The Salagon priory, located in the heart of the Forcalquier region in the Luberon Regional Natural Park, is a remarkable medieval complex. Visiting the Salagon museum is a contemplative as well as an educational experience allowing you to enjoy a place full of serenity. Discover the heritage of Haute-Provence and stroll in the ethnobotanical gardens.
Notre-Dame de Salagon priory
The Christian vocation of the place is incredibly old. As early as the 5th or 6th century, a funerary basilica was built in place of an old Gallo-Roman farmhouse. The Notre-Dame de Salagon priory was attested as early as the 11th century, with the first written mentions in documents. At that time, it depended on the Abbey of Saint-André of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. Built in the 12th century in a Romanesque style, the Romanesque chapel has come down to us in an excellent state of preservation. Various buildings built between the 13th and 17th centuries, the priory abode, the barn, and the surrounding wall, testify to the prosperity of the priory.
The contemporary stained-glass windows of Aurélie Nemours echo the archeological remains, living witnesses of the very rich past of the place.
The heritage of the Haute-Provence department is honored with collections focusing on different aspects of daily life.
Agriculture and farming have been at the heart of the region’s economic activity for thousands of years and are presented through different objects. Each one gives a true testimony to the rural world of yesteryear.
Unusual objects, belonging to everyday life or of great value, are also presented. It is thus possible to discover, among other surprises, a crushing machine, a wooden snuffbox or a cane with a coiled snake.
Rites and festivals with religious connotations are also highlighted. Among the remarkable pieces, you can discover a hearse dating from the beginning of the 20th century, a traditional wedding headdress, and many photographic prints.
The ages of women are addressed through photographs, old postcards and everyday objects. This collection presents the discreet, yet essential place of women in the rural world of Haute Provence.
Monks once cultivated many medicinal plants in their monasteries, abbeys and priories. This ancient tradition continues with the ethnobotanical gardens of the Museum of Salagon, which are home to more than 1,700 cultivated plants.
The botanical garden presents the most useful plants in Haute Provence, which were found in domestic gardens, in the fields, in the pastures or simply along the paths. These village plants had for some of them healing virtues.
The medievalgarden brings back to life the vegetables, medicinal plants and flowers cultivated in the Middle Ages. Cereals and legumes evoke the eating habits of that time. Further on, a secret garden gathers poisonous plants, whose use was sometimes confused with magical practices.
The Garden of Modern Times allows us to better understand the role of plants in the evolution of our societies.
The Garden of Fragrances gathers many aromatic plants, for an exceptional sensory journey.
Exhibitions and activities
The museum of Salagon also regularly hosts temporary exhibitions with strong ethnographic themes: Intérieur paysan (Peasant Interior), Enluminures au jardin (Illuminated medieval garden), Les Cueilleuses (The harvesters) offer for example in 2020 multiple and different perspectives on the local historical heritage.
The museum also has a research center and an “ethnopôle” label. The resource center, consisting of a library and a sound library, is accessible to all. Publications and seminars complete the research offer.
Prepare your visit to the museum of Salagon:
- Opening days: weekly closure on Tuesdays
- Schedule: from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from May to September inclusive, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. the rest of the year
- Address: Le prieuré – 04300 Mane
- Website: http://www.musee-de-salagon.com/