Château d’Abbadia and Musée Fernand Desmoulin: The Most Popular Character Houses to Visit in Southwestern France

Period character homes are among the must-visit sites in the South West of France. If you happen to be traveling to France soon and you’re a history and architecture lover, these two museums will be worth your time.

Château d’Abbadia (Castle-Observatory Abbadia)

The Castle of Abbadia is situated in an expansive 400-hectare estate on the Basque coast surrounded by picturesque sea and mountains. It’s a geophysical and astronomical observatory built from 1864 to 1884 for scientist, ethnologist, and geographer Antoine d’Abbadie.

Only 500 visitors are allowed access to the museum daily. To make things less of a hassle for you, call the museum (+33 (0) before you arrive.

Address: Route de la Corniche, 64700 Hendaye

Opening Hours:

  • May-June 2017 (guided tour only):
    • 10 AM-12 PM and 2 PM-6 PM (Monday to Friday)
    • 2 PM-6 PM only (Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays)
  • July-August 2017
    • Guided tours: 10 AM-11:30 AM and 2 PM-4:45 PM (Monday to Sunday)
    • Self-guided tours: 12 PM-2 PM (Monday to Sunday)
  • September-October 2017 (guided tour only)
    • 10 AM-12 PM and 2 PM-6 PM (Monday to Friday)
    • 2 PM-6 PM only (Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays)
  • November-December 2017 (closed on December 24, 25, and 31)
    • Guided tour only: 2 PM-6 PM (Tuesday to Sunday)


  • Adults: 8.90 €
  • Children (6-13 years old): 4.50 €
  • Children (5 years old and below): Free
  • Family package (for a group of two adults and 2-3 children): 23 €

Musée Fernand Desmoulin (Fernand Desmoulin Museum)

Opened to the public in 1951, this museum is home to the masterpieces of exemplary academic painter Fernand Desmoulin (1853-1914). He was the official artist of literary, political, and scientific greats of the Third Republic, including Jules Ferry, Zola, and Raymond Poincar, among others. Musée Fernand Desmoulin also features Desmoulin’s Spiritism-themed works from 1900 to 1902, which consist of wonderful mediumistic drawings.


Address: Boulevard Charlemagne, 24310 Brantôme


Opening Hours:

  • May 2017: 10 AM-1 PM and 2 PM-6 PM
  • June 2017: 10 AM-6 PM
  • July-August 2017: 10 AM-7 PM
  • September 2017: 10 AM-10 PM
  • October to December 2017: 10 AM-12 PM and 2 PM-5 PM (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)



  • Full rate: 5.50 €
  • Discounted rate: 3.50 €


Have you visited a museum in France? How was your experience and what would you recommend?