The Maison de Jules Verne (Jules Verne House) in Amiens is not just interesting for fans of the author’s many works, but also for people who love architecture and/or steampunk. Even if you have never read one of Verne’s books, or seen any of the movie adaptations, it’s still worth the ticket price.
An added bonus is that everything is in English and French. On top of that, they have maps available that guests can borrow with the translation of everything in many other languages.
The staff is very friendly and although the gift shop is just a corner in the entrance hall, you can find some very reasonably priced gems there (provided you like your Jules Verne books in French).
Situated about fifteen minutes on foot from the heart of Amiens, the last residence of one of the grandfathers of science-fiction, and consequentially steampunk, was custom-built. Even though restoration and updating has been necessary over the years, they have tried to keep it as authentic as possible. In the winter garden, you can even find an umbrella from back in the day in the antique umbrella stand.
Even with modern-day fixtures and flooring, the house still feels old thanks to the many pieces of furniture that were the property of the original owners or are antiques.
A fun fact is that Jules Verne himself had a steampunk home, long before this came a thing: a Nautilus-themed room in the attic, a wooden cabinet with hot air balloon detail and another room full of bits and bobs that would make most steampunks green with envy.
The house is a wonderful exploration of the life of Jules Verne and the influence he had — on the city and the world. Everything is very well presented and the details are simply sublime.
If you find yourself in Amiens, it is well worth following the signs (you can also get a free map from the tourist office near the cathedral) leading up to House of Jules Verne.
Make sure to take the scenic route past one of his real-life designs: the Cirque de Jules Verne. Just like his home, it is well worth the visit.
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