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Discover the museum’s history

History of the Villé Valley Museum and its Association

The museum and its association were founded in 1980.

They are the result of a common will to preserve the heritage and traditions of the Vallée de Villé, which came from the cantonal political authorities of the time, as well as from associations, in particular the Société d’Histoire du Val de Villé, and motivated individuals.

1. The first museum

The museum was set up in Albé (67220), in the most picturesque village in the valley. This was made possible by taking advantage of the opportunities available at the time:

– The municipality of Albé offered the vacant building of its former town hall,

– The work could be funded under the Contrat de Pays.

It was here, in the shade of the lime tree planted in 1795, alongside the parish church built in 1752, the town hall inaugurated in 1618 and the beautiful half-timbered and stone houses showcasing the skills of its builders, that this first museum was opened.

From the outset, the aim was to preserve and present the rich heritage and traditions of the Vallée de Villé.

The animation aspect was also introduced immediately, in order to go beyond the image of the museum as a static presentation of its collections.

A still, a bread oven and a 19th century loom have been installed and are fully functional.

Animations on the old looms complete the calendar of activities.

Another of the museum’s special features is its temporary exhibitions.

Over the years, the public has been able to discover a first exhibition presenting the museum’s areas of activity, then successively the forest and woodwork, wine and bread, geology and mining, religions and their rites in the valley.

It was also at this time that the “Albé en habits de lumière” event got underway.

It’s another way of telling the story of the village’s history and heritage in a spectacular and festive way.

For a weekend, the guides and night watchmen become the stars of the past and present.

2. The Heberlé House

In 1992, in the same square, a group of buildings consisting of a day labourer’s house built in 1616 and a former nobleman’s residence built in 1709 were put up for sale.

The house, although small, is one of the oldest buildings in Albé.

It is a scale model of the type of dwelling that makes this village so original: the farmer’s and winegrower’s house with adjoining stable and cellar.

The more imposing building, built entirely in stone, is classified as a Vosges farmhouse and follows the new trend introduced in the Val de Villé by immigrants from Lorraine: it is a block house with a roof covering the dwelling at the front and the farm (hayloft, barn and stable) at the back. The cellar was built under the house.

This architectural ensemble is a disturbing testimony to the consequences of a conflict, the Thirty Years’ War, when Alsace became French.
The dynamism of the partnership was renewed and made it possible to acquire this collection.

The museographic potential of the valley has thus been considerably enhanced. The living quarters (living room, kitchen, bedrooms) and the working quarters (cellar, stable, hayloft) of this dwelling have been reconstructed and opened to the public.

3. The Meyblum Distillery and Guard House

The latest stage in the development of the museum is the acquisition of the Meyblum distillery and the former guardhouse.

The Vallée de Villé is thus privileged to possess a remarkable testimony to its local heritage.

The association that runs the site is committed to preserving and sharing this heritage and its history.

This mission to raise awareness of local history helps us to understand our present and can help us to think about the future. This is also our mission.