St Tropez has four wonderful museums, covering the very different topics of maritime history, avant-garde art, film and butterflies. What’s more is they’re all in wonderful settings. Here’s our guide on where to find them and what to expect.
Musée d’Histoire Maritime
You can find the Museum of Maritime History in the dungeons of the citadel of St Tropez. The buildings received protected status by the French government in 1921. The museum celebrates the lives of generations of local sailors and fishermen.
The citadel is a must-see for any visitor to the town, offering amazing views over the city and Mediterranean sea.
Opening hours: 10am to 5pm daily. €3. Under 12s go free.
La Citadelle, 1 Montée de la Citadelle, Saint-Tropez +33 (0)4 94 97 59 43
Musée de la Gendarmerie et du Cinéma de St Tropez
From 1879 to 2003, the police (“gendarmerie“) used this building in the centre of town. Since then, it has become the Museum for Police and Cinema, exploring the stories around St Tropez’s film scene.
The museum served as a backdrop for the 1964 movie, The Troops of St Tropez. It’s an interesting place to have a wander around. It explores some of the local myths around film shoots, including local resident Brigitte Bardot, who helped to make the town so famous.
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm daily. €4/€2. Under 12s go free.
Le Musée de l’Annonciade
The small but beautiful Annonciade museum is an old converted chapel. It was built by monks in 1510 whose job was to help seamen recover after being captured by opposing armies. After the French Revolution, the bell tower was taken down and the roof repaired. It was then handed over to a certain Georges Grammont who opened an art museum in the mid 20th century.
This special little place commemorates the town’s relationship with avant-garde art, in particular the work of the painter Paul Signac, who “discovered” St Tropez in 1892. He encouraged other artists to come and paint at his house, including Matisse. The museum displays work from 1892 to 1950 and considers itself the first modern art museum in France.
Opening hours: 10am to 1pm. 2pm to 6pm. Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Monday. €6/€4. Under 12s free.
La Maison des Papillons
The Butterfly House is a work of passion for painter Dany Lartigue. Set in an old house, in the old part of town, his small museum is devoted to over 35,000 specimens of butterfly, both exotic and native to France.
This house is literally full-to-the-brim with butterflies, carefully arranged on painted backgrounds. To make sure his museum was accessible to the public in the future, Dany Lartigue gave his house over to the city. One for butterfly lovers everywhere.
Opening hours: 10am to 12pm. 2pm to 6pm. Daily. €2. Under 12s go free.