Thursday, 2 June 2011

Going Postal in Paris' Post Office Museum

Continuing with my pre birthday theme of museums, I decided to finally take a trip to the L’adress Musée de la Poste or in English: the post office museum. This museum is a little further out than the other museums I have visited recently but I enjoyed my now quite regular route along the south bank of the seine.  The museum is located right beside the Gare Montparnasse, and there was plenty of places for me to park my bicycle within a minutes walk.

Arriving in I quickly got a ticket and was informed to take the lift on the right to the 5th floor. No problem. This is one of the few museums I have visited that has been located in a modern building, as a result sometimes the spaces can feel a bit clinical and the exit out of the exhibition was a maze of fire exits reminiscent of leaving the cinema.

Anyway,  moving along I arrived up into the museum into a small entrance space filled with children...... not good, for those of you who don't know me I’m not a big fan of one child, multiply that by 20 and add a guide from the museum who was encouraging  them to get involved in the exhibitions by making more noise than a bag of cats fighting.
While the kids looked like they were having loads of fun I on the other hand was not, and i often has to double back into previous rooms that I had escaped earlier, as well being at one point chased by a congo line of the brats making choo choo train sounds, as directed by the “animatrice”.

For the most part the exhibition itself is quite good. It is dispersed over 15 different rooms on varying levels, each with a different theme in chronological order  which slowly bring you down to the ground floor. The exhibition started in chronological order and explained the start and development of the postal system in France, including some really interesting old maps that showed the routes the letter's followed, old carrages and the pinnacle of mail delivery bicycles!!

One of the best sections by far(once the brats were gone) was the one about the development of airmail. At the time this was a major advancement in postal delivery, and perhaps the most moving thing is reading about the crashes the pilots survived and more regrettably the ones they didn’t survive. Moving stuff.
French stamps featured in style have a dedicated room to themselves, chronicling their development and showcasing all the different designs and how they are made, pretty interesting I suppose if your into that sort of thing.

Afterwards I breezed through the modern and temporary section, which was not so interesting, and left via the confusing maze of doors and corridors. Would I go again? Ya I suppose but it would have to be with a friend who like stamps.

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