The Rouergue Museum, located in the old prisons of Espalion, houses various collections on the arts and popular traditions of Rouergue. This prison was built in 1838 by the Aveyron architect Etienne Boissonnade and was the first cellular building in France. Its conception represented a considerable progress as regards hygiene, safety and morality.
The men were housed in the right wing, the women in the left wing, with the central pavilion serving as a chapel.
The complex was closed in 1933, when the prison buildings were centralized.
It houses the collections of the customs and habits of the Departmental Museums of Aveyron.
Along the two wings of the old prison and inside the old cells are presented collections on the manners and customs of daily life in the past (weights and measures, religious life, ceramics, copper, pottery), some of which date back to the Gallo-Roman era.
The cells on the second floor are reserved for the Joseph Vaylet Museum's library, which contains more than 6000 titles on traditions, history and the Langue d'Oc: access is reserved for researchers only.
This museum devoted to the archaeology and popular arts and traditions of Rouergue is composed of several sections spread over different communes: museum of customs and habits in Espalion; departmental archaeological museum in Montrozier; museum of stone crafts and rural life in Saint-Beauzély; museum of traditional arts and crafts in Salles-la-Source; museum of rural cartage in Salmiech.
Museum of Rouergue
Place des Prisons,
Tel : 05 65 44 19 91
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