Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Convent des Benardines; Home to Two Musees

The blue dome of the convent. The museum of religious art is here.

The cloisters are built around a courtyard.  The building is home to the Museum of Burgundy Life.

There are two museums in the former buildings of the Convent des Benardines.  One is religious art of Burgundy, which we didn't find very interesting, you can only look at so many silver chalices,   The second, is the museum of Life in Burgundy, which is both interesting and fun.  The later was started in 1868, as a way to preserve the history of local life.

The wax figures are incredibly beautiful and lifelike.

A bride on her wedding day.

An elegantly dressed gentleman.

The first section has displays which were from when the museum started in the 1860's.  The mannequins are wax figures with movable wooden hands.  All the clothing and furniture is authentic, but have been put into new displays to freshen them.  The amount of information is incredible.  They really are trying to save the past for the future.
The family sitting in their parlor.

Food preparation in a well stocked kitchen.

The upper floor has stores that were once on the streets of Dijon.  When the owners passed, the entire contents were either donated or purchased to be used in the museum.  Each store has the owners listed, the dates they were in business, their address, and some personal information about them and their business.

The Pharmacy

The Toy Store
The Toy store has an interesting story.  When the owner returned home for WWI, he found that metal and plastic toys had taken over the wooden toys in both popularity and price.  So, he moved his stock of handmade wooden toys into a back room and restocked with the new items.  He would occasionally sell an old style toy, but only if the purchaser was extremely interested.  Now, his wonderful toys are here for all to appreciate.

The Furriers, again a husband and wife team.  There is a video of an interview with the wife when she visited the exhibit for it's opening. 

The Laundry was run by a mother and daughter.

The Clock Maker.  The mechanism to the left is from a church clock made in 1605.

The Butcher
 The butcher shop was owned by a husband and wife.  When the husband went to war during WWI, the wife took on all the jobs of the butcher.  When he returned, she went back to being the wrapper and cashier. He died before her, so she went back to being the butcher, until the day came that she could no longer raise the heavy metal door.  She sold the shop that very day and retired.  She was 93.

A wig from the Hair Dressers window.  When he moved to a new shop, he put all his old things up in the attic.  He daughters donated it upon his death, 50 years later.

After the shops, there are static displays of famous men from Dijon, scientific instruments from the College of Physics at Dijon University and local products.  It was a very enjoyable and informative three hours!

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