Musée des Archives Nationales

Paris, France

Musée des Archives Nationales

The Musée des Archives Nationales, formerly known as the Musée de l'Histoire de France (French: [myze də listwaʁ də fʁɑ̃s] (listen)), is a state museum of French history operated by the Archives Nationales. The museum features exhibitions drawn from the collections of the government archives and aims to provide document-based perspective on France’s history and the evolution of French society. It is housed in the Hôtel de Soubise in the Marais neighborhood in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, France. It was first established under Napoleon III in 1867 with the direction of Léon de Laborde.

The Hôtel de Soubise was first built in 1371 as the Hôtel de Clisson and later acquired by the Ducs de Guise. In 1705, it was rebuilt by architect Pierre-Alexis Delamair (1676–1745) for François de Rohan-Soubise and Anne-de Rohan Chabot, with little remaining of the original structure but its turreted medieval gateway which is now the only surviving remnant of Parisian private architecture from the 14th century (see image). The adjoining Hôtel de Rohan was built at the same time. In 1808 both buildings were acquired by the state, after which Napoleon designated the Hôtel de Soubise for the Empire Archives and the Hôtel de Rohan as the National Printing House (which so remained until 1927).

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