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From the flower to the still
Fougerolles owes its reputation to cherrygrowing and kirsch-distilling (cherry brandy) which has been practised in the area since the late 16th century. This auxiliary farming activity became a virtual industry in the 19th century. Fougerolles is said to have some 40,000 cherry trees, justly qualifying the area as the ''land of cherries'' or ''cherry civilization''.
The museum displays this special distinction with a wealth of collections housed in several buildings. The half-country half-bourgeois family mansion with its decorative furnishings displays the industrious spirit of its owner who had it built in 1829, and who appears to have been a pioneer in the sale of kirsch. An exceptional collection of stills is displayed in the former distillery, illustrating the different distilling techniques used.
The exhibit, both interesting and informative, recounts the history - economic, social and human context - of this ''civilization'' and its related trades : cooperage, basketry and embroidery. Visitors will discover the alchemy which turns this fermented fruit into eau-de-vie, a symbol of purity. The orchard-conservatory, grainery and casual labourers' quarters with its rustic furniture round off this rare museum.
Ecomusée du pays de la Cerise
Le Petit Fahys - 70 220 Fougerolles
Tel. 00 33 (0)3 84 49 52 50
Opening times :
- Open in July and August every day from 11am to 7pm.
- From 15th of February to 30th of June and from 1st september to 15th november : every day except Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm.
- Group visits by appointment.
Entrance fees :
- Adult : 5 Euros
- Child (6-16 years) : 3 Euro
- Disabled Person : 3 Euros
Group from 15 persons:
- Adult : 4 Euro
- Child (6-16 years) : 3 Euros