Musée de la Vie Romantique – Paris, France - Atlas Obscura
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Paris, France

Musée de la Vie Romantique

Down a cobblestone alleyway is a museum dedicated to Romanticism, with a secret garden. 

Secreted down one of the most picturesque cobblestone alleyways in Paris is the Musée de la Vie Romantique — a museum dedicated to life in the Romantic period.

The museum is housed in two buildings, one with temporary exhibition space and the other with two floors of artifacts related to Romantic art and literature. This is mostly centered on painter Ary Scheffer who used the space as a studio, as well as writer George Sand. You’ll find his art and her artifacts, including a lock of her hair, a cast of her arm alongside that of one of her lover’s — the composer Chopin — and even some of her own art. There’s also work by Delacroix, Ingres, and other contemporaries, although part of the experience is being in the mostly preserved space with its creaking floors and display cases crammed with all sorts of random curios. 

Outside is one of the city’s most beautiful hidden escapes. The courtyard with its lilacs, roses, wisteria, and other flowers also includes an outdoor café, where you can sit among the lush surroundings with a tea or coffee (sold out of a former greenhouse), look towards the little bourgeois homes, and imagine yourself back in the 19th century.