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Salt Marches Museum (Musée des Marais salants)


Ethnologie - Histoire - Beaux Arts
Le Pays du Sel, Saillé, huile sur toile, 1904, Victor-L. Richard (1848-1914). Collection Musée des marais salants

With its collections and interpretive visitor centre, the Salt Marshes Museum boasts 9000 pieces. These include ethnographic, textile, iconographic, fine arts and decorative arts collections, as well as original documents and books (both printed and manuscript).

There is a visitor space of almost 800m² inside the old salt lofts, which were adapted for 19th-century industrial mechanisation, and house a spectacular machine for washing and refining salt. These storehouses provide the Guérande salt marshes with an ideal setting to fulfil the scientific, cultural and heritage-promotion objectives of a themed museum. Visitors can find out about the salt marshes, how they work, and the major stages in their history, from their origins to the late 20th century. The emblematic and sometimes monumental objects of this landscape, where Guérande salt is harvested, are displayed in dialogue with documents, multimedia facilities and interactive games. The culture of the salt workers and of a society centred around harvesting salt from the salt marshes is evoked via the presentation of festival and work clothing, traditional furniture and everyday objects. The collections are complemented by the works of Breton painters from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as souvenir objects for those who came to bathe in the sea. Here, the museum reconnects with its roots going back to the 19th-century, when Batz-sur-Mer saw the birth of one of France’s five oldest ethnography museums.

Events for all and temporary exhibitions regarding regional heritage and salt production take place all year round, so there are always new things to discover and enjoy.