Musée de la Castre

Cannes, France

An attack by the Saracens in 891, who remained until the end of the 10th century, devastated the country around current Cannes. The insecurity of the Lérins islands forced the local monks to settle on the mainland, at the Suquet (today the old town). Construction of a castle in 1035 fortified the city by then known as Cannes.

The castle was damaged in end of the 16th century and partially demolished in the 18th century. In 1919, the municipality of Cannes acquired all the buildings in order to house its museum. Today the Musée de la Castre hosts 19th-century Riviera landscape art, musical instruments & ethnographical items in a medieval tower.


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Founded: 1035
Category: Museums in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Joel Le (2 years ago)
Really nice place, the walk up the hill to get here and the view is very very nice!
Grace liu (2 years ago)
Interesting content with highest towner located at central of museum, helpful stuffs speaks both in english and french.
SimonSimp “Vito Andolini” (2 years ago)
It's a nice place to sit ? good place to bring your dog ??
Ashley steffenss (3 years ago)
Beautiful, the view is beautiful
Rina Callens (3 years ago)
We visited this museum with my 5 y.o. this morning. The exposition is little and quite good to explain to a kid how primitive societies used different kinds of materials 'at hand' to live. Also, a lot of cult and religious items to explain beliefs in different times and places. We were THE ONLY visitors of the museum this morning and perhaps that, alongside the covid-19 hysteria, attracted that much attention to us, but we had a few remarks from museum attendants. First, one of the ladies (there was one in EACH of the some 7-8 rooms of the museum) decided my mask was not high enough on my nose (again, NONE but us and museum attendants on the premises), then another lady got anxious for my very small and completely flat "backpack" bag (nothing to do with tourist backpacks, a small 25x30 cm bag in the form of the backpack that I was wearing on my back to free my hands) and asked to wear it on my chest. The museum rules exclude drinking water (and mind it, it was 31C this morning and we are talking of a 5 yo kid accompanied by an adult). A couple of times I asked attendants for meanings of some of the words on descriptive panels we didn't know - the relatively young ladies knew none, the second one even retorted that she was a museum attendant and not a guide.... Seriously? My son was interested at first, but after this remark started asking me to leave the place. Eight employees in an empty museum, completely uninterested in their work and rather unfriendly towards the first morning visitors .... Oh yes, and full-price ticket (6 euro) although the tower was closed to the public for sanitary reasons, no reduction for the reduced service... A very unpleasant aftertaste although, as I said, the little exposition and its history could be worth a visit.
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Château de Foix

The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.

In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.

The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.

From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.

As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).

Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.

Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.