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“A bit of a missed opportunity”

Musee Historique Lorrain
Ranked #12 of 57 things to do in Nancy
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
W. Yorkshire, UK
Level Contributor
91 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“A bit of a missed opportunity”
Reviewed 1 March 2014

We were interested to find out more about the history of Nancy and Lorraine as a whole, and as the museum is in the old Ducal Palace and the convent and chapel of the Cordeliers, we thought it would be a good place to do this. Sadly, it is something of a "curate's egg" -good in parts!

We were disappointed to discover that the archaelogy room was closed and my son said this was one of the best bits: there was no sign on the door and no explanation in the foyer, which was somewhat misleading.

We looked at more of the exhibits, some of which were of interest and explained how Lorraine fitted into the wider picture of French history, but some of which was frankly boring! Dusty glass cases full of china etc, not at all interactive and no explanations in other languages. I work as a casual museum attendant and found it very frustrating to see how much could be made of the place: it was as if they had tried but not that hard. For example, there were boxes of dressing up clothes for children but no information about what they contained, and not even a mirror for the children to see themselves once they had dressed up.

The attendants kind of hovered to make sure we didn't damage anything but they made no effort to explain or show us in more detail. The one redeeming exhibition in the main museum was the new one about World War 1 for the centenary: this showed tremendous thought and care and the preparation which had gone into this was clear. We all found it moving and interesting and the fact that they had put commentaries in English and German on all the displays made it much more accessible. I learnt loads, especially about how Alsace-Lorraine was such a disputed territory and how much they had to endure during the war. If only the museum would display all its collections like this, it would be fantastic. We also loved the Cordeliers part which I have reviewed separately, and it was these two displays which redeemed the place for us.

At 18 euros for 4 of us, it wasn't that cheap, it was worth a visit especially for the two areas mentioned but I don't think I would go back unless they added more exhibitions like those.

Visited February 2014
3 Thank Yorkslady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
221 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Sadly not a good museum”
Reviewed 3 January 2014

Perhaps going with four young children has slightly tainted my view but I can't imagine I would have enjoyed it as a couple. The exhibits are tired in fact the whole museum needs a face lift. Grubby in places, poor descriptions on all the displays did not help ease the sour taste the staff left. Unhelpful, surly and rude I can't say I will visit again.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Woodabell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Learn about some Dukes, then see their crypts”
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Interesting exhibits that revealed to me the connections between the Dukes of Lorraine and the Hapsburgs, as well as revealing the power that the Dukes held at times in France. The highlight for me was the octagonal room off the chapel that is included in the tour in which the crypts of many Dukes are presented, a beautiful structure to behold.

Visited August 2013
Thank VicPark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
160 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Lolcal treasures in a lovely building”
Reviewed 12 October 2012

It is well worth strolling up the Grand Rue to the lovely building which houses this museum. Be sure to take time to admire the wonderful sculpted porterie (gateway) and to walk in the garden behind the main palace building. we had to be selective and concentrated on the collections in the main building. Like other commentators we particularly liked the de la Tour room. The display dealing with Nancy in the Second World War housed a most interesting temporary exhibition about the role of the local engineer, craft ironsmith and manufacturer Jean Prouvé, who had become maire of Nancy at the Liberation, had devised emergency prefab housing for the homeless of Lorraine at that time and had generally been a moving spirit in Nancy in the post-war period. Our ticket also gave admission to the Cordeliers, which I have written about separately.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank argein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
344 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“Excellent local museum”
Reviewed 20 July 2012

The George de la Tour room was special. Look out for it. It is easily missed.
I enjoyed all the Stanislas related exhibits & we were intrigued by the inches to centimetre rules from the late eighteenth century among the scientific instruments.
The archaeological section to the rear of the main building is poorly sign posted & we we would have missed it if our daughter hadn't read the guidebook properly.
The ticket includes the nearby Cordeliers Church which has furnished rooms from the nineteenth century. It is interesting but there are almost no explanations as to what you are seeing.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank WinstonSophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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