's three biggest arms museum. Set in the Hôtel National des Invalides, Musée de l'Armée has a chronological collection of artifacts which are segregated into paintings, emblems, objects, weapons and military decorations. It is divided into seven main venues according to the different eras. Explore the artillery pieces in the Main Courtyard or check out the Old Department where you surely will get enthralled by the weapons and armor covering the 13th to the 17th Centuries. The themed rooms of the Modern Department will give you an insight on not only the military but also the sociopolitical and economic history of France from 1643-1870. Don't miss the Dôme des Invalides, which is the tomb of Napoleon I and a royal chapel. Get to know the story of the French army during the two great world wars in the Contemporary Department. The Cathedral of Saint-Louis Des Invalides built for the king and his soldiers will impress you with its architecture. Finally the Charles de Gaulle Monument is an interactive venue about this great French leader. No matter which space you visit, you will definitely find this museum interesting with its rich combatant history.

Paris, France
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Wine Museum of Paris

Located in the vaulted cellars of the Abbaye de Passy, the Wine Museum relates the broad outline of the history of wine through France and its famous well-known wine-producing areas such as Burgundy and Gironde. In this very abbey, in the heart of Paris, monks produced their own wine in the 14th Century by cultivating a vineyard on the Chaillot Hill. Today, these cellars exhibit old bottles, wax models, vats and other tools used for wine making. At the end of the visit, enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by some foie gras, or if you're not yet 18, be happy with a glass of grape juice.

Paris, France
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