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Musée des Blindés, Saumur

(700+ reviews on the web)
History Museum Specialty Museum
Colonel Michel Aubry spearheaded the creation of Musée des Blindés in 1977, with only a small collection of military tanks. Today, it’s a singular repository for multinational armored vehicles, including acquisitions from Iraq. Walk around the hundreds of armored fighting vehicles on display, which represent only a quarter of the museum’s holdings. In the curiosity room, see a lighter side of military motor vehicle history, such as a Vespa embellished with a rifle that doesn’t recoil and other odd bits left over from film sets. Unfortunately, abandoned experimental vehicles from French military research facilities are hidden away, but you can read up on them in the library. Use our Saumur vacation route planner to visit Musée des Blindés on your trip to Saumur, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A wonderful mecca for all armoured fighting vehicle buffs. there are some 300 plus examples with some in full working order headed by the only fully working Tiger 11 in the world - well worth seeing.  more »
  • This really is big boy toys! Tanks everywhere you look right from WWI vintage to very modern and all apparently in working order. Mark you looking at the barrels of some I doubt they would be classed ...  more »
  • Excellent tank/armored museum! I just wish that it was cured to a higher standard of viewing cosmetics and with a better tank-viewer positioning posture.  more »
Google
  • I took my son to visit the Musée des Blindés when he was playing a lot of World of Tanks and War Thunder. He loved it. There's so much to see, and everything is well-documented (there's so much to read). It's worth the trip from Paris. I'm not very interested in tanks, but I also really enjoyed the museum.
  • This museum is absolutely essential for anyone who has studied war history, machines, or both. The exhibitions cover everything from the very first tanks and other vehicles to their modern equivalents, and it was really cool to see how the technology evolved and changed. All the tank 'stars' are there - Sherman, Churchill, Panther, King Tiger, etc. - and lovingly maintained. The descriptions are generally in English as well as French and German, but I found the translations a little stilted and vague compared to the original - you'll get more useful info out of it if you can read French. My sole (small) complaint with the museum was that it does tend to glorify war a little bit, with inspiring slogans written on the walls and so on. It's worth remembering that these are engines of mass killing. I've seen some other museums with a better balance of the "war is hell / war is glorious" dichotomy. Not to miss if you're at all interested. I loved it.
  • Wonderful! Has a great selection of vehicles, and is very simple, so even American tourists like me can understand. Very impressed!
  • As an avid amateur historian, I became a member of the Musée des Blindes quite a few years ago as it's on my doorstep and I visit quite often. Each time I do visit, I usually end up finding something that I hadn't seen before, or some other detail pops out that I hadn't noticed. So a visit is never, ever wasted here. The staff are friendly and always ready to help. The static displays are made even more interesting when you realise that a good percentage of these machines still move under their own steam! The Tigre Royale (King Tiger) is the only example in the world that's still running. If you get the chance to visit around Pentecot (end of May), then do. There's the International Concours de Maquette (Model competition), that's fast becoming one of the foremost displays of its kind in France. Over the two days there are two displays of the tanks outside on the parking lot, and if you're lucky - you'll get to hear the Tiger II growl menacingly! The only real downsides are the prices of plastic kits and other goodies in the museum shop. Very much on the expensive side when compared to both online prices as well as a local store. The other thing is the lack of a decent café. Often, it's the dads and boys that'll spend an hour or two here, leaving mums and sisters in the seating area by the Accueil. There are a couple of vending machines and plenty of seating and tables, but a café (as at Bovington, UK) would be a very welcome addition, not to mention a potential, additional income stream. It loses a star for me because of these two minor grumbles. A voir absolument!
  • It's an Amazing Museum! It has several tanks of all the ages, ftom WWI up to the contemporary Age.