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Museums of Martinique

Discover the history of Martinique through craftsmanship, traditions, great people and science.

With more than twenty museums, Martinique is also a land of culture. Do you like to visit the birthplaces of great historical figures? Are you interested in the memory of slavery? Are you fond of tasting local products? Follow the guide to find out which museums in Martinique to visit during your stay. 

Museums to discover the craft know-how of Martinique

The Banana Museum

Did you know that bananas can be used to make string and even organic plates? If you thought you knew everything about this fruit, the Musée de la Banane (Banana Museum ) surely has some things to teach you. It houses a playful exhibition with sound and light that traces the history of this emblematic fruit of Martinique. 

You can also wander through a garden with more than 64 varieties of banana trees. The highlight of the visit is the restaurant where bananas are cooked in all their forms.

The House of Cane

Sugar cane is at the heart of Martinique's identity. It is not for nothing that the only AOC rum in the world is produced here. Located between Trois-Ilets and Rivière Salée, the Maison de la Canne is an old distillery transformed into a museum. You will learn all about the techniques of rum making and its tradition on the island.
The permanent exhibition "A land, a plant, a people" also focuses on the history of slavery, which is inseparable from sugar production. The introduction of sugar cane in the 17th century precipitated the construction of vast plantations. 

In the West Indies, they are called dwellings. The slave system lasted until the final abolition of slavery in 1848. The production declines then, but is renewed, as another heritage site testifies.

Le Galion Sugar Factory

Present in La Trinité since 1865, the Sucrerie Le Galion is a Martinique institution. It is the only factory still in operation on the island. The factory is only open to visitors during the sugar season. To avoid unpleasant surprises, remember to check the visiting hours beforehand. Otherwise, you can always visit the shop, which is open all year round. Flavored sugar or cane syrup, you will surely find a souvenir to bring back from your holidays in Martinique. 

Daily life and traditions in Martinique: the museums of ethnography and history

The Savane des Esclaves

La Savane des Esclaves is the extraordinary work of one man. Gilbert Larose 's ambition? To preserve the island's heritage and pass on the knowledge of the elders. His open-air museum reconstructs the habitat of a traditional Neg'Marron village. 

This name refers to the slaves who fled the plantations to hide in the forest. To escape the colonists, the fugitives had no choice but to survive on their own. For the sake of authenticity, all the huts in the museum have been built using traditional techniques.
The Savane des Esclaves also showcases Martinique's artisanal know-how. To witness the making of chocolate or cassava flour, visit all the huts in the village ofAntan Lontan. The museum also houses a vegetable garden where typical island vegetables are grown. As a bonus, the site is only a few kilometers from the second largest city in the world. Favourite Village of the French 2020. 

Let yourself be charmed by the old Creole buildings of Anses-d'Arlet. With your family, you may prefer to go and meet the sea turtles in Grande Anse. 

The Regional Museum of History and Ethnography

In 1890, a huge fire ravaged 1600 houses across the island. Fort-de-France. Miraculously, the fire spared a villa built in 1887. It is in this bourgeois residence that the Regional Museum of History and Ethnography of Martinique is located today. The museum houses a vast collection of documents and old books tracing the history of the island. A gallery is dedicated to traditional Creole jewellery and costumes. 

You can also discover a permanent exhibition reconstituting a bourgeois interior of the late 19th century. From period furniture to everyday objects, the museum offers you a unique immersion in the atmosphere of Martinique in the past. 

Martinique through its great characters

La Pagerie Museum

Located in Trois-Ilets, don't miss a visit to the birthplace of Empress Josephine. Joséphine de Beauharnais was born there in 1763 in a sugar farm. In 1929, the mayor Gabriel Hayot had the idea to rehabilitate the site. He built a museum in the old kitchens dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte's first wife. The La Pagerie museum exhibits numerous objects from the empress's childhood, including her childhood bed. If the rest of the buildings are in ruins, the remains of the former property also give an insight into the island's slave history. 

The Aimé Césaire Museum

Aimé Césaire, a writer and politician, is probably the best known Martiniquan. The old town hall of Fort-de-France pays tribute to his career. The museum space exhibits the memories and personal objects of the great man. 

It also traces the history of his struggles. Do not hesitate to go up to the first floor to discover Césaire's office, preserved in its original state. You will be able to admire the original manuscript of Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. 

The museums of Martinique dedicated to science and natural history

The Museum of the Sea

The Musée de la Mer is a private museum with thousands of species of shells and animals. The work of a sea enthusiast, the exhibition houses more than 4000 varieties of shellfish including 700 West Indian specimens. The collections also include naturalized marine species. Shark jaws rub shoulders with crabs and other endemic Caribbean starfish. For original gift ideas, visit the museum shop. You may even leave with some Martinique shell jewellery in your luggage. 

The 1902 Disaster Memorial

The Earth Sciences Discovery Centre is nestled at the foot of Mount Pelée. Exhibitions there raise awareness of seismic risks, but not only. You may know this museum better as the Memorial of the 1902 Disaster. 

The museum pays tribute to the victims of the volcanic eruption that decimated the nearby town of Saint-Pierre. Through films and objects, you will discover the history of this historic trading post that has been active since 1635. A reconstruction of the city also allows you to explore its remains.

Eclectic and fun, the museums of Martinique offer you many possibilities of discovery. Whether you are a history buff or a craft lover, plan your visits now during your trip to Martinique. 

Questions fréquentes sur Museums

The best museums in Martinique according to our customers feedback are

The Savane des Esclaves
The Museum of the Pagerie
The Banana Museum
The Village of Pottery

  • The Slave Savannah
  • The Banana Museum
  • The Museum of the Sea
  • The Pottery Village