‘Gobelins’ to me used to be synonymous with the metro station on the line 7, and the famous tapestries that hang in many castles around the country, but I’d never set foot into the Manufacture des Gobelins until recently, despite my Paris adventure starting down the road by Place Monge.
The facade onto avenue des Gobelins is remarkable, and everyone knows it, but not many people I know have been inside. This is a true living museum; this tapestry factory was built in the early 17th century, and is known for being the factory chosen to supply the most intricate rugs and tapestries for the French royals since the reign of Louis XIV.
The factory is still in operation today, but they hold a couple of exhibitions a year, only during which time the public is invited to visit.
At the moment there’s a chair exhibition on called “Sièges en société, du Roi Soleil à Marianne” spanning the art of turning over three centuries. On the walls behind the 300 chairs, you’ll see various, vast Gobelins tapestries that once adorned noble walls across the country.
One of my favourite spaces was a tapestry-meets-contemporary-furniture exhibit, curated by Jacques Garcia, on the room on the left as you come up the beautiful staircase.