Silver Mine Museum

The museum explains the history of the mines and exhibits the results of historical and archaeological research conducted over more than 20 years.


The museum complements the underground guided tour.

It is also the meeting point visits to the silver mine.

It expands on the mineral features and technical operations of the mine and of the ore.

Objects, photos, diagrams and plans make it possible to understand the activity that took place at the site.

A video charts the stages of the two operating periods and the transformation of the site since 1992.


Mine Museum
05120 L’Argentière-la-Bessée
Tel: + 33 (0)4 92 23 02 94


Not far from the historical centre of L’Argentière-La-Bessée: Château Saint Jean, Saint Apollinaire Church and the Saint Jean Chapel, circuits for religious heritage and agricultural traditions.

The mine museum at the Château Saint Jean

The Silver Mine Museum displays the results of 15 years of archaeological research at the site of the Fournel mine.

The Silver Mine Museum, set up in the old stables of the Château Saint Jean, an 18th-century building that was restored and registered on the Supplementary list of Historic Monuments, is also the place to reserve and set off for a visit of the mining site. In addition, there is a small thematic book store and an information desk for the Écrins National Park.

In the permanent exhibition hall, varying subjects linked to local silver lead ore mining operations are addressed.

Geology - geomorphology: sedimentary rocks, metamorphism, hydrothermal veins (formation), structural geology (formation of the Alps), mineralogy.

History: local history, history of mining operations techniques (Medieval, Renaissance, 19th century)

Socio-ethnology: miners’ conditions in mountain areas, techniques and history of techniques, mining hydraulics, mechanical treatment of minerals (mineralogy), Industrial Revolution.

The collection of exhibits testifies to the technologies used but also to the daily lives of the miners of yesteryear.

Finally, it is possible to show two documentaries (lasting 23 and 45 minutes respectively) in the projection room.

Mine museum:

In addition to the guided tour, this exhibition shows the historical and archaeological research, a 15-minute video, temporary exhibitions. The museum is open all year (for groups, by reservation). Open daily from 1st June to 31st August


‘Discovery’ tour: €8 adult, €5 under 16s, €6.50 adult discount and groups (> 10 people)

‘Classic’ tour: €14 adult, €9 under 16s, €11.50 adult discount and groups (> 10 people)

Museum only: €3

Tour info:

Visit of the mine from age 5, not recommended for people with frail health (access to the mine 10-15 min along footpath) Walking shoes recommended and suitable clothing advised
(temperature in the mine: 12 °C). Group numbers limited to 19 underground.

Fournel silver mine –  2017 Prices

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Fournel Silver Mine Museum
Telephone reception from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tel: + 33 (0)4 92 23 02 94