Cluny – La Sorbonne may be one of those métro stations in Paris you whiz past on your way to or from Gare d’Austerlitz or if you’re taking the scenic route to avoid changing at Chatelet. But it is also a station worthy of a closer look.
Located in the Quartier Latin, Cluny – La Sorbonne station is on Line 10 of the métro in the 5eme arrondissement, running in the directions of Boulogne – Pont de St Cloud and Gare d’Austerlitz.
Cluny – La Sorbonne
The station has an interesting history. It was originally named Cluny, after the Hôtel de Cluny which is now a museum, Musée de Cluny. Although it was opened in 1930, it closed in 1939 because it was deemed to be too close to other stations. In 1988, it reopened with a new name incorporating La Sorbonne and now connects with St-Michel – Notre-Dame (RER B, RER C) with access to Boulevard St-Michel.
Jean Bazaine – Les Oiseaux
The highlight of the station’s interior is the vaulted ceiling with colourful mosaics. The main piece is a mosaic frieze from artist Jean Bazaine, called Les Oiseaux (The Birds). The remainder of the ceiling bears the signatures of poets, writers, philosophers, artists, scientists, kings and French statesmen who have honoured this Latin Quarter for eight centuries, with luminaries such as Rabelais, Robespierre, Molière and Richelieu.
Musée de Cluny, also known as Musée National du Moyen Âge, is easily reached from the station and houses art, tapestries, cloths and embroidery from the Middle Ages. Well worth a visit to see the six La Dame à la Licorne tapestries and the collection of medieval stained glass.
The vaulted ceiling is a little dark if you wish to photograph the mosaics. Unless you carry a tripod with you, use a high ISO setting on your camera.
This article is part of the ongoing series Paris Métro stations aimed at inspiring the enjoyment of this public transportation system. In the series: Abbesses, Bir-Hakeim, Cité, Cluny-La Sorbonne, Arts et Métiers, Europe.