Art and Archbishops: Narbonne’s New Palace Museum

New Palace, Palais Neuf, Narbonne, France

From the central courtyard of the Bishops’ Palaces, you ascend a grand staircase to the suite of apartments which form the museum of the New Palace.  It is an attractive though perhaps under-developed space, which provides the briefest glimpse into the evidently grand lives of the archbishops of Narbonne in the 17th and 18th centuries.

I found it surprisingly difficult to find information about the palace.  This was particularly annoying since I stupidly didn’t take a picture of the tags for the frescoes, so I have no idea who they’re by.  Also when I visited various rooms were bare, because they were being redone.  All in all, it wasn’t the most rewarding place to visit… especially as the paintings on display (16th-19th century) were not so exciting.

A grandly decorated suite of rooms dedicated to paintings from the Orientalism school were very well presented… but it’s not really my thing.  I did find a few pictures quite interesting, but most of all I appreciated the only air-conditioning I encountered the whole day in boiling Narbonne.

So In Summary

Of all the museums we saw in Narbonne, this was probably the weakest.  The collection is not terribly engaging, and while the decoration of the rooms is lovely, there isn’t much to keep you there for long.  I was really disappointed.  Hopefully with the changes that are occurring in the Narbonne museum world, they will improve the space – because it really could be a lovely spot to learn more about the fascinating bishops of this city.

Further Information

For some reason the museum is sometimes referred to as the Musee d’Art et d’Histoire (like on TripAdvisor) but the museum organisation of Narbonne calls it the New Palace.

There is a ticket that you can purchase which lets you into the major sites of Narbonne and can be purchased from the little office on the left as you enter the main doors of the Palace complex.

How To Get There

Please check out this post on the museums in the Palace complex for more information.

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