The Playing Cards Museum: a tarot lover’s hidden treasure in Paris

Paris is the city of overrated museums. There are so many that a visitor doesn’t know how to even begin doing them justice. So I’m both surprised and relieved that most people don’t know about The French Playing Cards Museum. After Day 1 in Paris where I overdosed on the usual tourist haunts with the way too many instagramers, I was desperate to get away from the crowds and do something a little more quiet and low key.

And voila! A comment came through my blog. Gotta love the internet.

The French Playing Cards museum (Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer) is a must for tarot lovers like me. Tucked away in the quiet-ish Issy-les-Moulineaux area – it’s only a three minute walk from the Mairie d’Issy metro station. As someone who’s been reading tarot cards for around a year and a half now – I knew I had to go there and see what was on display.

In France (and many other places), people play – as opposed to read – tarot cards for fun. I’ve never played the game, but it’s something I need to try when I get back. Although I must say, I’m not particularly thrilled by the thought of people touching my tarot cards. Other tarot card readers will catch my drift…

Entry into the museum is only 5 euros – so it won’t hurt your bank balance. 

Unfortunately the curation is entirely in French, so I had no idea exactly what I was looking at. But it had some original (or super old?) exhibits of the Tarot de Marseille: one of the earlier standard tarot decks from which many of the modern decks are derived. 

I really really loved this depiction of the Six of Swords: travelling into stormy waters into something new…

I took this picture for kicks… I couldn’t help myself… What is this fancy snail doing on a tarot card?

And a little rabbit… Of course…

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And now for Jupiter aka Wheel of Fortune. He looks a little solemn don’t you think? 

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And a couple of decks from the east. Japan and India respectively.

Check it out if you’re ever in the neighbourhood. 

Not that Paris is my neighbourhood….

Till next time – happy shuffling.

Author: Dipa

Stargazer and Proud Piscean

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