The Musée d’Archéologie Nationale, France’s national archaeology museum, is housed in what was once a royal palace – the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In the 1860s Napoleon III had the castle restored to house the nation’s archaeology collections. Today, the museum has a vast collection of artefacts from all over the country representing all periods in prehistory, from the earliest Palaeolithic to the early Medieval. A final permanent exhibition room, called “L’archéologie Comparée” (Comparative Archaeology), showcases displays the museum’s collections of archaeological artefacts from five different continents.
The museum also has a temporary exhibition area, which has seen some exceptional exhibitions in the past.
Exhibits: Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Medieval, World Archaeology
Visiting the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale:
Where is the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale?
The Musée d’Archéologie Nationale is about 20 kilometres from the centre of Paris, but it is well served by public transport. There is a Metro station in front of the entrance – RER Line A for Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Details of the various bus routes that stop nearby are on the museum’s website. For those coming from outside Paris by car or bus, getting to the museum is very easy – again details are on the museum’s website.
Do not forget to have a look inside the castle moat – besides a replica of a part of Trajan’s column from Rome, there are a few Neolithic sites that have been removed from their original positions (in the Poitou-Charentes and the nearby Yvelines department) and re-constructed in the moat. Some of these are even visible in the Google map above.
Next to the castle is a German Blockhouse from World War II (the square block to the left of the museum in the Google map). During the second World War the castle was used as the headquarters for the German army in France. And, it was here that on 10 September 1919 the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed, a treaty that brought an end to hostilities between Austria and the Allies of World War I.
- Official Website
- Of Bronze and Gold – photographs from a temporary exhibition, 2011/12
- Roman Mosaic from Saint-Romain-en-Gal – photographs
Musée d’Archéologie Nationale Photographs