The Musée national des Monuments Français is today a museum of plaster casts of French monuments located in the Palais de Chaillot, 1, place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, Paris, France. It now forms part of the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, and is open daily except Tuesday. An admission fee is charged.
The collection was a re-founding in plaster of a collection opened in 1795 as the Musée des monuments français of actual monuments of French Medieval and Renaissance art, removed from churches and chateaux after the French Revolution. This remained open until the Bourbon Restoration of 1816, and was highly influential on French taste, making the medievalism of the Troubadour style popular, and providing inspiration to its artists.
It contains about 6,000 casts of sculptures of all periods including ancient Greece, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, but with a strong emphasis on French sculptures of the Romanesque and Gothic periods. It also contains scale models of buildings, copies of architectural elements, sculpture, frescoes, and stained glass from French churches and châteaux, as well as a collection of about 200,000 photographs. Most copies were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Of particular interest is the Galerie Davioud, which displays casts of sculptures from the Strasbourg Cathedral (13th century), Bourges Cathedral (late 13th century), and the Notre-Dame de Reims. The museum also contains copies of elements from Angoulême Cathedral, Aulnay, Autun, Cluny, Conques, Jouarre, Moissac, Sainte-Marie-des-Dames at Saintes, Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, Saint-Trophime d'Arles, Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, Saint-Sernin at Toulouse, and Notre-Dame du Port at Clermont-Ferrand.