Food Hall

The Halle aux Vivres is a French museum located in the citadel-museum of Brouage , today one of the high places of tourism of Charente-Maritime 1 where 500 000 visitors roam the streets of Brouage every year which enjoys the prestigious status of Grand national site since 1989 2 .


Having gained notoriety, the Halle aux Vivres is today on selective list of museums in the Poitou-Charentes region 3 .

This museum is located in the largest building of the citadel was founded in 1990 . It precedes the twin museum of Maison Champlain , open to the public in 2004 , with which guided and commented tours are conducted jointly because of their very complementary aspect.


This beautiful and elegant building in red brick and white limestone was built in 1631 4 , reminiscent in form of architectural replica of the royal rope of Rochefort 5 . But it is much smaller in size with its 54 meters in length. However, its footprint is quite large, extending over 700 m² and being built on two levels, with a four-sided roof and pierced with 48 windows 6 .

It served as a warehouse to supply the troops and warships of all the coast of Charente and the estuary of the Gironde. It also served as a beverage depot that included wines and beers, cognacs and other spirits in considerable quantities until 1816, when the food hall was turned into a powder keg. This new function was maintained throughout the xix th century 6 .

It was in the inter-war years that this building was sold to an individual who made some damaging renovations including the desolation of the second floor but, after the Second World War , the building fell inexorably in ruins.

In 1990 , this construction, until then very damaged and dilapidated, and in a state of abandonment, was entirely restored at the expense of the State through the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Poitou-Charentes region and the department. of Charente-Maritime.

The second floor that had been demolished was remodeled as well as the two end doors. In addition, the beautiful double arched vault supported by ten central pillars was the subject of a rehabilitation identical to a plan of 1754 . It is the largest building of the citadel of Brouage.

After its restoration in 1990, the Halle aux Vivres became one of the essential sites of the citadel-museum Brouage and is now widely recommended by the tourist office of Charente-Maritime 7 or that of Poitou -Charentes 3 as well as in many tourist guides such as the Michelin Green Guide 8 .


La Halle aux Vivres is a full-fledged historical museum and since 1990 has become the Musée des Places Fortes .

It houses in particular many plans, reliefs, models and various objects, as well as a reconstruction workshop of the relief map of Brouage which has realized the remarkable relief plan of the Citadel of Brouage according to a model of the seventeenth century. century .

The building also houses a permanent exhibition of the European Center for Military Architecture .

Finally, the Food Hall receives annual temporary exhibitions of great historical and cultural value. Among these, a historical exhibition put in place in 2007 was dedicated to Brouage open to the world , in association with Maison Champlain by an ambulatory reading path with a guided tour between the two museums.

In July 2009 was inaugurated a new exhibition, entitled ” Brouage and the Netherlands, the Atlantic world “, in the presence of the Ambassador of the Netherlands to celebrate the fifth centenary of the Reformation in honor of John Calvin . This exhibition was realized in close association with the University of La Rochelle 9 .


  1. ↑ See especially the official tourism website of the Charente-Maritime  [ archive ]
  2. ↑ / Brouage at the Grand Site of France  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ a and b / Halle to food-on museums list of the Poitou-Charentes region  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ Raymonde Litalien, Denis Vaugeois, Champlain: the birth of French America , editions of the North, 2004, p. 40. This book was available online  [ archive ] on May 8, 2011.
  5. ↑ Michelin Green Guide, The Charente-Maritime, editions of the Guides and Michelin maps, 2008, p.123
  6. ↑ a and b JL FLOHIC, The Heritage of the Charente-Maritime , Flohr editions, Volume 2
  7. ↑ Official Website of Tourism in Charente-Maritime  [ archive ]
  8. ↑ Green Guide – La Charente-Maritime – Michelin Publishing, 2008, p. 123
  9. ↑ Kingdom of the Netherlands News: “Brouage and the Netherlands, the Atlantic World” Halle aux food Brouage  [ archive ]

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