The Musée des Plans-Reliefs is a brilliantly eccentric museum devoted to an intricate and largely forgotten craft.
Created in 1943, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs houses around 100 models of French and foreign towns of strategic importance.
In 1668, under the instruction of Louis XIV, a minister created a relief-map, that is, a three dimensional map of a French fortress, in order to give military commanders a better idea of the particular castle. This saw the start of a great collection of these models, which was to become richer each year for more than two centuries.
The king’s engineers built relief-maps of all the fortresses the military was, or might be concerned with both inside and outside France. The purpose of this was not only strategic but as proof of the power of the monarchy and as commemorative works of great battles and sieges.
The Musée des Plans-Reliefs collection was first kept in the Tuileries, and then moved to the Louvre in 1700. A preservation order was placed on it in 1927. The production of these relief-maps only ceased in 1870 as fortifications with bastions began to disappear and it became less militarily important to know their precise dimensions.
The collection at the Musée des Plans-Reliefs really is amazing; it is a must see for military enthusiasts and lovers of genius eccentricity.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.