It is in the neighbouring department of Lozère, in Haute Loire, that the Beast of Gévaudan, an animal of Lozère if ever there was one...
Throughout a journey of 22 scenes, you enter on the same level in the history of this famous Beast which, from 1764 to 1767, killed and devoured more than 100 people.
This museum has two names: Lucien Gires and the Macbet Association.
After restoring the Tour des Anglais, which emerges from the roofs of the town of Saugues, Lucien Gires had another idea: The Beast of Gévaudan. He had heard about it, read in books about the misdeeds caused by this terrible beast, notably in the one by Abbot François Fabre.
In a dream he imagined it, drew its outlines, during his walks in the forest he thought he saw it at the bend of a path, appearing behind a tree, a bush.
In 1988, he decided: he would build her a Museum in Saugues.
An opportunity presented itself, a house is for sale on rue de la Tour. The Association acquires it, the plans are drawn up. The work begins, it will last four years.
Four years during which Lucien Gires, with the help of his daughter Blandine and a few friends, Jean Pierre Coniasse, Henri Aldon and others, will transform this building and give it new life and tell the story of the "Beast", with all its atrocities, all its mystery, with faithfully reconstructed landscapes, various characters of a surprising realism.
Jean Richard searches his archives, brings his infinite knowledge of the smallest details and provides the indispensable documentation to give the most faithful possible account of the authentic facts.
For the animation of the paintings, two external companies, "Oui-Dire" and "Atelier Lumière" are called upon to bring their know-how for the technique.
One by one the characters are created. Sixty-eight, surprisingly realistic. From the peddler Pierre de Gabale to the King's soldier, from the innocent victim to the Bishop of Mende, from the innkeeper to the nun of the Chazes convent.
The costumes are made in Le Puy en Velay, in Béatrice Perre's workshop.
In 1999, on 1 July, the Museum opened its doors to the public.
It remains a mythical place, the pride of Saugues and also of the Haute-Loire, the place where one likes to immerse oneself to live thirty five unforgettable minutes, with shivering, thinking of the victims of the terrible animal.
So a wolf, a hyena, the mystery persists, for how much longer?
Musée Fantastique de la Bête du Gévaudan (Fantastic Beast Museum of Gévaudan)
Rue de la Tour
Tel: 04 71 77 64 22
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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