Museum of Parachuting

Une des salles du Musée des Parachutistes - © Jean Louis Laporte

This museum traces the history of French parachutists from their creation to the present day.

The Museum of Parachuting is both a traditional museum of the land army and a collection representative of the past and present history of the French airborne army. An archive for the personal details of all airborne troop divisions, its mission is to provide information on their history, traditions, spirit and current events.

Its collections and mock-ups created using tableaux are open to everyone and are as interesting for the general public as for the troops themselves. The temporary exhibitions are used as a local way of publicising the defence ethos. The museum therefore considers itself to be a place for studying and disseminating information about contemporary conflicts. There is a reception desk where teachers, university students and visitors will find suitable sources of information.
The museum traces the history of French parachutists from their creation to the present day. The tour consists of five tableaux preceded by explanatory videograms. Each tableau is made up of scenes using dressed models, weapons and vehicles with wall mounted posters in the background: - Trail-blazing times, the birth of the technique and use of parachutists: Aviators of the First World War, the first special equipment, German, Soviet and French parachutists. The creation of French airborne troops dates from the 1st April 1937, when two groups were established: the 601st GIA in Reims and the 602nd GIA in Baraki (Algeria). The doctrine and the inspiration are Soviet, brought back by Colonel GEILLE from his training visit to the USSR and lessons learned from the great manoeuvres of Kiev in 1935. - The Second World War, creation of the large American and British units: French soldiers from the Free French Forces (FFL) in the Special Air Service (SAS) and in North Africa, equipped by the Americans. In 1940, a company of air infantry was created within the Free French air force and incorporated the Special Air Service under the name of French Squadron. Following this, the 3rd and 4th SAS was created from escapees from France and the remains of General Giraud's army, which was later to become the 3rd and 2nd Regiment of Parachute Chasseurs. The 1st Regiment of Parachute Chasseurs, kitted out like Americans and incorporating the 82nd US Airborne division, parachuted into Brittany on the eve of the landing, where its mission was to destroy various targets with the aim of trapping the enemy on the Breton peninsular. They were later engaged in the Vosges in 1944, alongside the 1st Tank Division, the shock Battalion, trained to jump by the Americans and to fight by the British and who would be involved in the liberation of Corsica and the island of Elba and then abroad, the African Commandos, the brother regiment of the Shock Battalion, who were distinguished by their specialisation in amphibious operations and by having heavier equipment and who would follow the 1st Army until the armistice, and the Commandos of France, created in 1944, who would join in combat with the 1st Army. - The Indochina war, when the myth of the French "para" came about and also when the large, diversely equipped French units were created. - The Algerian war, urban guerrilla warfare and transportation by helicopter into the vast desert area. The collections highlight the diversity of uniforms and equipment. - The contemporary world, external operations and peacekeeping (Bizerte, Kolwezi), the birth of the myth of the parachutist. The exhibition focuses on the technical expertise and current equipment of the units using illustrations and videos (Special Forces, combat divers, scrapping of machinery, mine clearance, the National Gendarmerie's Intervention Group etc.), and pays particular attention to the selection process of the école des troupes aéroportées (School for Airborne Troops).
- the museum collection is enriched by the permanent exhibitions of works by military artists such as Brayer, Le Zach'meur, Sollier and Rosenberg. - The museum has a library open to the public from Monday to Friday from 9 am until 12 pm and from 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm. A study room is available for researchers. Documents must be consulted on the premises
The principal aim of the National Association of Friends of the Museum of Parachuting (ANAMPARA) is to contribute to developing and publicising the historic and cultural heritage that the entire museum collection represents. It publishes reports, press releases, works, studies, memoirs and technical advertising documents, in written and multimedia formats.
Museum of Parachuting ETAP 64082 PAU cedex Telephone: 05 59 40 49 18 Fax: 05 58 40 49 11 e-mail: Services Private tours - Sound and light show (duration 1 hour 30 minutes). The tour is without a guide. Visitors follow the programme, guided by the light show - Illumination show (duration 1 hour). Visitors are assisted by a guide but cannot see the videograms Shortened tour (duration 30 minutes) Visitors have access to the contemporary halls only and can be assisted by a guide Group tours (minimum 10 people) can be arranged by appointment A special session has been tailored to school programmes. The museum lends its support to educational projects and tour sheets are provided for teachers and lecturers. Businesses can use our rooms for hosting receptions and events. Access - The museum is located at the entrance to the école des troupes aéroportées (school for airborne troops) on the N134 Bordeaux road, close to the motorway. (Signposted from the 'PAU centre' exit from the A64) - The Museum of Parachuting has a car park that can accommodate public transport vehicles - access to the building is suitable for those with reduced mobility Opening times Tours in the morning from 10 am

  • Noratlas à l'entrée du musée. Source :

  • Scène de la guerre d’Algérie. Source :

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    Practical information


    05 59 40 49 19


    Tarifs adultes: 5 € GIG-Groupe-Autres: 3 € Etudiant: 1,5 € Adhérent de l’association des amis: 1 € Gratuit : Scolaire et militaire

    Weekly opening hours

    De 9h à 12h et 14h à 17h30 en semaine. Ouvert sur rendez-vous le matin et l’après-midi de 14h à 17h le week-end et jours fériés