The strangest museums in France
Les musées les plus étranges de France
We often pass by without paying attention. To find these amazing museums, true curiosities mostly out of cultural highways! And enjoy your vacation to discover all these original places that dot the French territory.
1. Ideal Palace horse factor (Drôme)
It’s a dream come true: that of a single factor, Ferdinand Cheval , imagining an Ideal Palace. One day in 1879, he undertook the construction. For 33 years, this man, considered an original a little crazy, gave himself body and soul to his business. The result is an unclassifiable masterpiece . This is a fabulous naive art hymn, where facades, sculptures and fountains abound with animals, plants and scenes from Hindu myths, or Egyptian Christians. «At the source of life, I drew my genius», he said. Beside Hauterives, the Palace is open to visitors all year. Festival, concerts and exhibitions ( www.facteurcheval.com ).
2. Museum of Anatomy, Montpellier (Hérault)
Sensitive souls refrain ! The Museum of Anatomy , attached to the Faculty of Medicine, in fact conceals a complex and rare collection: waxes, plasters, skeletons, dissection of preparations and a showcase of Teratology … ie, abnormal fetal specimens, birth defects and other deformities preserved in jars. In contrast to these highlights on monstrosity, the museum was built in 1851, boasts a unique setting, with columns, walls and ceilings with sumptuous painted decorations. The opportunity to dive back into the history of medicine, closely linked to the city of Montpellier since the thirteenth century.
The museum is accessible only by guided tours organized by the tourist office ( www.ot-montpellier.fr ). They are prohibited to children under 12, pregnant women and people with allergies.
Anatomy Museum entrance. Folding seats
3. International modest art museum, Sète (Hérault)
Museum curious that this appetizing MIAM dedicated to Humble Arts. This «objectothérapie countries», in the words of its founder, discovered at the option of three floors in mezzanine in a large room with exposed beams. In a dark and ultra-contemporary set design, we discover small glass cabins filled with trinkets of all kinds, staged a fun and pictorially. A fanciful tribute to the countless everyday objects.
The museum ( www.miam.org ) also organizes temporary exhibitions and workshops.
4. Picassiette House, Chartres (Eure-et-Loir)
Masterpiece of naive art, Picassiette house is decorated with mosaics made from pieces of broken crockery! Its creator, Raymond Isidore, was a busy man with an ardor worthy of the cathedral builders. After building a modest home, he spent between 1930 and 1962, more than 29 000 hours to handle millions of fragments of ceramic , of glass , of paintings and sculptures (hence its name Picassiette) to cover the walls, the bed, flower pots and even the sewing machine with colorful mosaics displaying characters, cathedrals and even an Eiffel tower! 22 rue du Repos in Cheron neighborhood. For more information, please contact the Tourist Office or the Museum of Fine Arts in Chartres.
Detail of the facade of the house Picassiette. Roel Wijnants
5. Fan Museum (Paris)
The workshop Hoguet Anne ( Paris ) is the last in France to be specialized in the creation and restoration of prestigious fans . It still manufactures in for fashion designers, opera or theater. Unusual and full of charm, its small museum, housed in the old showroom decor 1900, present, rotating, a wonderful collection of some 1,000 fans of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Often, contemporary artists also come to exhibit their works as MAC in 2008, which gives new life to broken fans by integrating them into tables. 2 bd de Strasbourg, 10th arr. ; 01 42 08 90 20; www.annehoguet.fr
6. Smoking Museum (Paris)
First matches like in the westerns of our childhood chocolate cigarettes, through the Indian peace pipes of peace, this curious smoking museum traces, through dozens of prints, photographs and paintings, centuries of white curls. The paintings of Frederic Darain, carried out on tobacco leaves and representing Maya deities bring to this very historic collection a contemporary art breath. More than 150 portraits of famous smokers await the toilet. An expansion provides a more modern approach, addressing issues of censorship, legality and renewal of shamanic rituals.
The museum, whose shop occupies a (too) large, temporary exhibitions. 7 Pache Street, 11th arr. ( Www.museedufumeur.net ).
Exhibition of portraits, the museum smoking, Paris. Amanda
7. Fabuloserie (Yonne)
It is a unique place that awaits you on the border of the Yonne and Loiret. The Fabuloserie is born from the will of Alain Bourbonnais opened her home to art «Outside the standards.» This veritable cabinet of curiosities became the realm of outsider art, works of artists of the day, self-taught, sometimes rejected, often at the margins of society. Unusual works, enchanting and disturbing, as stunned visitors discover in the labyrinthine spaces. At the bottom of the park, your steps will guide you to the «carousel Petit Pierre». And you will be immersed in the universe at once poetic, sad and satirical a dumb cowherd boy.
The site is open from April to November ( www.fabuloserie.com ).
8. Museum Comb, Ézy-sur-Eure (Eure)
In the land of fashion and the Kingdom of coquetry, the comb is more than a utilitarian object: it can be a work of art. In the nineteenth century, the small village of Ezy-sur-Eure is a master in the making of this instrument, which was long the manna. The museum dedicated to him in a historic factory, describes the working conditions of «Peigneux» and tells this unusual industry, first combs carved into the horse’s hoof, horn beef or boxwood, those designed ivory or tortoiseshell, a fine and admirable finish, put up ornaments of the seventeenth to the twentieth century modes. the museum is open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10am to 12pm and from 14pm to 18pm, Wednesday from 14h to 18h. It is closed between mid-December and mid-February.
At the Museum of the comb. Photo: © Museum comb Ezy-sur-Eure
9. Living Museum Kite (Côte-d’Or)
Who has tried unsuccessfully to fly the kite bought for his children? Omar Nasser, from Afghanistan, where the kite is a national sport, finally savor the pleasure expected! A former fighter kite champion (for more, read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini) takes you on Asian musical background in his space thousands of light flying objects, from the smallest and cheaper (€ 1.50) to the largest (600 m2!). Enchantment assured for all, from 4 to 99 years.
The Kite Museum is on the southern outskirts of Dijon (12 Vignery street Perrigny; www.nasservolant.com; March 80 54 32 46).
10. Museum of Mechanical Music, Dollon (Sarthe)
This museum has an almost exhaustive collection of mechanical instruments … that make up the time! The music box to Scopitone (ancestor of the video clip), through the barrel organ, about 200 pieces are presented. In perfect working mostly, they cover a period from the nineteenth century to the sixties. Whether you are a professional or just curious, guided by the owner, passionate friendly, is captivating. The entrance is a friendly little boozer. The museum can be visited only on Sunday afternoon; it is closed in winter (€ 4).
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