Une visite à un écomusée.

Une visite à un écomusée.

ewn vee-zee tah uh nay-ko-mew-ZAY. Click below to hear this.*

A visit to an “ecomuseum”.

One of the delights of the internet is the ability to visit a place without stirring from your chair. Over the past several years, the major museums of the world have been posting virtual tours of their holdings and special exhibits, complete with explanatory materials and closeup views of artworks.

Here is a link to one such website: an ecomuseum in the heart of Brittany, in France.

What is an écomusée, you may ask? In the US, we have names like “living history museum” and “demonstration farm” for such places: a historical site preserved as it was at a fixed point in its history, with demonstrations of the activities of the location as they were performed in that era.

The Écomusée des Monts d’Arrée contains among other structures a house built in 1702, called la maison Cornec after the family that built it. The lit clos that I wrote about the other day (link here) is in this house, along with a few other pieces of furniture. People made do with less in those times!

There is a wealth of historical material on the website. It’s all in French, but worth wading through if you are interested in social history. I am. How people lived, what they wore and ate and how they cooked, fascinates me.

Two facts I want to call your attention to: the chest in front of the lit clos is built in, and serves for storage. And look carefully at the photo of the table. Note the box on the underside of the tabletop. That is the trough for the flour and the bread dough. The tabletop swivels back to give access, and is returned to its place for kneading the dough, preparing food, and eating.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:



2 responses to “Une visite à un écomusée.

  1. la soeur ainee

    Very interesting virtual tour, by going to the Maison Cornec link. I could not find the table you mentioned with the dough box beneath it, but did read (I think!) that the family members each stored their own place setting in a special compartment under the table after each meal. Not a whole lotta dishwashing in those days….On the “Site” screen, I can’t make out the identity of the little thatch-roofed, open-sided shed with a big iron wheel inside it. Can anyone help me with this?

  2. Good questions, both! I was mistaken about the location of the table-doughbox. It is on the Moulins de Kerouat tab of the website, at this link: http://www.ecomusee-monts-arree.fr/uploads/images/Gallery/interieursKerouat/interieurKerouat01.jpg
    As for the tiny shed, I suspect it is the same as the building sketched at the edge of the orchard, or “verger”. But the photo isn’t labeled or tagged, so I don’t know what it is. Could it be a shelter for a fruit press? Hand-cranked, of course…

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