Discover National Marine Museum France

The National Marine Museum is located in one of the two oldest buildings in the town of Rochefort, the Hôtel de Cheusses, which was named after the last lord of Rochefort, Henri de Cheuses.
After 1690, it successively became the residence of the Marine commander, quartermaster, and Marine Commissioner, until the arsenal was closed.
Classified as a Historical Monument in 1932, it was decided to use it to hold collections of models and sculptures from the arsenal. It opened to the public in 1936.
However, the museum was only to remain open for 4 years; in 1940 it was closed and converted into administrative office space. It only reopened to the public in 1974 following renovations.
The National Marine Museum is currently being restructured and improvements have been ongoing for several years.
Two of the permanent collection spaces have been completed so far: the 'Grande Salle de l'Arsenal' and the 'Dédaigneuse' section.
As its name suggests, the 'Grande Salle de l'Arsenal' is given over to the Arsenal. Visitors can find out about its proudest moments in history and view models of some of the most famous boats.
One of the improvements in the new layout of the rooms has made it possible to properly display items like the models of dredging mills and saw mills from the beginning of the 19th century, as well as the capstan of Duguay-Trouin's boat - the 'Implacable' - which was built in Rochefort in 1796.
The return of the teaching model, 'Royale', from Paris, where it had been kept for many years, was a major event for the National Marine Museum in Rochefort.
This impressive model measuring 4.8m in length is the exact replica of the boat that was once used to train future officers at Rochefort's naval cadet school.
This vessel is an amazing illustration of the skill and knowledge of the men of Rochefort Arsenal, where the Navy was based during the age of Enlightenment. It shows not only the technical complexity of such a boat, but also the training requirements of this time in history.
The second new space in Rochefort's National Marine Museum is the room over which the 'Dédaigneuse' presides, and is also one of the first stages in the complete restructuring of the whole museum. The most impressive sight in this part of the museum is the model of the 12-canon frigate, which was built in Bordeaux in 1766.
What makes this interesting model even more fascinating is the fact that the 'Dédaigneuse' was the sister ship (same type and period) of La Fayette's famous battleship, the 'Hermione'.
Also on display in the room are three Rossel de Cercy paintings commissioned by King Louis XVI and belonging to his series depicting battles of the American War of Independence. They show just how important this conflict was to the French Navy.
Musée National de la Marine Hôtel de Cheusses
1, place de la Galissonnière, 17300 Rochefort, France
Tel.: +33 (0) 5 46 99 86 57
Opening hours: Daily from May to September, 10:00am to 8:00pm
Daily from September to April, 1:30pm to 6:30pm
Full price: £4.50
Reduced price: £3.70

  • National Marine Museum , France
    National Marine Museum
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Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France

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