From High Antiquity
to contemporary times
and Camargue maritime heritage
The Museum of Saintes Maries de la Mer: a historic journey that began more than thirty centuries ago. More than five hundred exhibits will take you from the depths of the waters to the light of the marshes. Dive with us to discover a rich maritime past where Etruscans, Greeks, Massaliots, Normans or Saracens crossed paths. A brand-new exhibition to learn and be amazed by the ancient and recent findings of maritime archaeology, which reveal the past fortune of the region.
Take the opportunity to discover or rediscover the figure of the Marquis de Baroncelli, fervent defender of local traditions and emblematic figure of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
All of that without leaving the port.
1936 - 1942
Founded in 1936, the Museon Camarguen (Museum of Camargue) was inaugurated in the former town hall of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in 1942. It then hosted collections related to the local heritage, mainly gathered by defenders of Camargue traditions, under the benevolent eye of the Marquis Folco de Baroncelli. Directing the Felibrian newspaper "L'Aïoli" in Avignon, where his family owned the Roure Palace, the Marquis de Baroncelli was an ardent defender of local traditions and cultural heritage of Camargue. Félibres and Saintois (intellectuals and inhabitants) made several donations and, therefore, an eclectic collection of local stuffed birds, engravings, paintings, furniture and various objects is now available to visitors.
In 1945, the Museon Camarguen became the Baroncelli Museum, as a tribute to the marquis - who had died two years earlier. The collection was enriched with documents related to his personality and local ethnographic objects.
Since 2003 the collections of the Baroncelli Museum have been classified as "Musée de France".
Thanks to the willingness of the municipality to restore the collections of the Marquis de Baroncelli, as well as those related to ancient times and maritime history, a new structure was built: The Museum of Saintes-Maries-de-la- Mer, which has inherited the former collections of the Baroncelli Museum (now closed) and which also has an entire area dedicated to underwater archeology and maritime heritage of Camargue from High Antiquity to modern and contemporary times.