Ideally located on the Vieux-Port, Savonnerie de la Licorne’s
Marseille Soap Museum welcomes you at the heart of a historic
site and within, the old galley arsenal built by Louis XIV.
This monumental military arsenal was designed by his minister, Colbert, in the second half of the 17th century to host and arm the king’s galleys, including the famous and sumptuous “réale” – 57 meters long and equipped with 32 pairs of oars.
Until 1748, the arsenal was used to house galleymen and hard labour convicts before their transfer to Toulon, which today is the mooring site of France’s famous aircraft carrier, the “Charles de Gaulle”.
This 1666 painting on your right by Jean-Baptist de la Rose shows the Vieux-Port, the galley arsenal and the current location of the Marseille Soap Museum.
Even today, one can still get a feel of the places in the region where the soap museum’s white stone and wooden beams come from. our museum opens the doors to the history of soap, from prehistory to the present, thanks to its frescoes, artworks, documents, objects and rare pieces.
Enjoy our interactive museum with its own “sense of smell space” and our Marseille soap manufacturing demonstration workshop where you can create your very own personalized soap.
Come to this famous leisure spot for a solo visit or with family, children or in a group. complement your new found knowledge about soap with a visit to the soap museum shop to check out our hundreds of soap products and our entire range of genuine marseille soaps.
Rare and unusual objectsOld artworks, paintings, vintage adverts, 100-year old machinery, waxworks from the Musée Grevin de Provence with its statues of the characters from the film “Manon des sources”… discover hundreds of objects related to the world of soap and soapmaking and to the history of Marseille, including some extremely rare pieces.
Soapmaking demonstrationSaponification, grinding, extruding, cutting … our guide will explain all of the steps in the manufacture of Marseille soap with demonstrations of how our machines operate.
Personalize your own soapAt the end of our demonstration workshop, it’s yours to play! you will customize your own soap with your first name, your messages or different images and bring it home! total time of the demonstration workshop and customization: about 30 minutes for 20 people.
The sense of smell space … and, guess that scent!The Marseille Soap Museum has its unique, fun olfactory testing zone to let visitors test out their sense of smell by correctly identifying a range of scents. open the small wooden boxes and start to play: is it pastis, lavender, verbena, olive? how will you score?
The Soap Museum shopNext door our Soap Museum, our shop welcomes you on two floors with hundreds of the very best Marseille soap products, made using traditional manufacturing techniques at our workshop on the nearby Cours Julien. We also stock a selection of artisan cosmetic products, all locally Made in Provence .
Video, discover the Museum
CHOOSE YOUR VISIT
Our shop next door is open daily from 9am to 8pm all year round.
> Bus 60, 82, 82S, 83, 582 “Place aux Huiles” stop
> Métro M1, Vieux-Port Station (500 meters away)
> FerryBoat “Place aux Huiles” stop
> 100 meters from the “Théâtre de la Criéeé
> 500 meters from the Ombrière on the Vieux-Port
SOAP MANUFACTURE WORKSHOP
Soap personalization workshop at: 11am – 12pm – 2pm – 3pm – 4pm – 5pm daily.
Languages of the descriptive panels and for the soap manufacture workshop:
marseille soap museum, guided tours
Explanatory documents on request:
Enjoy a unique venue in the historical center of Marseille, with nearby carparks and public transport, for conferences, seminars, receptions and bespoke programmes. For more information, call: (+33) 04 96 12 00 91.
Prior booking recommended for groups who wish to attend the soap manufacture workshop. For more information, please call: (+33) 04 96 12 00 91
We organise fun workshops and quizzes with special learning tools. For more information, please call: (+33) 04 96 12 00 91.