The Museum of Arts and Trades (Musée des Arts et Métiers in French) is a Parisian museum of technological innovation situated near the worldwide famous Georges Pompidou Centre. Founded in 1794, this museum is one of the oldest technical and industrial museums in the world. Children just love this place. Here, they have a chance to see some incredible inventions such as first planes, locomotives, steam turbines, clock collections and even Foucault's pendulum. This museum is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon in Paris with your family.
The Museum of Arts and Trades is situated in a very atypical place - in the building of the ancient Saint-Martin-des-Champs Priory. The Priory was nationalized in November 1789, during the French revolution, and consecrated to the “temple” of technology. The Priory was largely reorganized under the direction of a French architect Leon Vaudoye, and today, this museum occupies the main buildings where the monks were housed, as well as the former priory church. It is no wonder that the museum buildings are classified as historical monuments since March 1993.
This Museum is organized in seven sections: scientific instruments, materials, construction, communication, energy, mechanics and transport, and the museum collection counts over 80,000 objects and 15,000 drawings. Some of the most interesting things to see here are the physics cabinet of Jacques Alexandre Charles, the clock collection of Louis Ferdinand Berthoud, the plane number 3 of Clement Ader and the original model of the Statue of Liberty by Auguste Bartholdi. But one of the most intriguing things in this Museum is probably Foucault's pendulum. This simple device named after French physicist Leon Foucault is conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation. Fun fact: on April 6, 2010, a cable suspending the sphere of the pendulum snapped, causing an irreparable damage to the marble floor of museum.
Photo © credits to savage plane
The Museum of Arts and Trades is open every day except from Mondays, from 10 am to 6 pm and on Thursdays from 10 am to 9:30 pm. The full entrance fee is 8 euros, but you can visit this museum for free every first Sunday of the month and on Thursdays in the evening from 6 pm to 9:30 pm. The Café des Techniques, situated at the heart of the Museum of Arts and Trades, is a perfect place to have a delicious lunch or just for a coffee break before or after your visit to the Museum. On the menu are sandwiches, salads and cakes, all made with fresh seasonal products.
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