2. Musée de la Mine
Arguably France’s premier mining attraction, the high-rated Musée de la Mine preserves Saint-Étienne’s last mine, which closed in 1973. You can descend into a reconstruction of a tunnel to see what a day in the life of a miner was like in the 20th century, and the history of coal mining is presented with modern museography.
But if you love industrial machinery you’ll be delighted with just how much of the mine’s machinery and outbuildings survive.
There’s the gigantic steel headframe, compressor room, the maintenance workshop for the mine’s locomotives and a large washroom that could accommodate hundreds of miners at a time.