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was created originally in 1825 to house a collection of curiosities which had
been assembled by Viscount Isidore Leroy de Barde who was a prominent painter
of natural history subjects in the reign of King Louis XVIII. Since then varied
and rich collections have been added to the museum. Due to Boulogne’s
geographical location as a seaport, there were many travellers who left the
shores of France here to explore the world. There were numerous highly educated
personalities with links to the city who later donated their collections to the
museum when they returned home. Among these was Ernest Hamy, founder of the
Trocadero museum in Paris who also felt a commitment to enriching the museum in
his home town.

museum celebrated 25 years since its installation in the county palace of
Boulogne sur Mer, and this was the opportunity to refresh many of the museum’s
permanent displays. The visitor itinerary in the museum has been entirely
redesigned, and the collections have been put into four main spaces.
visit concludes with a part of the museum dedicated to displaying local
contemporary cultures. The intention is to lead the visitor out of one culture
and into another.

department of Mediterranean archaeology includes the Egyptian collection,
comprising sarcophagae as well as a mummy dating from the Lower Period which
inspired Auguste Mariette to embark on a career as an Egyptologist. The
Mariette collection has been here since the inception of the museum and over
the years it has been enriched by the addition of objects donated by private
individuals, as well as a significant donation from the Louvre in Paris. The
central theme is around religious beliefs and funeral rites.

department also includes a collection of Greek ceramics comprising 450 pieces
of high quality including “The suicide of Ajax”, the masterpiece of the museum,
attributed to Exekias and dating from 530 BC. The piece is notable for the fine
quality of the pictorial representations, representing a hitherto unknown
illustration of the hero’s final moments. Elsewhere in the display, you will
note an ensemble of pieces devoted to the figure of Heracles. This was acquired
in 1862 from the collection of Charles Louis Fleur Panckoucke who was a
prominent antiquarian in his day, assembling a collection of more than 400
items. Although the collection is incomplete, you can follow most of the
mythical epic sagas of the Greek hero.

department of ethnography devoted to collections far from Europe takes the
visitor on a voyage around the world from the funeral ceramics dating from the
pre-Columbian Americas, to Oceania as well as Africa. The extraordinary
richness of this department is due to the presence of a collection of objects
from Alaska. Here you will find a unique series of artefacts including
ceremonial masks from the Sugpiat of Kodiak island. The importance of this
collection is recognized on a worldwide basis and was brought back to France by
the young Alphonse Pinart in 1872. There are two main parts of the collection:
the first comprises masks carved from driftwood coming from the Aleutian
islands the purpose of which is not fully understood. The second part comprises
70 Sugpiat masks from the Kodiak archipelago in Alaska. The masks were used
during festivals to worship the spirit world as well as the seasons – in
particular, winter. Since 2006 the museum has been developing a partnership
with a museum at Kodiak which has allowed some of the enigmatic symbols to be
  Thanks to this work, the
museum is able to present a display of Sugpiat contemporary art. As such this
partnership represents the commitment by Boulogne museum to demonstrate the
culture of contemporary Alaska.

will also discover one of the most important collections of art from Oceania to
be found in northern France. Collected mostly during the 19th
century this comprises for the most part a collection of weapons as we’ll as
some rare pieces such as the Tupuanu mask from the Mortlock islands donated by
Alphonse Pinart.  There are also a number
of ancestor statuettes and objects for everyday or ceremonial use, such as a
fine statue from the Marquesas islands representing a Tiki and a Maori war
canoe collected during the voyage of the Astrolabe in 1827 under the command of
Dumont d’Urville.

richness of the local cultural and historical heritage is reflected in the
Local History Department. This covers the Roman period, ancient Bononia and
Gallo-Roman treasures, medieval statuary up the Napoleonic period and the
famous “Boulogne Camp.”

digs from the 19th century and later have revealed much about the
city’s Roman and medieval periods.

1926 the archaologist and collector of medieval artefacts Camille Enlart donated
over 1000 pieces from a personal collection, comprising items from the middle
ages to the Renaissance. Fragments of sculptures and architectural vestiges
reveal the artistic power of northern French culture and in particularly the
importance the churches in and around Boulogne.

department also pays tribute to the Napoleonic period, in particular the
presence of the Emperor on the Opal Coast when he considered ways of staging an
invasion of England, as well as the illustrious ceremony on 16 August 1804 when
he awarded the Legion d’Honneur to a large number of his troops. 
contrast, the museum also has a collection of caricatures published in England
providing a different take on these events.

Fine Arts department encompasses a collection allowing the visitor to follow
the evolution of painting since the 15
th century, up to the 20th
century. Notable works include the Virgil and child by the Master of San
Miniato, also Laban looking for idols by the Flemish mater Pieter Lastman, one
of Rembrandt’s teachers.
  You will also
find an extensive collection of 19
th century French paintings and
sculptures which for the most part were included in a donation made in 1916 by
Charles Lebeau. Among the works are paintings by Courbet, Corot, Boudin,
Sisley, Rodin, Carpeaux and Gallé. There are also works by local artists
revealing the richness of
  art in this
region in the 19
th century.
The pictureaue lifestyle and traditions of the Pas de Calais are shown
in works by Virginie Demont-Breton, Auguste Delacroix and Jean-Charles Cazin.
The exhibition concludes with a series of artworks donated in 2008 by the
abstract artist Georges Mathieu, who originated from Boulogne.
  The artworks exhibited here are testimony to
the changing trends in art between 1950 up to 1990, including the idea of fast
gestures, linear symbols which recall Chinese calligraphy, or patches of
colours, projections and spray-painted works inspired by the “Tachist”


opened in 1825, the museum has several rich collections, some of which are
unique in Europe:


Greek vases,

from ancient Rome and Gaul,


of Oceania and Africa,

and porcelain,



The Georges Mathieu collection.

Visits and opening hours:

From May 2nd to September 30 : 10 am - 6 pm
From October 1st to April 30 : 10 am - 12.30 / 2.30 - 5.30 pm

The museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Services and equipments
  • Shops
  • Conferences
  • Guided tour
  • Temporary exhibitions
  • Workshop for children
Useful information
Le Musée
Château Comtal
Rue de Bernet

Phone: +33 (0)3 21 10 02 20



  • Groups allowed
Spoken languages
  • french
  • english
Exposition temporaire tarif réduit
2 €
Exposition temporaire plein tarif
3 €
Collections permanentes tarif réduit
3 €
Billet couplé tarif réduit (collections permanentes + exposition temporaire)
4 €
Collections permanentes plein tarif
5 €
Billet couplé plein tarif (collections permanentes + exposition temporaire)
6 €
Billet combiné tarif réduit (musée, crypte, exposition temporaire)
3 €
Billet combiné tarif réduit (musée, crypte, exposition permanente)
4 €
Billet combiné tarif réduit (musée, crypte, exposition permanente, exposition temporaire)
5 €
Billet combiné tarif plein (musée, crypte, exposition temporaire)
6 €
Billet combiné tarif plein (musée, crypte, exposition permanente)
8 €
Billet combiné tarif plein (musée, crypte, exposition permanente, exposition temporaire)
9 €
Carte d'abonnement + 18 ans
20 €
localisation and around
Near(by) :
The fortified part of BSM