Musée du Pétrole

Musée Français du Pétrole

Useful Information

Location: 4 Rue de l'École, 67250 Merkwiller-Pechelbronn.
(48.936827, 7.827664)
Open: APR to JUN Wed-Fri, 1st Sun, Hol 14:30-18.
JUL to AUG Tue-Fri, Sun 14:30-18.
SEP to OCT Wed-Fri, 1st Sun, Hol 14:30-18.
Fee: Museum: Adults EUR 5, Children (10-18) EUR 4, Children (0-9) free, Students (-26) EUR 4, Disabled EUR 4.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 4.
Excursions: Adults EUR 7, Children (10-18) EUR 5, Children (0-9) free, Students (-26) EUR 5, Disabled EUR 5.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 6.
Classification: MineCrude Oil
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Géo Marchal (1933): Pechelbronn, la mine française de pétrole in La Vie en Alsace, décembre 1933, no 12, p. 283-286
René Walther (2015): Pechelbronn, l'histoire du plus ancien site pétrolier français Physio-Géo, Volume 10 | -1, 5-6. Ronald Hirlé, Musée français du pétrole, Merkwiller-Péchelbronn, 462 p.
Jean-Claude Streicher (2011): Les pionniers de l'or noir Strasbourg, Ronald Hirlé, 2011
Address: Musée du Pétrole, 4 Rue de l'École, 67250 Merkwiller-Pechelbronn.
Musée du Pétrole, Administration, 2, rte de Woerth, 67250 Merkwiller-Pechelbronn, Tel: +33-388-80-91-08.
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.


the 15th century first oil exploitation site in Europe at Merkwiller-Pechelbronn.
1735 begin of oil exploiting.
1927 Société des Huiles Antar (SHA) incorporated to distribute lubricants manufactured by Pechelbronn.
1970 oil production ends.



Musée du Pétrole (Oil Museum) or Musée Français du Pétrole (French Oil Museum) is dedicated to the oil deposits of the Rhine valley. The museum visit begins with a welcome film in French, German, English or sign language. The visit of the exhibition is free, explanation labels are in French, ask the reception for guidebooks in English or German. There are seven multimedia terminals to browse the movie archive of the museum. It is also possible to get explanations about geology, prospecting, drilling, pumping and mining crude oil.

In this region the peasants were well aware about the underground oil since Medieval times. They soon learned how to use it, for lubricating the wheels of a cart, or for making a boat water-resistant and water tight. Or as medicine. But they needed only small amounts of the substance. This changed in the first half of the 18th century, when the systematic extraction of oil started. At this time the production of kerosene from the crude oil was discovered and the kerosene was used for lamps. Lamps which burned well, produced bright light and used cheap fuel were obviously quite popular. The production of oil lasted until 1970. At this time the consumption of oil had reached heights, for which the small local production was completely irrelevant. And with huge tankers and pipelines, the domestic production was also too expensive.

At Péchelbronn, several oil extraction techniques have been developed. It started in shallow shafts, then in mine galleries, and finally by drilling and pumping. This also required the development of new machines. The area was probably the center of French