Musée de la Mine à La Machine

Useful Information

Location: La Machine
Open: MAR to 14-JUN Sun, Hol 14-18.
15-JUN to 15-SEP daily 14-18.
16-SEP to OCT Sun, Hol 14-18.
NOV to FEB closed.
MAT to OCT daily after appointment for groups.
Closed 01-MAY.
Fee: Adults EUR 6, Children (6-15) EUR 3, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (12+): Adults EUR 4, Children (6-15) EUR 1.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: Museum: D=60 min.
Mine tour: D=90 min.
Address: Musée de la Mine à La Machine, 1 avenue de la République, 58260 La Machine, Tel: +33-386-509108. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1865 owned by Compagnie Schneider.
1946 nationalisation des mines (nationalization of mines).
1974 mine closed.
1983 mining museum opened.



La Machine, the town and the mine, were named after an important piece of mining technology. The machine was was actually a horse powered pump which drained the coal mine. Aftere early open cast coal mining the miners soon had to go underground. The main problem was the ground water, with no chance to drain to a nearby valley using a drainage tunnel, the water had to be pumped out. The introduction of efficient pump from Belgium was actually the start of the coal mining in the area.

The mine was owned by the Compagnie Schneider at least from 1865. This company had a very strict and rigorous management system, where the mining company controlled the life of the miners and their families by controlling housing, education, shops and bars. This system was called Système Schneider, and was rigid enough to survive the nationalisation des mines (nationalization of mines) in 1946. It finally ended in 1974 when the mine was closed.

The mining museum is located in the former siège administratif des Houillères (administrative headquarters of the coalmines). It was created because of the need of the former coal miners to commemorate their former community. The museum displays all aspects of the life of miners and their families. It is completed by an underground tour into the mine-image at the foot of headframe Glénons. This is the reconstruction of a mine tunnel which is used to explain the mining technology and the work of the miners.