Bourail museum

  • Musée de Bourail

The various functions of the museum through time

The Bourail Museum is at the entrance of the village, in a beautiful stone listed building. It basically tells the story of the city and of its region particularly focused on livestock and agriculture. The building that hosts the museum is also full of history as it had various functions over time.

In 1870, at the time of colonization and of the prison, a prison farm is created. Convicted work there and are given land once their sentence is over: those pieces of land are called "concessions". Life in Bourail is organized around the penitentiary.
The same year is built the food store in order to provide food, clothing and bedding. This same central store now houses the museum of Bourail.

After the interruption of the convoys of convicts, this store had no more reason to exist and therefore closed. It found another usage following the passage of a cyclone in 1932, serving as a refuge and sometimes church for the celebration of Masses. In 1938, it became a cheese factory.
But following World War II, agriculture is changing and it is the cattle that grows in the region, to the detriment of the cheese. So the factory closes its doors in 1949 for lack of sufficient activity.

The house then passed through several hands. It was bought by the territory in 1966 and renovations are carried out between 1984 and 1986, before the opening of the current museum.

Several times in history presented there

To trace the history of Bourail, the museum wanted to highlight different periods. The colonization is represented via multiple pictures and objects including the reconstruction of colon house or the famous guillotine (only 2 left on the Caledonian territory) that recalls the darkest hours of the executions of that time. The period of the Second World War is shown by the illustration of the presence of US and New Zealand troops in Caledonia.

Finally Kanak culture is not forgotten with a beautiful traditional hut exposed, petroglyphs and artifacts of everyday life.
Apart from these permanent exhibitions, the Bourail museum offers visitors braiding workshops on Tuesday morning. Guided tours are also available via pre-booking.

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 11:30 am and from 1pm to 5pm
Price: 250 XPF/ adult and 100 XPF / child
Phone: +687 46 46 12
Address: Simone Dremon Street 

Languages - French


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