French Foreign Legion Museum

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Musée de la Légion étrangère
Musee legion.JPG
Legion Museum seen since quartier Raphaël Vienot at Aubagne
Established 1934
Location Aubagne, France
Type Museum of the Legion
Visitors 25,000
Website Official Website (MLE)

The French Foreign Legion Museum (French: Musée de la Légion étrangère) situated in Aubagne, France, represents the history and arms history accomplishments (French: faits d'armes) of this institution throughout the course of various collections and expositions. The museum welcomes numerous visitors (almost 25,000 per year), as well as scholars and temporary expositions.


The Museum is heir of the Salle d'Honneur (Honorary Hall) of the 1st Foreign 1er RE created in 1892 at Sidi bel-Abbès, in Algeria. That Salle d'Honneur assumed the current designation in 1934.

During the repatriation of the Legion back to metropolis, the series collections rejoined France, since 1962. However, in account with delay installations and construction of the new structures (French: bâtiments) at Camp de la Demande, the first stone (French: 1re Pierre), under the presidency of Pierre Messmer, minister of the Armies took lieu in 1964 and the Museum opened doors on April 30 1966.

In 2003, the Museum was restructured; on another hand, the new organization implicated the creation of support structures. The Société des amis du musée de la Légion étrangère (Friendly Society of the Foreign Legion (SAMLE)) (French: Société des amis du musée de la Légion étrangère, SAMLE) was accordingly created at the request of the COMLE. This association ensures the judicial and financial support of the museum (object collections and functioning).

Closed since March 12 2012, the Museum has been the object of extension works since January 2011 aiming to double the surface by the construction of a new wing of 1000 meter squared. This subscription was in lieu to finance this enlargement of 3 million euros. This new museum, designated as « Louvre du Légionnaire » (The Louvre of the Legionnaire), was inaugurated on April 30 2013 following the arms ceremony marking the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Camarón.

The museum was opened to the public since May 7 2014.


The Museum of Aubagne[edit]

A couple of decorations in exposition at the Museum.
Wooden hand of Captain Jean Danjou.

The ground floor is articulated around the Salle d'Honneur (Honorary Hall). This Honorary Hall is the passing cornerstone of all Legionnaires. This Honorary Hall is engraved with the names of all Legion Officers who died for France. This Salle d'Honneur conserves the wooden hand of Legion Officer Captain Danjou, relic of the Legion, presented to the troops of men during the solemn ceremony of Camarón, on April 30.

The ground floor also features the decorations hall as well as the museum boutique store.

The first floor features the battle campaigns hall, organized within a chronological order and occupies in space the entire floor, through displays, with different époques as well as the different conflicts throughout the course which the Legion illustrated capability.

The courtyard of the museum is occupied with tanks and cannons types belonging to different campaign eras and also house a couple of tombstones, brought forth from far away distant campaigns. The back of the Museum, giving on the arms place (French: Place d'armes) of the 1st Foreign Regiment 1er RE, opens on the Monument morts de la Legion, grand sculpture Pourquet (French: Pourquet), representing a world map guarded by four legionnaires and inaugurated in 1931 during the centennial commemoration of the Legion at Sidi bel-Abbès. This entire world map sculpture was entirely demounted in order to be transported during the move of 1962.

The Legionnaire Uniform Museum[edit]

Hailing from a private collection, the legionnaire uniform museum is an extension of the Legion museum delocalized at the corps of the Institution des Invalides de la Legion Etrangere. The museum regroups 120 mannequin, illustrating the evolutions of the uniforms since the creation of the French Foreign Legion in 1831 until the modern presently époque.

Unique Museum in the world, set-up required numerous years of work on behalf of a passionate individual to refit and place all the pieces of equipment.

Center of documentation[edit]

The center of documentation, directed by the adjoint of the conserving authority of the Museum, is a working space allowing research historians, authors, conference delegates and scholars to pour themselves into the depth of documentaries housed by the Legion.

Strong with more than 4500 books and 10 000 iconic pieces, the center of documentation has for vocation to ground and treat all the media inventory of the Institution.

Consultations have lieu under the authorization of the général Commandant of the Legion.

Salle d'Honneur;

It must also be noted that each Legion regiment houses a regimental Salle d'Honneur (Regimental Honorary Hall), in form of a museum, along with a regimental memorial dedicated to the respectful regiment.



Regimental Salle d'Honneur[edit]

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 43°17′26″N 5°33′26″E / 43.29056°N 5.55722°E / 43.29056; 5.55722