Bells and bells have existed in ancient times in many civilizations. Among Christians, the sound of the bell very early became a symbol of spiritual rallying, from the 4th century. Until the 19th century, the saintiers carried out itinerant work and came to melt the bells in situ, near the churches or abbeys for which they were intended. When the profession settles down, foundries are then created. The Paccard foundry is one of them. It is also one of the last three French foundries in operation, out of the hundred that still existed before the First World War. Founded in 1796, the Paccard foundry has maintained ancestral knowledge for 7 generations. At the end of the 19th century, it already had worldwide fame. It spreads in France the fashion, coming from Belgium, chimes. In 1891, we owe him the cast of the largest bell in France: called the Savoyarde, it still occupies the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre. Other famous bells will leave the Paccard workshops throughout history: the Jeanne-d'Arc, the carillon of Chambéry which is also the largest in Europe, or the loudest ringing in the world for Canada . It was after the success of an open house in the 1980s that the Paccard family decided to create a museum dedicated to campan art.
The Paccard museum offers visits of various types: from the guided tour of the foundry to the pouring demonstration, including educational visits. During a free visit, you can browse 7 exhibition rooms and 2 projection rooms to discover the history of the foundry, the different manufacturing techniques, the secrets of chimes, as well as famous bumblebees and bells. Guided tours of the workshops offer you an immersion in the profession of bell founders, through all stages of manufacturing. Three documentaries are screened in the video rooms: one devoted to the making of the world's biggest ringing bell on the fly, another on the command of the world's largest bell, and a last one devoted to the largest campanar construction site. of the century. The foundry also developed the artistic concept Ars Sonora: all day long, musical demonstrations allow visitors to discover the sound quality of the Paccard bells. Concerts are also regularly scheduled. Finally, the site has a shop dedicated to bells and chimes, as well as a relaxation area with bar and restaurant service.
The free visit is offered at the rate of 8 euros full rate, 7 euros reduced rate, and 5 euros for children. It can be carried out all year round, with the exception of Thursdays, which are devoted to discovery tours. Guided tours of the workshops are subject to a supplement of 4 euros (3 euros for children and 3.50 euros for reduced rates). They are offered outside of the founders' working hours, every day during the first 3 weeks of August, as well as Friday afternoons and weekends from April 15 to October 15. The guided tour of the entire museum and foundry is finally offered at a price of 12 euros full price, 10.50 euros reduced price and 8 euros child price. The Paccard bell museum is located in Sévrier, 10 km from camping L'Idéal. The simple visit to the museum takes about an hour. It can be done all year round, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays in July and August (afternoons only on Sundays and holidays). Off season, closing is earlier, 6 p.m. in May, June and September, and 5.30 p.m. the rest of the year. The foundry visit is possible from mid-April to mid-October.