One of the best free things to do in Paris is visit the Musée des Archives Nationales, located in the Le Marais neighborhood of the 3rd arrondissement. The French National Archive Museum houses thousands of historical records and artifacts that shaped the history of France as a country.
Housed in the Hôtel de Soubise, this museum offers an immersive experience of rococo style architecture and interior design. Along with fascinating temporary exhibitions, the Musée des Archives Nationales is worth a visit alone for its beautiful Parisian interiors.
The building itself dates to 1705, when a young architect Pierre-Alexis Delamair, was tasked with renovating the place. In 1732, the architect Germain Boffrand began interior renovations to bring rococo style to the home’s inside walls.
During the revolution, the building was confiscated. In 1808, the building and the neighboring Hôtel de Rohan were acquired by the French State. The buildings became storage for the imperial archives under Napoléon the 1st, and the imperial printer, respectively.
Emperor Napoléon the 3rd decided to open a museum dedicated to the most important documents and archives in France.
From 1939 to 2006, the building was called the Museum of the History of France.
During my visit, there was an art exhibition called Les lettres ordinaires by French artist Adrianna Wallis.
France National Archives Museum
60 Rue des Francs Bourgeois