If you can get over the fact that it’s a museum dedicated to hunting, this small museum makes for a pleasant outing. You’ll find the expected taxidermied animals, but they are discreetly presented among an elegant collection of paintings, tapestries, sculptures, and even contemporary art. Each room has a theme: For example, the blond wood–paneled Salle Cerf et Loup takes on the imagery of the stag and the wolf, illustrated in paintings by artists as disparate as Renaissance-era Lucas Cranach and 20th-century fauvist André Derain. The emphasis is not so much on the kill as the symbolism behind the images: In the Middle Ages, the stag, which represented Christ, and the wolf, which represented the Devil, could coexist, a theme that is echoed in the 16th- and 17th-century tapestries that cover the walls. Once you’ve sauntered through rooms dedicated to dogs, birds, horses, and even unicorns, you will walk smack into the trophy room, where discretion is abandoned and hunting is blatantly celebrated in all its gory glory. Intricately inlaid rifles and the heads of various exotic animals will bring you face to face with the reality of this controversial sport (look out for the mounted head with moving eyes!). Still, there is something intriguing about this place; it reminds you that the relationship between humans and animals dates to well before there were naturalists and environmentalists, and if that relationship was filled with animosity and fear, it was also tinged with a sort of mystical respect.
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
62 rue des Archives, 3rd arrond.
Our Rating Neighborhood Le Marais (3rd & 4th Arrondissements) Hours Tues, Thurs–Sun 11am–6pm; Wed 11am–9:30pm Transportation Métro: Rambuteau Phone 01-53-01-92-40 Prices Admission 12.50€ adults, 10.50€ E.U. citizens ages 18–26, free for children 17 and under Web site Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
Map62 rue des Archives, 3rd arrond. Paris
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.