Entering the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions is like opening a window on a past era. Let yourself be invaded by this story and discover the life of our ancestors. The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions in Wattrelos was created in an old traditional Picardy farmhouse, also called a "cense". The various buildings are interconnected and are organised around a large square courtyard.
The museum houses a large collection of objects that have disappeared nowadays, but which were part of everyday life 150 years ago. Far from being inanimate, these objects are grouped together in playlets that tell the story of life at home, at work or during leisure time in the 19th century. So don't be surprised to find yourself in a classroom from the interwar period, and while waiting for the weaver to finish his cloth or the farmer to prepare the meal, the estaminet will satisfy your need of authenticity.
To make you want to come and meet these pieces of history, here is a quick presentation of our favourite rooms which is the farmhouse kitchen
The farm kitchen :
This kitchen is larger than the Flemish kitchen. It is characterised by the fireplace with its cauldron, its pantry, its flour sieve, its kneading trough or its clock on a stand. The farm workers ate at the same table as the farmers (the farmer is richer than the weaver).
The estaminet :
visit our estaminet to rediscover the very special atmosphere of this traditional northern restaurant. You will be able to admire, among other things, beer pumps, a percolator from 1910, absinthe glasses and spoons, a bastringue, a vaclette (a fireplace for lighting pipes), a wall flipper, a jackpot (the prize was a free drink). You will also find the corner of the coulonneux and bourleux.
The weaver's workshop :
discover an authentic weaving loom, also called "otil" in patois. This is a testimony to the activity of home weavers in our town. Indeed, many households supplemented their income from agriculture by weaving in their small homes and with their families. You will see that the textile activity has left a long-term impact on our town.
To discover more about the history of textiles in Wattrelos, we recommend the self-guided tour: La randonné du tisserand (the weaver's walk) which will take you on a discovery of the Wattrelos countryside and the daily life of the weaver at the end of the 19th century.
The classroom :
Experience the special atmosphere of pre-war classrooms in the museum, with its pencil boxes, inkwells, slates and abacuses. Younger children can discover the classroom their grandparents knew.
Many other discoveries await you at the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires in Wattrelos, such as the customs and its fraudsters or the area dedicated to the Terken brewery.