About Musée des Blindés
The Musée des Blindés, or the Museum of Armoured Vehicles, is a military museum in France’s Loire Valley. Boasting some 800 military vehicles, it is one of the largest tank museums in the world.
History of the Musée des Blindés
The Musée des Blindés traces its history back to 1977, when Colonel Michel Aubry obtained the blessing of the French authorities to establish a collection of armoured military vehicles. By 1983 Aubry’s collections had grown substantially, and had attracted widespread attention from the public. The site was opened to visitors, and the Musée des Blindés was born.
The Musée des Blindés endeavours to restore as many of its vehicles to working condition as possible – a policy that started with Colonel Aubry. These days, more than 200 of the museum’s 800 armoured vehicles are functional.
The Musée des Blindés today
Today, the Musée des Blindés is the largest collection of armoured military vehicles in the world, boasting upwards of 800 machines. Given the size of the collection, only around a quarter of its artefacts are on display at the same time.
Visitors to the site can expect to witness vehicles and artefacts from around the globe, including the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Russia and the United Kingdom. The Musée des Blindés’ collections also include the only known German Tiger II tank still functioning.
A display, the ‘Carrousel’, takes place at the Musée des Blindés every summer. It features a spectacular parade of historic armoured vehicles – both from the museum’s collections and from further afield.
The museum offers guided tours on certain dates of the year.
Getting to Musée des Blindés
The Musée des Blindés is in the town of Saumur, in the Loire Valley of western France.
The site can be accessed via the 1043 road to Fontevraud.
On public transport, visitors can take the local bus lines 33 or 34. And by train, the nearest station is Saumur. It’s around 5km from the museum by car and 4km on foot.