Going to Musée des Blindés? Get answers from our friendly locals
Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France
The Musée des Blindés or Musée Général Estienne is a tank museum located in the Loire Valley of France, in the city of Saumur. It is one of the World's largest tank museums. The museum has the world's largest collection of armoured fighting vehicles and contains well over 880 vehicles, although the British Bovington Tank Museum has a larger number of tanks. Less than a quarter can be exhibited due to space limitations despite the move to a much larger building in 1993.
Over 200 of the vehicles are fully functional, in the past often performing in the annual cavalry show, the Carrousel. Saumur has been the traditional training centre for cavalry and holds the current Armoured Cavalry Branch Training School. The museum has its origins in the study collection. It's still a State institution, run by the Army. There is also a separate cavalry museum at Saumur.
All experimental French military vehicles where development has been abandoned are kept here. The vast storage rooms are only accessible to special guests. There's an enormous library, archiving the records of the history of French armour. The museum was renamed after General Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, the creator of the French tank arm.