The second building of the Lorraine Museum (Musée Lorrain) is the former convent of the Cordeliers, a religious order of monks who wore a knotted rope or cord around their waists in earlier times.
Whereas the displays in the Ducal Palace illustrate regional history as seen by the ruling classes, the emphasis in this second building is on the everyday life of ordinary people, especially those living in the countryside. This includes a large collection of wooden farm implements from earlier centuries.
After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871-1872, Alsace-Lorraine was taken over by the newly-formed German Empire. I always assumed this meant all of Lorraine, but it turns out that only the northern part, including the city of Metz, was annexed by Germany. The rest of Lorraine, including the city of Nancy, remained a part of France. In 1918, at the end of the First World War, all of Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France.
The Cordeliers church, dating from 1487, is now also a part of the Lorraine Museum. Most of the Dukes of Lorraine were buried here — but not the last one, Stanislas Leszczynski. After his death in 1766, he was originally buried in a church called Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, which is three km to the south, still in Nancy but near the suburb of Jarville-la-Malgrange and on the way to the palace of Lunéville. This church was severely damaged during the French Revolution, and there are various stories of what happened to Stanislas Leszczynski’s remains. Some say they were stolen, but later found and returned. Others maintain that his body (or his ashes or just one of his bones, depending on which website you believe) were brought back to Poland and interred in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow with the rest of the Polish kings.
My photos in this post are from 2015. I revised the text in 2022.
See more posts on Nancy, France.
See also: Couvent des Cordelières (feminine form of Cordeliers) in Paris.
6 thoughts on “Lorraine Museum in the Convent of the Cordeliers”
I suppose we will never know which it is unless someone decides to test al the DNA of all the bones.
In France a few years ago, researchers using DNA claimed to have proven that Louis XIII really was the father of Louis XIV, but the proof was later shown to be somewhat dubious. The next logical step would be to get ahold of some DNA from Cardinal Richelieu, but nobody seems to have done that yet.
Alsace-Lorraine is a fascinating part of France —part French, part German. We’ve usually stayed in Colmar, and love it
I haven’t been to Colmar for many years, but remember it as being a beautiful town.
Great post, I’ve never heard of Colmar so thank you.