About the museum

Located above the old quarter of Cannes, in the ruins of the medieval monastery of Lérins (a historic monument), the Musée de la Castre overlooks the Bay of Cannes, La Croisette and the Lérins Islands.

Baron Tinco Martinus Lycklama in Nijeholt (that is his full name), of Dutch origin, lived in Cannes at the end of the 19th century. Enlightened lover of antiques, Orientalism, ethnography and primitive art, he bequeathed his collections to the City of Cannes in 1877.

In 1919, the City of Cannes bought the buildings to house collections that were then in the Town Hall.

The convent building was laid out in a square, like a castle and its keep. There was a main building and a chapel inside the defensive walls. In the middle of the central courtyard stood a square tower, high enough to be used as a watchtower. Named the Musée de la Castre at the time, it became the musée des explorations du monde at the very beginning of 2021.

Just before entering the museum, visitors can see a garden with Mediterranean species, especially tall stone pines. From the garden there is a clear view towards the Mediterranean beaches. During your visit to the museum, you can enter the castle's inner courtyard, with the watchtower in the centre. After climbing up the 109 steps of this magnificent medieval structure, you can enjoy a 360° view over Cannes and the coast.

The collections of art and objects from Oceania, the Himalayas, the Arctic, a rich collection of Mediterranean antiquities and Pre-Columbian ceramics are kept in a series of small rooms with the gardens all around.

Saint-Anne's Chapel (11th century) contains an exceptional series of musical instruments from all over the world (Asia, Africa, America, Oceania). Three rooms are devoted to Orientalism and the arts of Iran. The rooms look out on the museum courtyard and the square medieval tower (109 steps) with a wonderful view from the top.

For part of the year, the Orientalist rooms give way to temporary exhibitions highlighting the variety of the Cannes collections.


explore the exhibitions…