Discover the secrets of the waters of Paris. A short stroll from the Hotel Saint-Jacques, in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the Gallo-Roman baths of Cluny will take you back to the days of classical antiquity. After exploring these ancient thermal baths built to serve the ancient settlement of Lutetia, make sure to visit the Cluny Museum.
Ancient baths in the heart of Paris
Built in the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Gallo-Roman public baths of Lutetia are today among the most well-preserved northern European vestiges of the era as evidenced by the incredible frigidarium (cold room), which still retains some of its original decor.
Built on three levels, the baths have cellars that formerly housed the equipment essential to the operation of the baths complex and the wellbeing of its guests. Visit the ingenious hydraulic system to understand how it works.
Medieval arts and crafts at the Cluny Museum
After you’ve explored the ancient baths, it’s time for the Musée de Cluny to reveal its extensive collections of tapestries, enamels and sculptures dating from antiquity to the Renaissance. Among the 2,300 pieces exhibited is the 1st century Pillar of the Boatmen, a monumental column built in honour of Jupiter by the guild of boatmen of Lutetia during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. You can also see the six tapestries that make up the mysterious series called The Lady and the Unicorn (15th century), woven in Flanders between 1484 and 1500. Considered one of the great masterpieces of the European Middle Ages, this set is generally interpreted as depicting the five senses. The sixth tapestry may represent love, as it bears the words A mon seul désir (To my only desire). Mysterious and alluring!
Photo credit : © Paris Tourist Office - Photographe : Amélie Dupont
Hotel Saint-Jacques Paris, a 3-star hotel at the heart of Quartier Latin