Standing opposite one another in Rue Napoléon, the Napoleonic Museum and the African Museum make up the two museums on the Ile d'Aix.
As its name indicates, the former is dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte and is housed in the building the Emperor lived in before he was exiled to St Helena.
The African Museum, however, is the work of Baron Napoléon Gourgaud who donated a number of stuffed animals which he had killed on hunting expeditions in Africa.
The history of Ile d'Aix as we know it begins in the early 11th century, with the construction of the church and the priory of St Martin.
The creation of the arsenal de Rochefort in 1666 pushed the Ile d'Aix to become a fortified island, with a state of the art defensive system.
After the arsenal de Rochefort closed in 1927, the Ile d'Aix opened up to tourism, on an initiative led by the Baron and Baroness Gourgaud. The island soon became a key tourist destination in Charente-Maritime, which it remains today.
The Cercle nautique de l'île d'Aix is a set of various water sports to have fun. Paddle, sailing, optimist and catamaran for the young ones, come as a family and practice one of the various leisure activities, as an individual session or part of a course.
Le cercle nautique also offers a day-care service for boat owners, which means trailers do not have to be used.
Fort Liédot was built during the reign of Napoleon I, at the start of the 19thth century. Hidden in the middle of the forest, this enormous building measures no less than 8 100 metres squared.
In the past it was a site dedicated to defending the territory, but the fort is now open to the public for part of the year. In addition to the structure itself, you can also discover, with a guide, the different exhibitions which can take place there.
In the early 50s, Yvonne and Léon Gallet founded a company which would provide for a large part of the island's population for roughly 40 years. The Île d'Aix is the, therefore, the only place in France where the profession of mother of pearl craftsman is practised. In order to pay homage to the family business and the island expertise on working with mother of pearl, Hervé Gallet opened this museum in 2005.
Discover his original scenography and his beautiful items.