Old department, old armour and weapons, 13th - 17th century

The old department contains one of Europe’s major collections of weapons and armour, covering military history from the 13th to the 17th century.


The old department contains one of Europe's major collections of weapons and armour, covering military history from the 13th to the 17th century.

Old armour and weapons, 13th-17th century

The richness of its ancient collections is what makes the Army Museum one of the three largest arms museum in the world.
Extending from the Crown collections, the presentation of arms and armour follows a path organized chronologically - from Saint Louis to Louis XIII, from knights to the standing army - but also according to themes.

Royal room - Crown Collections

This former dining hall gathers together prestigious pieces from French and foreign royal collections of ornate weapons from princely arms manufacturers. The mural design is composed of battle scenes depicting episodes of the Franco-Dutch War, waged by Louis XIV. They were painted by Joseph Parrocel in the 17th century and restored in 2005.

Chronological path

Medieval room: from the feudal army to the royal army

This room displays war armour and arms from the 13th to the 15th century, and notably pieces of ordnance and a remarkable collection of medieval swords.

Louis XIII room: the progress of the royal army

This room is dedicated to the Italian campaigns, to the wars against the Habsburg Empire, to the ward of religion of the 16th century and the early 17th century wars. It features arms and armour related to the major figures of French history, from Francis I to Louis XIII. A Turkish cabinet presents Ottoman pieces from the same period.

Themed arsenal gallery

This impressive and original reserve collection, which is opened to the public, recreates the layout and atmosphere of former arsenals. 2 500 pieces are grouped together.

Courtly leisure activities: Hunting, Jousts, and Tournaments (late Middle Ages - mid-17th century)

Oriental cabinets ( 15th - early 20th century)

Suits of armour, knives and firearms bear witness to the heritage of the war culture of the Ottoman, Persian, Mongolian, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian civilisations, from the Middle East to the furthermost bounds of Asia.

Large rifles cabinet (first part of the 17th century)

This is a remarkable selection of 70 arms used by civilian arquebusiers. We owe it to the greatest masters working in Europe.

European room (16th and 17th centuries)

Three sections - Italian, German, and French - present dazzling series of pieces made by the most renowned European master armourers.