The Navy National Museum:
A museum built around its door ...
© MnM / Navy
The creation of the museum in Toulon
Installed since 1981, next to the clock tower, it is one of the few historic sites in the city to survive the Second World War.
The museum illustrates the history and the implantation of the French navy in Toulon by an exceptional collection of models of ships, paintings and archives which testify to the importance and the influence of the military port on the city.
The memory of the arsenal, essential to the development of the city
Today, the arsenal is no longer called but Toulon Defense Base. It is an essential economic player for the Toulon region, which employs more than 20 000 people. Its famous shipyard at La Seyne sur Mer has also employed thousands of people since its creation in 1711 until its final closure in 1987.
The Toulon military naval base is the most important city in the city and is the largest in France and houses two thirds of French vessels, including the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle and PCBs Mistral et Thunder. The second French port is on the Atlantic Ocean side, in the city of Brest.
The museum aims to explain how Toulon became the largest military port in the Mediterranean basin from the reign of Louis XIV until today. As soon 1710 Vauban gave the city an arsenal of 20 hectares that will continue to grow over the centuries until the current area of 270 hectares.
The facade of the museum
Completed in 1738, the old gateway to the Arsenal Toulon is a real architectural treasure. From a height of 15 meters, its monumental dimensions are perfectly balanced to protect the military port. It is dominated by two statues representing the gods of war: Mars and Minerva.
The door is classified in 1910, then moved from 90 ° to 1976 in order to welcome the visitors of the museum inaugurated in 1981. This impressive site remains engraved in the memory of the people of Toulon who do not fail to recall this moment as an anecdote of the city.
In addition to being able to admire it during your visit, here are some exclusive images of its displacement.