The Museum of Cerdagne
Housed in a beautiful eighteenth century farmhouse, whose buildings have been registered as a Historic Monuments since 1984, the Museum of Cerdagne, a particularly representative building in the local architectural style.
The history of this area dates back to the seventeenth century, after the partition of Cerdagne between France and Spain following the Treaty of 1659. Once a modest Pyrenean farm, it grew gradually under the charge of the Sicart family, and was assigned to the provost, becoming the representative of the King of France. When the French Revolution destabilised the power of the magistrature, the property passed to Mathieu Riu, a wealthy French businessman in 1810 who gave it the name Cal Mateu.
Inhabited until the 1990s by Jacques and Marie Bragulat, farmers since 1950, the Museum of Cerdagne to day both preserves and shapes the history of the area. Enjoying the label “Musée de France” since 1997, with an important permanent collection, many masterpieces and exhibitions, the museum presents the many facets of Cerdagne and shares the history of the Cerdan territory with visitors. Guided tours are possible.
Lots of cultural activities and entertainment to enjoy as you discover this exceptional region.
All exhibitions can be visited with a tour guide, who will help you discover the history of Cerdagne over time, its borders, its agriculture, its socio-economic make up, and the roles and uses of the old building housing the museum, from its origins to today.
The kitchen garden
South of the museum is a very special place where you'll find tranquillity and expertise combined. Once a vital part of the business of running a grand house, the kitchen garden is today a veritable catalogue of old and local vegetable varieties. A number of food crops that trace the history of agriculture in Cerdagne can be seen and tasted. Besides the vegetables for human consumption, fodder for farm animals is also grown (grain, forage). Growing practices in the garden ensure best use of the land, favouring the supply of compost produced on site, mulching to control weeds and reduce soil drying and thus use less water. The associations of plants and beneficial insects are cultivated to control pests, and the result is a veritable haven of biodiversity. The vegetable garden is also part of a process of gardening education, teaching about vegetables for eating and their use in folk medicine. Workshops and events are held regularly where a friendly atmosphere is always guaranteed.
The pathways of Santa Leocadia
"Chronique photographique de 1900 à 1960" is an exhibition by Alain Cava, a local resident, curated by designer Martial Laurent, and accompanied by the Cerdagne Museum team. You will discover the life, occupations, uses and realities of a time not so long ago as all that.
Life on the farm
Tilling, grazing and breeding.
The Labourers' Room
The plough, whether flat, single bladed or in the Brabant style, has always been the most iconic tool of the farmer. Its story is presented here.
This barn is kept in the condition it was in during the final years of its use. Photos and objects evoke a bygone time when Jacques Bragulat, the last farmer of Cal Mateu worked here.
Story of a Harvester
By the end of the second world war, modern agricultural machines began to be used in Cerdagne...
The Shepherds and Flocks of Cerdagne
Cal Mateu, like many Cerdagne farms, had its flocks of sheep. In this barn the business of keeping sheep is explained and illustrated.
The Last Gourd-making Workshop
In the 1990s, Salvador Sampietro, the last manufacturer of Catalan gourds died, and with him a centuries-old tradition. We still have a few pieces from his studio to help us remember his craft.
The Museum is open all year round for cultural events. Workshops for children and adults are offered in summer.