Museums

A number of important museums are to be found in Marennes-Oléron. In the Marennes basin are museums and exhibition sites such as the 17th century Provisions Hall in Brouage, home to the European Centre of Military Architecture and the site of numerous exhibitions.

The barracks of Fort Louvois at Bourcefranc-Le Chapus houses a permanent exhibition on the fortifications of Charente-Maritime and temporary displays in summer. 

The Cité de l’Huître, sited on the channel leading to La Cayenne, explains the operation of the oyster industry – the speciality of the Marennes-Oléron basin – in an interactive, fun way. Follow the adventure of the oyster between the ocean and the maturing beds...before eating one! 

Having crossed the bridge, the Port des Salines eco-museum at Grand-Village enables the visitor to learn about salt production; there is also an oysterman’s hut. A salt-marsh still in activity can be seen as well. The “Maison Paysanne” houses exhibitions on the traditional habitat and costumes of the islanders. 

The Ile d’Oléron museum is found in the heart of Saint-Pierre d'Oléron. This museum of art and ethnography trace the life of the islanders from their origins to the present day. There are 600m² of displays on salt-farming, winemaking, peaches, traditional costumes and the habitats. Films, soundtracks, discovery trails for children and a tactile model of a salt-marsh form part of this very complete interactive museum. Temporary exhibitions are also regularly renewed. 

In the extreme north of the island, the Museum of Scenography in the rotunda of the lighthouse at Chassiron enables the visitor to better comprehend the everyday life and know-how of the men of the coast, veritable sailors of the land…

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