Unusual and timeless visit: Le Musée des Commerces d'Autrefois in Rochefort

Rochefort
Unusual and timeless  ...

With its Corderie Royale , its National Marine Museum and the frigate Hermione , explore the maritime city of Rochefort , it is above all immerse in the glorious epic of the navy and the military Arsenal. However, a particularly surprising visit plunges us into the heart of the 1900s: the unusual universe of the Museum of the Trade of the Past offers a trip back in time, to be missed for nothing in the world!

 

A fascinating journey through twenty shops and old craft workshops

Strolling through the charming streets of Rochefort towards Place Colbert , I push the door of a curious building, in the middle of the street Lesson, which catches my attention. And what was my surprise!

Dating from 1900, on nearly 1000m2 open on 3 floors, this former warehouse is full of treasures from another era! Like a machine to go back in time, I discover the superb Museum of the Commerces of Formerly and here I am embarked for 3h of visit of this atypical, touching and resolutely cultural space, which carries in it all the nostalgia of the past. A condensed history for young and old!

Museum of the trades of the past

General view of the museum

I begin the visit of this mysterious place by the basement where an exhibition is dedicated to Cognac , a precious brandy typical of Charente, with a distillery with a traditional still . In pursuit, the universe changes radically. I find myself on the school benches at the beginning of the century for a nostalgic dive in the childhood of our great-grandparents, for the privileged.

Museum of the trades of the past

Public school in the 20th century

The setting and atmosphere of the public school of the past is perfectly recreated. Dominated by the master's desk and a poster with the rules of school life ... to say the least surprising, the classroom is equipped with wooden desks with their inkwells, where young and old can learn to write with pen . An enriching experience for children who can enjoy the luxury they enjoy today, in terms of comfort and ease of writing with ballpoint pens!

Museum of the trades of the past

The rules of life at school ...

Museum of the trades of the past

Test the pen and inkwell

On the ground floor, there is a bicycle repair shop and an old gas station with its glass jar pump on display, followed by a bistro where time seems to have stopped. Advertising posters, antique furniture and bottles of Absinthe: we imagine the warm atmosphere that reigned there! Then there is a magnificent headgear with elegant felt hats, a pharmacy with shelves full of medicines and jars with names learned and finally, the dyeing with its copper pots to color the linen.

Museum of the trades of the past

The old bistro

Museum of the trades of the past

The bar

Museum of the trades of the past

A real pub reproduces

The Hat

The Hat


On the first floor, I enter a different world vintage: the grain sells seeds and seeds of all kinds, the grocery offers a wide selection of familiar brand products: chicory Leroux, Banania, Bouillon Kub. The packaging has evolved, at that time not plastic but beautiful metal boxes! The smell of coffee roasted and exotic spices Freddy Cafes and scents of cologne of the hairdresser stimulate my senses and my imagination.

Museum of the trades of the past

The grocery store

Museum of the trades of the past

The Freddy Café

On the 2nd floor, it is the studio of the photographer and a panoply of material which waits for me. In the age of digital photography and smartphones, this talented profession has definitely lost its charm of yesteryear! I continue my visit by the shoemaker's workshop and the blacksmith's forge . Formerly, it was common for horses to lose their irons and this trade was an integral part of the life of the inhabitants, much like changing the tire of a car, nowadays! The realism of these workshops is impressive and, passionate history, I scrutinize the smallest details to not miss the show.

https://we.tl/t-7GU9xyxic6


The richest private collection of advertising objects in France!


Advertising items


Opened in 1990, the private collection of the Musée des Commerce d'Autrefois is the work of Jean-Francois Bourbigot, an exceptional collector. This former accountant spent most of his free time scouring and collecting old objects for passion. With great pride, his son Sébastien now manages the museum and continues the family tradition by enriching this unique heritage to share with the public. This breathtaking museum can be visited all year , whether you are alone, with family or friends, with an annual closing in January.


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Article written by Lesley Williamson for the Guide Charente Maritime


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