Browsing Category : Museums

A Drop in the Ocean of Knowledge: Neuchâtel Ethnography


Ethnographic Museum, Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland You never quite know what you’re going to get with museums in Switzerland.  Sometimes they are surprisingly fascinating.  Sometimes they’re pretty good.  Very rarely are they without any redeeming features, especially if they’re about ethnology. I think it’s probably a bit mean to say that there were no redeeming features in Neuchatel’s…

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Food Glorious Food: Vevey’s Alimentarium


Alimentarium, Vevey, Switzerland If I were to show you an outline drawing of a nest, with a mother bird bringing food to two little chicks, what would you think of? I grew up on Nestlé products – I drank Nesquik for breakfast, Nescafé was always in the kitchen cupboard and Milkybars were a special treat.  The little logo of the…

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It’s the Confluence of Life: Lyon’s Museum of the World


Confluence Museum, Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France When planning a trip to Lyon, you will be struck by the hype for the Museum of the Confluence.  It’s a striking new glass building, opened in 2014, perched on an island on the Rhone, and it has a glossy modernity that promises an attractive museum-going experience.  In France, where so many museums…

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Blood and Freedom: the Museum of the French Revolution in Vizille


The Domain of Vizille – Museum of the French Revolution, Domaine de Vizille – Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille, France Not far from the tranquil city of Grenoble is a museum dedicated to the history of one of France’s most bloody chapters.  The château that houses it is linked to significant pre-Revolutionary events, and also served as a summer…

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Grenoble’s Old Bishop’s Palace: A Museum with Surprises


The Old Bishops’ Palace Museum, Musée de l’Ancien Évêché, Grenoble, France The history of the Isère Department is sweepingly and excellently looked at in the building that used to be home to the bishops of Grenoble.  The collection is not vast, but very well presented, and makes for a good starting point for further exploration of the city. The building…

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Aspects of Grenoble: the Dauphinois Museum


Dauphinois Museum, Musée dauphinois, Grenoble, France A little way up the slopes of the Bastille is the 17th century Convent of St Mary.  Since 1968, this charming building has housed an eclectic collection which looks at the history of the Grenoble region, known until 1790 as Dauphiné.  At that point the region was divided and it now covers the departments…

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Archbishops’ Palace Museums of Narbonne


Archbishops’ Palace, Le palais des Archevêques, Narbonne, France Oops, I did it again.  I’ve written about a museum which is undergoing major changes and no longer exists as I saw it. This is, however, a good thing, because while the museums had wonderful objects on show, the city will be opening a brand new museum dedicated to the Romans of…

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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…

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The Three Faces of God: Treasures of Narbonne Cathedral


The Cathedral Treasury, Le Tresor de la Cathedrale, Narbonne, France When visiting the beautiful cathedral of Narbonne and the museums in the adjacent palaces, you can also enter the tiny Treasury museum.  What it lacks in size, it makes up for in the quality of a couple of items which almost make the town worth visiting by themselves. The Treasury…

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