Musée des Cristaux
A journey through the dazzling mineralogy of the Alps, France and the world beyond – this is what the Chamonix Crystal Museum offers visitors as it reopens to the public, following two years of extensive renovation work.
Architect Didier Onde has increased the exhibit footprint to cover the entire 700-square-meter area of the Tairraz Center, located in central Chamonix. This facilitates an expanded display of nearly 1,900 crystals of all shapes and sizes. Two important collections are now on public view for the first time, donated to the city by Michel Jouty and Claude Ducarre.
Among the ‘must-see’ displays is an exceptional collection of rare pink and red fluorites from Mont Blanc, a unique alpine treasure. A new exhibit area, Treasure, presents a rich collection of
gems, cut stones and native metals such as gold, silver and copper.
Aimed at enthusiasts and the curious of all ages, the exhibits are enriched by an accessible mixed-media interpretation system. Visitors can immerse themselves in an exploration of alpine treasures, and our relationship with this dramatic landscape – including mountaineering and the centuries-old tradition of quartz collection in the Mont Blanc massif, which is still alive today.
The Museum’s 45 showcases were all made by Goppion. The suite of island and wall-mounted showcases all have a simple but elegant design for displaying their contents with maximum impact. Given the nature of the collection, the showcases did not require any special devices or microclimatic control equipment. Instead, particular attention has been paid to the LED lighting – which, in contrast with the darker tones of the finishes and the interior design, enhances the colors and reflections of the precious minerals on display.
The new crystal museum now ranks among the finest national mineralogical museums.