Musée-Mine Départemental

Musée de la Mine Cagnac les Mines

Useful Information

Location: 20 Av. de Saint Sernin, 81130 Cagnac les Mines.
A68 Toulouse-Albi, at Albi stay on RN88 to Saint-Michel, turn left and follow signs to Cagnac les Mines.
(43.991877, 2.134195)
Open: JUL to AUG daily 10-19.
SEP to JUN daily 10-18:30, closed Wed morning.
Last entry one hour before closure.
Closed 01-JAN, 01-MAY, 01-NOV, 25-DEC.
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children (0-18) free, Students free, Seniors EUR 5, Disabled EUR 5.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided, D=90 min, L=350 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Musée-Mine Départemental, 20 Av. de Saint Sernin, 81130 Cagnac les Mines, Tel: +33-563-53-91-70. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


12th century earliest coal mining.
1810 mining company Carmaux founded.
1890 Mines of Albi founded.
1892 shaft n° 1 and 2 of mine de Campgrand sunk.
1905 shaft n° 3 of mine de Campgrand sunk.
1946 mines nationalized.
1960s beginning of decline.
1987 last underground mine closed.
1989 mining museum opened.
07-DEC-1993 mine de Campgrand listed as a Historical Monument.
1997 last open cast mine closed.
2020 closed for renovation.
22-APR-2023 reopeneing with redesigned reception, shop area, visitor route, and mine galleries.



The Musée-Mine Départemental (Departmental Mine Museum) documents the 700 years of coal mining history of the Tarn departement. It is located at a former mine in the village Cagnac les Mines north of the city Albi. This museum is quite new, it was actually opened to the public in 2023. However, we have listed this site for 15 years, and back then the museum was named Musée de la Mine Cagnac les Mines (Mining Museum Cagnac les Mines). It seems that they took advantage of the lockdown during the Corona pandemic to modernize and enlarge it considerably, including giving it a new, more pompous name.

The center of the abandoned mine is a headframe with a cage, a mine elevator. Visitors are equipped with a helmet and enter the cage that descends to the subterranean galleries. A 350 m long mine passage displays all steps necessary to mine coal. It also shows the coal miners’ working conditions.

This museum is about coal mining, and coal mines normally do not survive their closure. The volume of the extracted coal is huge, and as a result, there are huge underground voids, which tend to collapse. In order to avoid destruction on the surface, the voids are either filled in or more commonly collapsed in a controlled way during the mining operation. In other words, there is no such thing as an abandoned coal mine, coal mines are either operating or they are filled in. This is the reason why more or less all coal show mines have replica mines, a passage which looks like a coal mining passage, but actually is a fake. Of course, the machinery and tools are original, there are even some which still work and are demonstrated. But the passage was never mined, and there is no coal in this passage, as it is also fake. This last point is actually a good thing, as coal tends to produce gases such as methane, which is not only unhealthy but also flammable and presents a real danger of explosion.

The museum is located at the mine de Campgrand. This mine was opened in 1892 with shaft n° 1 and shaft n° 2, the latter was sunk to a depth of 202 m. They were replaced by shaft n° 3 in 1905, and only served as ventilation shafts until 1979. In 1979 shaft n°2 resumed service as a relief shaft until 1985, when the mine was finally closed.

The mayor and former miners of Cagnac-les-Mines planned the establishment of a museum in the location of shaft 1 and 2 immediately after the mine was closed. For this reason, they dug a 350 m long gallery close to the surface using the original machinery. In 1989, four years after the closure of the mine, the Musée de la Mine Cagnac les Mines (Mining Museum Cagnac les Mines) opened its doors. Soon a new exhibition building was built close to the headframe. While the mine was modernized and renamed, the website was abandoned, so there is actually no official website any more.