La France en reliefs (1668–1873)

This exhibition will be a unique opportunity for the public to discover spectacular, little-known pieces from the prestigious collection of the Musée des Plans-reliefs. Its scale models of fortified towns (plans-reliefs) are part of a collection begun under Louis XIV and regularly expanded until 1873. Initially created for purely military purposes, they were also used for reasons of prestige.


Sixteen exceptionally fine models, all built to 1/600th scale, will be exhibited in the great hall of the Grand Palais. They are remarkable both for their extraordinary detail and for their sheer size: the scale model of Cherbourg covers some 160 square metres.

These models reveal the history of the towns, but also the history of France. They show us how landscapes have evolved, how man has shaped them, and how our concept of the frontier has changed.


The exhibition will be designed so that visitors can examine the scale models very closely. Each model will be presented along with audiovisual documents and an interactive terminal, enabling viewers to compare the town represented in miniature with its subsequent development.

Exhibition produced for the Ministry of Culture and Communication, and organized by the Association de pde la Maison de l’histoire de France, with the support of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais and the scientific partnership of the Musée des Plans-reliefs.

IGN and ECPAD are partners for this exhibition.

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brochure and plan of the exhibition
(PDF - 1.3 Mb)

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Dernière modification : 19/01/2012

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