Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen-Le Daviaud – The salt marsh
The Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen – Le Daviaud is a vast open-air museum founded in 1982 in the village of La Barre-de-Monts.
It consists of 80 hectares of original natural environment.
La Barre-de-Monts is located in the Baie de Bourgneuf.
This vast marshy area was the leading European producer of sea salt during the Middle Ages.
However, progressive siltation eventually led to its conversion into agricultural land.
La Barre-de-Monts still had about 300 salt marshes during the 19th century.
All have since disappeared!
The Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen therefore went in partnership with a local salt producer in order to redevelop one of the salt marshes.
The salt producer or saunier has harvested and maintained the salt marsh since the creation of the ecomuseum in 1982.
He also explains the various stages of salt production and let people visit his salt shack or salorge.
The Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen also became a member of Ecosal Atlantis (2009-2013).
This European programme focused on the study and improvement of traditional salt-making.
An insight in the marsh’s historical heritage
The open air museum also gives visitors an insight in the marsh’s rich historical heritage.
The various buildings located on the site were indeed rebuilt to the identical and with traditional methods of construction.
An artisan shares his know-how in the making of wicker objects and tools in a barn-workshop.
The farm or bourrine introduces visitors to a traditional vegetable garden, but also to ancient animals.
Some are locked in their pens, others graze on the site pastures.
One of the barns shelters a small museum which exhibits a wide range of paraphernalia.
These include everyday clothes, objects, tools and furniture, but also old photographs depicting the lives of the inhabitants of the marshes.
Finally, the Ecomuseum Marais Vendeen introduces visitors to the region through a series of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
It reopened in spring 2017 after several months of renovation and improvement.
You can visit on foot or by bicycle, it’s flat!
An excellent outing for the entire family.
Coordinates: lat 47.875946 – Long -2.103212