International Balloon Museum - Balleroy

Une vitrine du musée. Source : Portail touristique Terre de Trésors

After its inauguration in 1975 by its founder, Malcolm S. Forbes, the International Balloon Museum of Balleroy on the grounds of Calvados was established on the former stables on the site. The Balloon Museum tells the history of air ballooning from the Revolution to the interwar period.

The château of Balleroy, the design of which inspired the design of the palace of Versailles, was built ex nihilo in 1631 at the request of the duke of Choisy by the architect François Mansart (1598-1666).


The architect gave the structure the first spiral staircase ever seen in France. Works by other masters, such as Baudry, Delaroche, Géricault, Gros and Van Loo add to the brilliance of the place named after count Albert of Balleroy, a talented animal painter a student of Schmitz, who exhibited his works at in the hall from 1853 to 1870.

The reception hall has a series of royal portraits of Juste d'Egmont crowned by a ceiling painted in trompe-l'œil style by Charles de la Fosse.


During the course of the renovation of the interior, the dining hall is fitted with Régence panelling from a private hotel in Paris.


The library, built in English style around 1850, houses more than 3600 works.


The park is lies between romantic gardens built in 1856 and French-style panels designed according to the plans of André Le Nôtre and altered by Henri Duchêne in the 19th century.


The property was acquired in 1970 by media magnate Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990).


He was a world-renowned balloonist who set six hot-air ballooning world records, and was the first to successfully cross the United States, from east to west, with a single hot-air balloon. He wass also a member of the consultation committee of the Naval College.


He decided to create an international balloon museum on his new property. The wealthy, passionate individual gradually built up the collection, collecting photographs, sketches, dioramas, genuinely unusual objects and unique documents on the history of air ballooning, in particular on the role of air balloons during the sieges that took place during the war of 1870.



Château de Balleroy - Musée des Ballons

F-14490 Balleroy

Tél. : - Fax :

E-mail :


Château de Balleroy



  • Escalier suspendu de Mansart. Source : site châ

  • Bibliothèque de style anglais. Source : site châ

  • Nacelle de ballon. Source : site châ

  • Vue aérienne du château et du parc. Source : site châ

  • Premier envol de Pilâtre de Rozier en 1783. Source : site châ

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    Practical information


    Tél. : :


    Individuel Musée-adultes : 4.27 € Enfants : 3.81 € Château-adultes : 5.35 € Enfants : 4.57 € Parc-adultes : 3.00 € Musée&Château-adultes : 6.86 € Enfants : 5.35 € Parc avec billet combiné : gratuit Groupe (20 personnes au minimum) Musée-adultes : 3.81 € Enfants : 3.35 € Château-adultes : 4.90 € Enfants : 4.12 € Parc-adultes : 3 € Musée&Château-adultes : 6.40 € Enfants : 4.90 €

    Weekly opening hours

    - du 15 mars au 30 juin : 10h - 18h (fermé le mardi) - du 1er juillet au 31 août : Tous les jours de 10h à 18h - du 1er septembre au 15 octobre : 10h - 18h (fermé le mardi) - du 15 octobre au 24 décembre Ouvert toute l'année sur réservation pour les groupes de 20 personnes mini.

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