Museum of Art & History

For such a small town, Neuchâtel's Museum of Art and History (Musée d'Art et d'Histoire) is surprisingly good. The historical section contains a wide assortment of artifacts of everyday life of Neuchâtel's past including textiles, toys, uniforms, swords, armour, medals, coins, watches, furniture, medical instruments, mechanical birds, porcelain, glassware, 18th century robots, and much more. The fine arts section boasts collections of Neuchâtel, Swiss and French art including French impressionist paintings.

A fascinating exhibit is of several scale models of the town of Neuchâtel spanning several centuries. Moving from one model to the next you see the progression of Neuchâtel's expansion down from the castle, across the river Seyon and along the shore of the lake. You will note the destruction of the town's defensive walls, the diversion of the river, exposure of the land after the lowering of the lake level and the expansion of the land into the lake to allow for more roads, tram lines, buildings and the harbor. The research invested in these models not to mention the labor to build them is phenomenal.

The museum is by the harbor and across the street from the Hotel Beau de Lac at Esplanade Léopold-Robert 1.

Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 10:00-18:00. Entrance is free on Wednesdays.