Écomusée Travel Through History

Nestling between the Loire estuary and the Atlantic Ocean, Saint-Nazaire has experienced exceptional development around its harbour. Through models, objects, movies and historical photographs, the Écomusée explains the rapid growth of Saint-Nazaire, a city which was built twice in the same century. You will follow the unique human adventure of Saint-Nazaire from the prehistoric times to the twenty-first century. Family-friendly workshops are held throughout the year.


Welcome to the Écomusée

The Great Adventure of Saint-Nazaire

Écomusée, located on the banks of the Loire estuary, is a museum about the historic, industrial and maritime heritage of Saint-Nazaire and surrounding areas. Genuine documents and collections tell the story of a city open to the world. Scale models, paintings, posters, photos, technical objects such as a lighthouse lens, a foghorn or shipbuilding tools, bear witness to the adventure of Saint-Nazaire.

A unique history

Throughout its history, the city of Saint-Nazaire has witnessed many proud moments, such as the conquest of the skies and seas, the progress in social advancement, but also the dark years of the Second World War. The exhibition takes you on a journey through this history, from the building of the harbour and the city in the nineteenth century to the rebuilding of the city in the 1950’s…

Three good reasons to visit Écomusée:

  • Be surprised by the amazing development of this city which had the highest population growth rates in France in the nineteenth century. Saint-Nazaire was called “Little Breton California” in reference to the anarchic development of the American cities during the gold rush.
  • Understand the importance of the privileged location of the city: the mouth of the Loire river, entrance to the Atlantic Ocean, between the Guérande Peninsula and the Brière marsh area.
  • Examine the scale models: famous vessels, seaplanes, shipyards, the old city of Saint-Nazaire… Children will be fascinated!


What our visitors think 

“Very interesting tour! A bright space with fantastic scale models! I learned a lot about this city during the war and the evolution of shipyards”

I spent an enjoyable time at the Écomusée while discovering the evolution of the city thanks to the maritime activity. The whole tour was really interesting”

I liked what I saw at this museum a lot. The tour tells the story of Saint-Nazaire since the Paleolithic Era. Obviously the most detailed period is the Industrial Revolution, especially the development of shipbuilding, but that’s not all. This territory’s aircraft manufacturing industry was also moving rapidly at that time

Practical Information

Visitor Info:

  • Self-guided tour, approx. 45 minutes.
  • The printed texts are available in French only.
  • Non-French speaking visitors will be given a free information leaflet upon arrival (available in English, German and Spanish)
  • More on this topic: “L’itinéraire bis de Mathilde”. Follow Mathilde from your smartphone, she reveals some of her favourites from the Collection. An interactive experience in French.
  • Animals are not allowed, except guide dogs for the blind.
  • See booking terms and conditions for groups of 20 people and more or our small groups offer from 10 adults.

Prices – Écomusée

FullReducedChildren aged 4-17

The more you see, the more you save!

#PASS 4 sites
Escal’Atlantic + Espadon submarine + Écomusée + EOL Centre Éolien

FullReducedChildren aged 4-17
#PASS Transat’
Écomusée + Escal’Atlantic
FullReducedChildren aged 4-17
#Pass Patrimoine
Écomusée + 1 guided city tour OR the Dissignac Tumulus
FullReducedChildren aged 4-17
  • Reduced price (on presentation of proof): students, job seekers, people with disabilities with one accompanying person, small groups from 10 to 19 adults
  • Free admission:
    • The first Sunday of the month (except July and August)
    • Children under the age of 4
    • Annual PASS holders
  • Where can I buy tickets?
    • On this website
    • On site, 3 ticket offices: submarine base, fortified lock and Écomusée
  • Means of payment: cash, credit card (VISA and Mastercard)

Last entrance 1h before closing time.

How to get here?

Écomusée is located at Avenue de Saint-Hubert, Saint-Nazaire.

It is a 10-minute walk or short bicycle ride from the submarine base (bike stands and lockers available on-site). For those driving, there are several car parks close by.

Public transportation:

  • Saint-Nazaire is served by both the TGV and the regional trains.
  • From the railway station, the nearest bus stops to Écomusée are:
    • ‘Rue de la Paix’ (Hélyce line, daily) + 17 minutes walk
    • ‘Ruban Bleu’ (U2 and U4 lines, from Monday to Saturday) + 14 minutes walk


  • Mobility impairment: the tour is partially accessible for mobility impaired visitors (the ground floor only)
  • Deaf and hearing impaired visitors: no specific arrangement
  • Blind and visually impaired visitors: no specific arrangement
  • Mentally impaired visitors: the tour does not contain any potentially problematic elements

For further clarification or information, please call +33 (0)2 28 540 640


We are committed to making sure our visitors have the most memorable experience possible. This also involves providing quality services to you.

Free services

  • Bottle warmer (available on request at the Admissions Desk)
  • Bicycle park
  • Bicycle repair kit (available on request at the Admissions Desk)
  • Wi-Fi