Le musée de la Mine Marcel Maulini

Useful Information

Location: Ronchamp
Open: FEB to MAY Mon, Wed-Sun 14-18.
JUN to AUG Mon, Wed-Sun 10-12, 14-19.
SEP to NOV Mon, Wed-Sun 14-18.
Closed 01-MAY, 08-MAY, 14-JUL.
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (10-16) EUR 1.50, Children (0-9) free.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 2.30, Children (10-16) EUR 1.50.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Musée de la Mine Marcel Maulini, 33 place de la Mairie, 70250 Ronchamp, Tel: +33-384-207050, Fax: +33-384-207050. E-mail: contact
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.


1757 first requests for coal exploitation concessions.
1759 start of production.
1862 start of the coking of coal.
1906 decline because of technical difficulties and reduced profitability.
1946 after World War II the the collieries were nationalised.
1958 collieries and power plant closed.
26-SEP-1976 Marcel Maulini coal mine museum inaugurated.
1991 bought by the municipality.
1992 integration into the Franche Comté techniques and cultures museum network.


The coal at Ronchamps was formed during the Carbon age, some 300Ma ago. The situation was suitable for the sedimentation of coal, which is actually at first a thick layer of peat, formed in a vast swamp during an era of continual downward movement. Here at Ronchamps was a lake basin, the peat was sealed by an airtight layer of silt after 20Ma of sedimentation. The pressure and temperature caused by the overlying layers of rock, started the process of coal formation. The amount of hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen was continually reduced which caused an increasing level of carbon.


The mining museum named after Marcel Maulini is located at Ronchamps. This city is well known, but actually not for the mining museum but for the modern church on a hill above the town, which was created by Le Corbussier. And actually the museum is not named after a miner, but a medical doctor. When the last mine and the power plant it fed were closed in 1958, Marcel Maulini, a local physician who had many miners as patients, had the idea that the remains of 200 years of coal mining should be preserved in a museum. He was the doctor of the collieries since 1946, his father was a stone cutter who died of silicosis. During his work he led numerous studies on this typical miners disease and its treatments.

The mining started in 1759, after the first requests for coal exploitation concessions had already been made in 1757. In this early days the production was very low, the coal was mined by hand, and it was very hard and dangerous work. During the French Revolution the mines became state property. But soon they were sold again and over the time were owned by various companies. The first mineshaft was built in 1810, the heyday of the coal mining. At the end of the 19th century 1,500 people worked in the mines and produced some 200,000 tons of coal per year.

Around 1906 the production became smaller again, because of the more difficult mining conditions. The geology was one problem, the coal measures became thinner, more shattered, and the quality of the coal decreased. On the other side there were collieries in the northern Alsace and Massif Central area, who became a strong competition. Actually the crisis of the mines was continual and incresing, and basically it was continuous decline in profitability. Finally the mines were closed.

The museum shows many aspects of mining and the daily life of the miners. It is located in a buiding with three storeys. The ground floor shows a large collection of tools, artefacts, and original photographs. Most of the exhibits were donated by miners. The first floor is dedicated to the large Polish community in Ronchamp, but also the daily life of the miners. The second floor contains the archives of some collieries. It is also used for temporary exhibitions.