Sunday in the City: Unicorn Hunting

Every first Sunday I’ve taken it upon myself to take full advantage of the fact that national museums in Paris are free. While free does not necessarily equal free of lines or crowds, in getting off the beaten track, you not only get away from masses of people, but I’ve not only discovered a few hidden gems. In the process I’ve also managed to become a unicorn hunter. While a bit of an inside joke amongst friends that started with Charlie the Unicorn, my new Parisian quest for free culture has resulted in the added bonus of new unicorn discoveries. In each of my first three free visits, discovering unicorns in unlikely places was that added bit of excitement to an already free visit.
My most recent unicorn discoveries came from the Musée Gustave Moreau, Moreau’s former apartment that’s been converted into the intimate museum in the 9th arrondisement. The top unicorn really came “alive” by the light fixture reflected in the glass frame. The second unicorn was a discovery from opening one of the hidden files. Have you ever visited a museum in search of something other than the artwork?
At the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in the heart of the Marais (pictured above and below) there is an entire room devoted to “licorne” (unicorns). Other rooms are devoted to birds, warthogs or any number of animals in a beautiful celebration of hunting, which surprisingly became one of my unexpected favorite museums in the city. Have you encountered any museums that surprised you on your travels?
Finally, the Musée du Moyen Age (also known as the Cluny Museum) in the Latin Quarter is a trip back in time. Once on the second floor you’re transported into a room devoted to stunning embroidered tapestries telling the stories of unicorns. Where should I head next in search of unicorns in Paris?
Don’t forget this Sunday is the first Sunday of the month! Click here for the complete list of free museums.

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