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Must see and small museums in and around Paris

Air and space museumMuseum magic does not stop in the Parisian capital. Seine-Saint-Denis territory counts for more than a dozen rather unusual and interesting museums that are worth checking out other than the renowned museums such as Le Bourget - Air and Space Museum and La Villette - Music Museum.

A practical guide to museums in Seine Saint Denis to visit or revisit

A visit to the Art and History Museum in Saint-Denis

The former Carmelite convent of Saint Denis has housed the Museum of Art and History since 1981. The museum owes its originality to five original collections which consist of : the Carmel, mediaeval archeology, the former Hotel-Dieu, the history of Paris of 1871 and the Paul Eluard collection. The Carmelite monastery was founded in 1625 and Louise de France (1770-1787), daughter of the French King Louis XV, stayed here.

Maison d'éducation de la Légion d'honneur

Napoleon transformed the old abbey of Saint Denis, founded in the seventh century and completed in the reign of Louis XV into the Maison d’Education de la Legion D’Honneur - House of Education for young girls. The new building built in the late 1980s accommodates about 500 students. Its architectural complex maintains all the old prestigious buildings of the abbey and vast park located in the heart of the medieval town of Saint Denis.

Small Vampire Museum

Inaugurated in March 2005, the Vampire Museum is a small private museum which showcases the theme of the origin of vampires. It is said to be the museum of the imagination. It relates their history and legend through a collection of objects, items, books and literature, arts, films, music, posters... Games presenting the mythology of vampires can be found there also.

Regional railway museum

Railroad history started in the twentieth century. When entering the Regional railway museum, visitors are immediately immersed in the atmosphere of a late century railway station decor. The space devoted to the past and future narrates the epic story of the railways. Typical railway items and objects forming part of the railway system and relating the story of rail transport in France and its impact on todays society are found there. It is also home to collections of transport artifacts. An archive and library collection, both written and pictorial records of former transport documents can also be viewed. A miniature railway network model display of old train models interacts with the public. It reveals a scale model, an overview explanatory board and videos. An old signal box from Paris-Clermont Ferrand line was dismantled and rebuilt within the museum.

Histoire Vivante Museum

Established in 1937, the Histoire Vivante Museum was inaugurated on March 25th 1939 for the 150th anniversary of the French Revolution. The museum’s permanent collections are: from the French Revolution to the 1960s, Jaurès’ manuscripts, tracts by the French Resistance Party during the war, tracts by the French Communist Party, engraving reproductions, photographs, objects, prints, postcards and posters. Researchers have access to these documents which are available for all documents and works to be published. The museum is located in Montreuil and hosts many temporary exhibitions also.

Horticultural Museum

This small Montreuil horticultural museum unique to France, showcases and relates the incredible adventures of the immense potential of horticulture that was given a boost from the eighteenth to the twentieth century at the gates of Paris. The espalier peach-tree growing culture (fruit on walls), fruit marking (imprints remain on fruit after ripening) including many objects remind us of a time when fruit and tree plantations enabled the town of Montreuil to get its economy started in horticulture and arboriculture.

History of Rosny Museum

Located in a prosperous 20th century house, the museum of the History of Rosny is devoted to local traditions. Hundreds of objects and documents can be viewed. The village was known as Rodoniacum in the early centuries and is since called Rosny sous Bois. The museum relates the history of the city, its people and its traditions from the past to today. It covers an entire area, more than the town itself, because all the history of the territory is gathered here.

Memorial camp in Drancy Museum

The Drancy Memorial Camp located in front of La Muette building is a monument devoted to the memorial of deportees and a witness-train car. An exhibition which traces the history of deportation can be viewed in this witness-train car. The history relates the important parts of that dark war-period history which ran from 1941 to 1944 at the Internment camp which was set up in those days in pre-existing buildings dating from 1935. The Shoah Memorial, a new place dedicated to history for remembrance and education was inaugurated in Drancy in 2012, supported by the foundation for the Memory of the Shoah and the town hall administration of Drancy that offered the land to build the new remembrance building.

Associative Eugene Carriere Museum

An invitation to discover an icon throughout the ages: the life of Eugene Carriere. Born in Gournay sur Marne, Eugene Carriere was an original artist. He was a great friend of Gauguin, Rodin and Clemenceau who appreciated his work. The museum collection includes original drawings, personal objects, old era photographs, old prints and engravings which trace his life through his creative work of art.

Sempin Windmill Museum - Moulin de Sempin

Do not resist the charm of the last ancient windmill used to automate the tasks of grain-grinding of the early period dating from 1738. The mill now stands identically to the first version in Seine Saint Denis. Sempin windmill, for its revival, was rebuilt with original preserved stones exactly like the last building. It remains one of the few windmills in Paris-Ile de France where reality demonstrations of the techniques of yesteryear are showcased; recalling grain-grinding according to ancient traditions. Milling tools can be viewed all along the visit on the three levels of the mill promoting detailed records of the techniques used by the craftmen for this unique tourist attraction and Heritage that give the suburb its local flavor.

Charles Peyre Musee du Travail- Labour Museum

Charles Peyre Labour Museum showcases a passionate traditional-tools presentation inspired by workers of the northeast of Paris. The last vestige of a seigniorial farm called the big clock building hosts permanent exhibitions which cover a huge spectrum of  70 ancient days activities and skills which reflect five main works liaising departments: Agriculture, forestry, construction industry, craftsmen and business for women.

Musée de la Poudrerie - Gunpowder factory Museum

Located in the nearby northeast of Paris, the magnificent park of Sevran is an idyllic beauty-spot and impressive wood-landscape featuring wildlife habitat and popular fresh air-fun outdoor activities for locals and visitors. It hosts the national gunpowder factory which still boasts some of the gunpowder vestiges of French past history. This original heritage vestige includes a museum devoted to the strategic importance of the factory site and specializes in the following : various laboratory instruments, tanks, boilers and machinery for mercury-pyrotechnics-blow-up and packaging bottles…

Maison d’Environnement - Environment House

The purpose of the Environment House located near Paris CDG international airport is to promote community social issues: management of natural, native and historical culture and quality of life for the benefit of the public. It includes the administrative hub of Airlines and aircraft navigation Companies as well as a cluster-based territories pole. Environment House also provides guided tours of the airport’s environmental impact which consist of a presentation of the Airport platform hub and a coach visit of the backstage of Paris Charles de Gaules International airport. Enjoy the tour and the full story of what is the territories legacy to the airport comfortably seated in a special air-conditioned coach. Discover the 35 kilometers backstage of the biggest airport in Europe.

Small museum in a Psychiatric hospital

Do you want to know what SERHEP means ? "Société d’Etudes et de Recherches Historiques en Psychiatrie”. Visit this small museum which is located in the Psychiatric hospital of Ville-Evrard in Neuilly-sur-Marne.

Pierre Cardin Museum

Pierre Cardin museum is the newest of the Northeast Parisian museums with a collection of 130 mannequins dressed in the most iconic of fashion models. Sixty years of Pierre Cardin creative passion for Haute Couture, jewelry and design are exhibited under the glass house lights with a presentation of the “past, present and future” fashion atmosphere. The Museum was located in Saint Ouen but since november 2014 moved in Paris (near Centre Georges Pompidou).

Museums currently opened on 1st May to the public

Museums currently closed to the public

  • Musée des Beaux art – Fine Arts Museum in Saint Ouen
  • Vegetable crops museum in La Courneuve
  • Bouillet Christofle Museum in Saint Denis

Christofle Museum : Christofle factory in Saint Denis once hosted the Bouilhet Christofle museum. The factory is no longer active. It featured a presentation devoted to silverware, tools, library and archives. It related the history of the company since the 1830s and evoked the fact of the ever-evolving decorative arts, tableware and traditions including silversmith techniques, skills and silver trading from the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Art Galleries and more in Paris region

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