THE MAISON CHAMPLAIN IN BROUAGE
Because of the town’s close ties to Samuel Champlain and the region’s ties to New France, the
Conseil Général de Charente-Maritime and the Canada-France 2004 Program have chosen Brouage as
the site of a new Interpretation Centre.
The venerable 450-year-old town of Brouage - the birthplace of Samuel Champlain, is one of the most
visited places in the Charente-Maritime region, welcoming half a million visitors each year.
A seaport town made famous and influential by the production of salt in the 16th and 17th centuries,
Brouage, with its 150 permanent residents, is a protected historic site.
After the grand opening of the Maison, on June, 26th , the Maison Champlain is intended to complement
well-known sites in Brouage, such as the Halle aux vivres and the Poudrière Saint-Luc.
The fishery off the coast of Newfoundland, the production of salt to preserve fish, emigration from
the Charente region to Canada, the provision of military supplies to the colony through the Port
of Rochefort, all aspects of the heritage shared by Poitou-Charente and North America will be
presented at the Maison Champlain.
A HOUSE OPEN AND SPACIOUS
Built on “Place du Canada”, the architecture of the Maison will be in harmony with the protected
historic site of Brouage.
Behind a traditional designed street facade, a very modern space with natural light environment will
house the Interpretation Centre.
700 m² - two floors - will accommodate the various spaces. On the ground floor, with light coming
directly from the roof, will feature a permanent exhibition gallery and an educational activities
room. Designed around the central source of light, the main floor will include a computer gallery
with various interactive activities for the general public and a multi-purpose room for conferences,
films festivals, video screenings...
SHARED HISTORY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA
The permanent exhibition will focus on 5 themes:
- [“The Beginnings of New France”]
"Les prémices de la Nouvelle-France"
- [“Brouage, Exploring the Seas and Champlain’s Origins”]
"Brouage et l’ouverture sur les mers et les origines de Champlain"
- [“Business: a motivation for discovery and immigration”]
"Le commerce : moteur de découverte du territoire et prétexte de peuplement"
- [France in North America, how Champlain is perceived through our history”]
Apports floristiques et faunistiques de la Nouvelle-France
- [“Plants and Wildlife of New France”]
La France en Amérique du Nord, la perception populaire de Champlain au cours des siècles
The rooms dedicated to interpreting this shared heritage will provide access to a vast documentary
collection from the Département de la Charente-Maritime, a wealth of information from the Inventaire
des lieux de mémoire sur la Nouvelle-France [Inventory of the Sites of Memory of New France] and
documentary collections from Canada and various départements of the Poitou-Charente region, without
forgetting the 2 million documentary images available on the Website of Historical digitized Archives
of New France.