#4: Musée Fragonard d’Alfort
Since the last post (#3) focused on something so beautiful, and so perfect; an exquisite cup of gelato, I thought it’d be okay to spring the Musée Fragonard on you now.
Located in on the eastern fringe of Paris, the Musée Fragonard d’Alfort is part of the Alfort Veterinary School, founded in 1766, which is one of the oldest veterinary colleges in the world. Lest you think I’ve got a thing for cadavers of malformed animals and tumorous cow spleens, you’re wrong.
But what I do have is a thing for are very unique places in Paris.
The museum is divided into three areas. In one you’ll find skeletons crammed together, a mad jumble of bones and teeth. Another space is dedicated to pathology, so if you’ve ever wondered what a polyp on a rumen looks like, you can probably find it here. (If you can’t make it to Paris, many of the museums pieces are on display at their site.)
My favorite, and most disquieting, though, is the area dedicated to “Les monsters.” I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out what they are, but if you want to see how many legs an animal can possibly be born with, if it’s probable for a cyclopic chicken to look both ways before it crosses the road, this is the place to find out.
I know few people who’ve ventured out to this museum, but think it’s one of the truly special places in Paris, a city that celebrates it’s history like few others. That often means one’s able to get a special glimpse into it’s past. While the Musée Fragonard might not be for everyone, for those of you who do venture there, you’re going to see something pretty special. And definitely out of the norm.
Musée Fragonard d’Alfort
7, avenue du Général de Gaule
Tél: 01 43 96 71 72
(Map on site)
Other Paris addresses of similar interest:
Musée de l’Assistance Publique
(Museum of Paris Public Hospitals)
47, quai de la Tournelle
Tél: 01 40 27 50 05
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
(Museum of Hunting and Nature)
62, rue des Archives
Tél: 01 53 01 92 40
(Pristine taxidermy boutique on Left Bank)
32, Boulevard St. Germain
Tél: 01 44 07 30 79
Part of the Five Great Places in Paris That You Might Not Know About Series:
1# La Briciola (Pizza)
2# Dot Paris (Vintage Kitchenware Shop)
3# Grom gelato (Italian Gelato)
4# Musée Fragonard d’Alfort (Veterinary Museum)
5# Goumanyat (Spices & Specialty Foods)