Musée du Tisserand Dauphinois
Unravel the long history of silk workers in the town of La Bâtie-Montgascon, under a half hour away from Le Relais du Çatey. A visit to the Musée du Tisserand (Museum of the Weaver) will surprise you in more ways than one. Operating since 1987, the museum is the labour of love of the non-profit association “Amis de la Soierie dans le Bas-Dauphiné” (Friends of Silk Production in the Bas-Dauphiné), and keeps the historical memory of textile production alive. Learn all about history, economics, architecture and industrial techniques, but above all, enjoy a great day out whether you’re alone, as a couple or with family.
For many people in France, the image of the silk worker is more commonly associated with the city of Lyon (home to a booming silk industry), with their revolts in 1831 and 1834 being well documented. Yet to learn about the response of the Lyon silk merchants, you’ll have to come to La Bâtie-Montgascon. To nip any further revolts in the bud, production was relocated to this area you find yourself in, where by 1920, there were 960 workers for every 1000 inhabitants. It was a real godsend for the bosses, who were able to enjoy better conditions. With rivers powering the looms and a poor workforce, it seemed a perfect storm economically. Nonetheless, it is these former silk workers, who worked until the end of the 1960s when the industry really declined, who have truly preserved the pride of this expertise and their passion to share it. 750 m² of industrial premises are dedicated to it, with permanent and temporary themed exhibitions.