25 April 2024

Eclectic France

Observations on the sites, sounds and events around France


Musee du Moteur – Saumur Engine Museum

Tucked away in an old industrial building in a commercial area of Saumur is the Musee du Moteur – the Saumur Engine Museum. This fabulous little museum covers all kinds of engine: industrial, agricultural, automotive, aerospace and marine among others. These include 19th century steam engines, early 20th century oil and petrol engines and modern high-performance units. There are even rocket and jet plane engines on show.

The Saumur Engine Museum has been going since the 1980s and for some visitors it will seem old fashioned. Most if not all of the of the exhibits have labels and there is a fair bit of information. The museum displays many of the engines in groups or themes, such as industrial, automotive and so on. But there’s very little in the way of modern presentation or interpretation. However, potential visitors should not be deterred because this is one of those museums where you can get close to the exhibits.

It’s clear that many of the exhibits are unusual examples of their type. I am sure that stationary engine, car and motor bike enthusiasts will find it very interesting.

Opening times (broadly Tuesday to Saturday afternoons, April to October) are not as extensive as other local tourist locations. However, all the necessary details are on the museum’s website. Do check before visiting.

It was quiet during my visit – a weekday in May – but two or three members of staff were on hand. They were knowledgable and pleased to help with general queries and provide a bit more information. My impression was that the museum is run, like so many similar ones, by a team of volunteers and enthusiasts. That probably means they have a lot of detailed knowledge to share.

This maybe one of the more obscure museums in the area. But I think it will be well worth a visit for any car, motor bike or stationary engine enthusisast. I only had limited time on the day of my visit. It’s on my list of places to return to when I am next in the area. No doubt I’ll discover even more next time.

Musee du Moteur
18 rue Alphonse Caillaud
49400 Saumur