L'écomusée de Marquèze : Who has never dreamed of travelling through time ?

Published on 09/11/2022

How about forgetting your smartphone, tablet and electric scooter for a day and slipping into the shoes of an inhabitant of a farm in the Landes of Gascony at the end of the 19th century?

Nestled in the heart of the Landes forest in Sabres, 60 minutes by car from the Lou Pignada campsite, the Marquèze ecomuseum offers you an astonishing return to the past, starting with a train journey from another era. Discover it!

The journey back in time begins with a train ride from another era

75 km from the campsite, the Marquèze Ecomuseum is without doubt the most famous and one of the most unusual museums in the Landes. From Sabres station, you must first take the train that follows the old resin workers' route. Aboard wagons classified as historical monuments, you cross a small part of the Landes forest to get off, 10 minutes later, at the foot of the ecomuseum, terminus of the Sabres-Labouheyre line.

That's it, you're there... in 1890!

More than 100 years ago, a family of millers and forty or so farmers lived here in virtual autarky, earning their living from the rye and millet harvests, the breeding of poultry and Landes sheep, the fruit from the orchards, and then from the resin harvest when Napoleon III ordered the planting of the pine forest in the mid-19th century.
Since then, one has the impression that nothing has changed and that time has stopped above the Marquèze airial. The doors of the master's house are wide open. The tenant farmer's house is always full. Everywhere around the farmhouses and sheepfolds, the animals are being looked after. The bread oven crackles and the timber-framed mill runs at full speed... To discover all these old trades, the eco-museum offers guided tours for the whole family, a digital tour, as well as numerous activities to discover the skills and techniques of the past. Good news for our campers! They benefit from a preferential rate to visit the Marquèze Ecomuseum for less thanks to our leisure partner RESASOL. Take advantage of it!

A full day of discovery and walking

From 10:30 am, put on an apron for a lesson in "old-time cooking" at the Maison du Mineur. If you're a good student, you might just come away with the secret of how to make a pork stew with old-fashioned Armagnac or an authentic Landes pastis. If cooking is not your strong point, take refuge in the forest to discover the art of gemmage, an operation which consists of recovering the pine resin by delicately notching the trunk of the tree. Practised since ancient times, the harvesting of sap in the Landes de Gascogne reached its peak in the mid-19th century before disappearing completely in the 1970s.
At lunchtime, restaurants, guinguettes and a picnic area will allow everyone to enjoy the rural setting or to relax over a good meal.
After this friendly and refreshing stop, it is time to "spin" at the edge of the airial where a demonstration of flax spinning is being prepared. Afterwards, a short diversions to the Simples garden will delight all budding apothecaries. You will learn to recognise medicinal plants, their virtues and their uses.
At the end of the afternoon, the smell of hot bread just out of the oven will attract you to the Moulin de Marquèze, an old flour mill built on stilts in half-timber and cob. You will meet the miller, a key figure in the agropastoral life of the Landes de Gascogne in the 19th century.
But that's not all! In July and August, many other activities for all ages animate the airial and the miller's area: temporary exhibitions, participative workshops, old games, initiation to stilts, open-air cinema, Gascon meetings, mill days...
The Marquèze Ecomuseum welcomes you every day from April to November. More information on the official website: www.marqueze.fr