Saturday, January 29, 2022

Le plan

The photo of this scale model, un plan-relief, of a section of Paris is difficult to make out. I apologize for that, but I still think it's cool. It's part of a small collection of models that depict the area at different points in time, from before Paris was settled to the modern day. It is or was, I don't know if it's still there, a cool exhibit at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (The National Natural History Museum). The model is focused on the area of Paris surrounding the museum.

Bad photo of a really cool model, Museum of Natural History, Paris, April 2009.

I can pick out several well-known monuments. Among them, the cathedral of Notre Dame, City Hall, the Place des Vosges, the Bastille Opera House, the Bercy Sports Center, and the Lyon train station on the islands and right bank. On the left bank I can see the Luxembourg Gardens, the Pantheon, the Jussieu campus (the subject of yesterday's post), the Arab World Institute, the Austerlitz train station, the Mitterand National Library and, of course, the Natural History Musem itself in the Jardin des Plantes.

Curious language tidbit: in French, a museum is called un musée (one of the few masculine nouns that end with a double "e"). A natural history museum is called un muséum. All muséums are musées, but not all musées are muséums. Go figure.


  1. I could stand for hours exploring models like that. Fascinating about the words for museum.

  2. Just like you, I was able to pick a few landmarks.

  3. I didn't know that about the term museum vs musée.

    1. Right, Judith! Neither did I. Something new to share with mes amies! Merci, Walt!

  4. I like that model! Your photo looks good, too.

  5. mitch, there's a museum of such models made by the military over at Invalides. The next time you're in Paris...

    chm, :)

    judy, there's so much to know and learn. And so little time to do it in!

    mary, :)

    wilma, the lighting was challenging in some of the galleries.


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