The village of
Truly a living history book, les Forges de Pyrène plunges visitors into the world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through live workshops, bygone practices and the life of artisans. You will also be welcomed, upon the opening of their shops, by our craftsmen – entertainers: the blacksmith’s workshop, the shoemaker, the bread oven, the potter, the writing workshop not forgetting the gold panner in the river “Scios” during the summer. Notably, up to 6 workshops per day from 10:30 to 18:30, all workshops are covered and take place even in bad weather; all that remains is for us to wish you a good visit.
La Forge à Martinet
Already present in the Middle Ages, this big forge hammer driven by a water mill, is one of the last still operating in France. Commonly known as the “Forge à martinet”, it has kept its original appearance and still retains its dark and mysterious atmosphere. Philippe (Zézé), holds its secrets and shares them with you.
The museum of trades of the past, of Forges de Pyrene, brings together the largest collection of tools and objects displaying 130 trades in 5000 pieces. From the most famous to the most unusual, the trades are displayed via a slide show, an educational room and customised tours for groups.
The trades are grouped under five thematic areas:
– street trades
– agriculture and livestock
– domestic life
“The Ages of Life”
Baptistou, 85, takes you on a journey through time, which is both fun and moving. By addressing his granddaughter Marion, and aided by an interactive scenography, he immerses you into the heart of the 1900s to the delight of the entire family.
The village blacksmith
The pivot of rural life, the blacksmith is also the soul of the village. In this workshop, with one singular smell, the iron began to glow on a coal bed fanned by the bellows. Before you he transforms the iron with the sound of the hammer striking it on the anvil. He cuts, lengthens, stretches the material to make horseshoes or nails. This multi-talented man becomes a Farrier or Cloutier.
During the demonstration, the shoemaker reveals the stages of manual production of the shoe with the different tools such as the hucholle (used to put holes in the hooves), the paroir (used to chisel the drafts), the gimlet, the gouge, the rubble and the hoof knife. The lifestyle of our elders will also be discussed through anecdotes: the decoration of the hooves at night during vigil, the shoe of a bride, a smuggler or even a Bethmale.
The basket maker
This workshop conjures the history of the basket making trade, details the different materials used in weaving and how wickerwork items were made. It then goes on to focus on techniques of making the essential objects used in agricultural trades and daily life.
The bread oven
In the past the Fournier managed the communal oven, the heating for cooking by looking after it. You find out about the wood oven and its origins, as well as bread and its trade secrets. The more thing complicated here, will be being patient before tasting, as sourdough bread will make foodies drool.
The gold panner
Under the counts of Foix the collection of gold was widespread, the work consisted of a large number of washes to clear the sand of the gold flakes. Here you attend demonstrations with old tools: pan, shovel and bowl.
The writing workshop
This participatory workshop plunges you into the atmosphere of a school in 1900. Rediscover desks, ink, pens and pen holders for a writing lesson between thick and thin. Don’t be silly, our school masters and mistresses shall ensure discipline and the dunce cap is never far…
The Master Glassmaker
Vincent Pull our master glassmaker holds the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. He specialises in making and restoring stained glass windows. Discover the traditional methods he uses and admire the colors, transparency and magical reflections he creates with the stained glass.
Laure Bernardoni is a mosaic artist, trained in North-East Italy and specialises in ancestral techniques of creating mosaics. Feel free to push open her workshop door and discover the traditional techniques and methods she uses : hammer and hardie
Our passionate historian-blacksmith, has worked at Les Forges for 20 years. He keeps the memory alive in La forge à Martinet
When speaking about the ancient crafts, rigor and accuracy are essential. It will carry you in his stories with malice
A funny and theatrical man, he will help you discover with good humour the life and methods of the artisans of yesterday.
He will guide your pen on the school jotter, pay attention to spelling mistakes for the dunce hat is never too far…
The Gold Panner of Scios, will share his many travels that led him on the paths of the gold seekers around the world.
Friends with the animals, he knows the secrets of the forgotten crafts, his experience will let you wander through time.
This metalwork enthusiast handles his hammer and anvil with unrivalled skill! He transforms iron, bringing it to life with his original creations.
Trained in the north-east of Italy according to traditional methods, the bubbly Laure will make you discover the art of mosaic during a moment of exchange and sharing!