Truly one-of-a-kind museums
Explore a water tower or a floating wash house turned into museums, discover a cave full of mechanical instruments, stroll through a cabinet of curiosities... Atlantic Loire Valley is home to truly amazing points of cultural interest!
Le Musée de la musique mécanique (The Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments), Dollon (72)
A short journey through time in this old bistro converted into a museum, where antique instruments play without musicians! There are over 300 pieces to discover in total, from the mechanical piano to the Scopitone, a predecessor of the video clip, as well as gramophones, barrel organs or this improbable musical toothbrush. A built-in cinema regularly hosts screenings or concerts.
La Maison de la Mariée (The Bride House), Saint-Joachim (44)
If you're passing through Brière, stop off at the Maison de la Mariée. Located in a thatched house, the amazing museum is home to the largest collection of "globes", the glass cloches that once housed and protected wedding souvenirs. Here, each one of them retraces the story of a different family. Also discover the amazing story of the workshops that made the wax flowers of Saint-Joachim, used to decorate bridal tiaras, a wide range of which are on display here.
Kulmino, Notre-Dame-de-Monts (85)
Have you ever climbed to the top of a water tower? Well now's the time! In addition to its ground-floor exhibition space, which retraces the journey of the water we use through a series of fun modules, Kulmino also offers visitors the opportunity to take a 70-metre climb. From the top of the tower, which still supplies surrounding taps, a magnificent panoramic view of the Vendée's Breton salt marsh is unveiled. You can even spot the Île d'Yeu and Noirmoutier!
Musée Joseph-Denais, Beaufort-en-Vallée (49)
Tucked away in a magnificent building that evokes an Italian-style palace, this place is the last 19th century cabinet of curiosities and has remained untouched since 1905! Its creator, the historian and journalist Joseph Denais, patiently accumulated an astonishing collection of objects and works of art of all kinds, sometimes from the other side of the world, in fields as varied as ethnography, fine arts, natural sciences, archaeology or Beaufort culture. An Egyptian mummy, mounted birds and even a bust sculpted by Camille Claudel are also to be found!
The Saint-Julien floating wash house, Laval (53)
Classed as a historic monument, the Saint-Julien, built in 1904, is one of the last floating wash houses in France. Entirely restored and promoted to the rank of Musée de France, it welcomes those keen to discover this strange craft once used to wash cotton, which could host some forty washer-women alongside the stoves used to heat water and three laundry tubs. An interactive station enables visitors to discover its history and enjoy a virtual tour.