Tuesday, October 1, 1889

Tuesday October 1st.

Today we went to the Au- Bon-Marchi and Hotel de Cluny. The latter is an old Roman palace founded in the year 292 and in 1340 purchased from the Benedictine Abbots and still retains its medieval interior intact.    The widow of Louis 12 lived here, and her chamber is still called “Los Chambre de Blanche”.    The marriage of Jas. 5th of Scotland was celebrated here.    It is now a museum and is filled with a rare collection of antiques, carvings, Mosaics shoes of all ages from Africa, China, Japan etc; furniture of ancient times, tapestries and Bas reliefs.  The carriages are said to belong to Pope Paul 5th, and are one mass of gilding, glass and decoration; splendid collection of pottery arranged in glass cases. Various potteries have separate cases.   It would take weeks to tell all the wonderful things here, but the Roman baths built in 213 under the palace interested me most.    The cold baths alone being 68 ft in length, 37-1/2 in width and 59 ft high will give you a little idea of the size of these ancient Roman baths.  We went first into the vault entirely of stone with stone coffins ready to receive the dead, or else they had been put in and crumbled away.  Such a cold clammy creepy sensation came over me that I was almost frightened. From this room you go through an iron grating below to the baths. The walls of the old castle are crumbling away and in a state of ruin, but so massively built that they will probably stand for centuries to come.    Some parts are covered with ivies; massive trees lend their shadows and surrounding the decayed garden with very high stone walls covered with moss all unite to make one feel that they are living in the early ages.

I will say right here that the Eiffel tower was two years in building and cost Mr. Eiffel 1,210,000.  He is to receive the income for twenty years when it goes to the city of Paris.

[Looks like Addie had become infatuated with the huge Parisian department store Au Bon Marché. Here is the entry where she had visited it a short time before with her daughters and discussed her visit in detail.]

[The Hôtel de Cluny was, and remains, the name for the building in which the museum is. The museum was once known as the Musée de Cluny but is now typically known as the Musée National du Moyen Âge (National Museum of the Middle Ages). The Musée’s English-language version of its site is here. Alexandre Du Sommerard was the last private individual to own the historic house, and he was also an art collector particularly fascinated by the Middle Ages. When he died in 1842 he left his extensive collection to France. The museum opened just a year later. There are a few lovely photos of the building here.]

[Addie’s most recent entry described her ascent to the top of the Eiffel Tower.]


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