Les Français

  • Today and until 

As part of our French Year, we are presenting the new special exhibition "Les Français - People, Engines and Architecture" at the Technik Museum Speyer. Until 29 February 2024, you will have the opportunity to experience a piece of French history in the middle of the cathedral city. The new special exhibition is included in the museum admission.

"Les Français" invites you to take a look at French automotive technology, immerse yourself in the history of the museum grounds and learn more about everyday life in the then occupied city.

The grounds of the Technik Museum Speyer have a special French past: the Liller Halle, the museum's largest exhibit, the Hotel Speyer at the Technik Museum Speyer, a former barracks, and the Wilhelmsbau Museum, which once served as an administrative building for the French occupiers. The Liller Halle is a striking example of industrial architecture from the First World War era. Its origins, however, were on the other side of the Rhine border: in 1917, the Pfalzflugzeugwerke decided to build a hall for "giant aircraft". Due to a shortage of materials, they were on the lookout for a suitable hangar in the occupation areas. Finally finding one in Lesquin near Lille, German troops dismantled a complete hangar built in 1913 by order of the Thomson company (Houston, USA). They transported it to Speyer and rebuilt it by 1918 - today's Liller Halle. Over the years, there was a flurry of changes between the French and German owners until the Technik Museum Speyer acquired the property together with the Liller Halle in 1990.

In addition to the historical buildings, you will find an exquisite collection of French means of transport built from 1902 onwards, including a Simca 9 Aronde from 1954, the classic Citroën 2CV from 1976 and a Renault R4 from 1982. Among the motorised contemporary witnesses are showcases with personal objects. The Historical Museum of the Palatinate gave us selected exhibits that tell us about the life of French citizens in the cathedral city at that time: among others, photographs, awards as well as accessories from the military family Gandit, from Guy Lesueur, who still lives in Speyer, and from the amateur photographer and military service member Régis Tabeau.