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Regional Museum of History and Ethnography of Martinique

Museums in Fort de France, Martinique

Regional Museum of History and Ethnography of Martinique
Regional Museum of History and Ethnography of Martinique
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Description of the museum of history and ethnography in Martinique

The museum of history and ethnography is located in the heart of Fort de France. It will delight history lovers during a visit. You will discover testimonies of the life of several slaves, but also of West Indian notables.

The presentation and history of the Museum of History and Ethnography in Martinique

The Museum of History and Ethnography is located within a villa dating from 1887. It is one of the oldest villas in Fort-de-France.

Even from the outside, the villa is very pleasing to the eye with its beautiful ochre and orange colors. It sits in the middle of a tropical garden measuring more than 2,500 square meters where mango trees are planted. There are mahogany trees from the West Indies with bewitching and tropical perfumes.

Originally, the villa was the residence of the director of the artillery. On the first floor there was a hallway, a dining room, a living room and a large library. There was also a study. On the first floor there were three bedrooms and toilets. It was on June 11, 1985, that the Museum of History and Ethnography was created by the assembly of the Regional Council of Martinique. But it was only 14 years later that the museum was inaugurated.

The museum was opened in June 1999 after extensive renovations to the villa. During these few years, the Heritage Office has done everything possible to sensitize the young and not so young to the history of the island. This history is also their history and that of their ancestors. To this end, the Heritage Office has organized numerous exhibitions. Now in the public domain, the villa is the protector of the history of Fort de France, but also of all Martinique.

Visit the Museum of History and Ethnography

The museum can be visited in about an hour

The ground floor is dedicated to temporary exhibitions which mostly concern life as a slave. These temporary exhibitions usually last between 2 and 3 months.

Upstairs is where the permanent exhibition is located, which presents a bourgeois interior from the late XIXᵉ century. With its living room, dining room, bedroom and of course a bathroom.

The furniture and objects are characteristic of this colonial period. There are also period documents protected by glass cases. They offer a broad overview of the history of the island between the XVII and XIXᵉ century. The permanent exhibition is a true picture of what colonial life was like in the West Indies throughout the XIXᵉ century.

The few documents as well as the presentation of several figures who fought for independence constitute a precious testimony. The attic of the villa also contains a library dedicated to slavery. The corridors of the villa are filled with numerous jewels and Creole costumes as well as a sublime collection of old books.

The museums of the island of Martinique

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