Inaugurated in 1904, the Sandelin Museum, labeled "Museum of France", has its quarters in Saint-Omer in a magnificent Louis XV style mansion.

This Audomarois museum contains rich and varied collections. We find there works of art, elements of architecture, ceramics, mosaics, coins, clay pipes, furniture from the Ancien Régime and the XNUMXth century… But also paintings by masters and medieval works of art testifying to the history of Saint-Omer.

Composed of 21 rooms, the Sandelin Museum contains thousands of works and objects. Part of the museum was classified as a historical monument in 1955 and another part registered two years later.

The private mansion housing the Sandelin museum – Rue Carnot in Saint-Omer

Visit of the Sandelin museum in Saint-Omer

The visit of the Sandelin museum in Saint-Omer is free. It presents three routes that are very different from each other, all spread over the three levels of the Sandelin hotel: the cellars, the ground floor and the first floor.

The basement

The basement of the Sandelin hotel is mainly dedicated to the history of the city of Saint-Omer and to the results of the archaeological excavations carried out on its soil.

We find there in particular a gallery devoted to medieval weapons, as well as a part revealing the past of the city. The basement exhibits models of ancient monuments, as well as architectural elements from the former Saint-Bertin abbey. A real converted crypt, the basement also features sculptures and mosaics dating back nine centuries.


Let's go up the stairs to reach the ground floor of the Sandelin Museum. This reconstructs period rooms (XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries) furnished as before, with their specific decorations and pieces of furniture. In the cabinets of curiosities and the ceremonial salons are displayed numerous paintings from the XNUMXth, XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. Paintings by European masters signed by great names in the genre such as François Boucher, Nicolas-Bernard Lépicié, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Jacob van Ruisdael, Brueghel the Elder, Bruegel the Younger, Ribera….

We also find on the ground floor of the Audomarois museum a room dedicated to religious arts. It exhibits unique pieces dating from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century, including the foot of the Cross of Saint-Bertin, and the reliquary cross.


On reaching the first floor of the Sandelin museum, lovers of the genre will admire the XNUMXth century paintings adorning the grand staircase. These are signed by great painters from Saint-Omer: Alphonse De Neuville, Léon Belly and François Chifflart.

This staircase leads you to new reconstructed lounges as well as to important diverse and varied collections:

  • Ceramics: the museum exhibits 750 pieces of ceramics from the 17th to the 18th century from around the world.
  • Thousands of clay pipes from Saint-Omer. Saint-Omer was indeed once famous for its tobacco, for its earthenware snuffboxes, but also for its pipes. The Fiolet pipe factory thus marked the history of the town in the XNUMXth century.
  • European and Asian porcelain and earthenware, including earthenware from Saint-Omer, Rouen, Nevers, Delft, Lunéville, etc.
  • A rich numismatic collection of the museum made up of more than 16 coins.

Events and themed exhibitions at the Sandelin Museum

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the Sandelin Museum in Saint-Omer organizes temporary exhibitions, events, thematic visits and conferences. In particular, it offers a rich program on various occasions: European Heritage Days, Halloween, music festival, etc.

History of the Sandelin Hotel

Marie-Josèphe Sandelin (1733-1808), from the Flemish nobility, is intimately linked to the history of the Sandelin mansion and museum. Widowed in 1758 following the disappearance of her first husband, Dom Juan de La Torre Isolin (a Spanish officer), she married her uncle, Pierre Sandelin, her 45-year-old eldest. This very wealthy man had multiple titles: Lord of Wesbécourt, Viscount of Fruges, Baron of Elnes… Remember that we are still under the Old Regime! Marie-Josephe Sandelin will thus become the Viscountess of Fruges.

In 1766 she bought the hotel of the governor of the city of Saint-Omer, which destroyed to build a private mansion in the Louis XV style completed in 1777. She will only benefit from it for a little over a decade. Indeed, the French Revolution will soon break out, forcing the Countess of Sandelin to go into exile in Spain. She will return to her hotel in 1800. Eight years later, Marie Josèphe Sandelin dies. The hotel will go to his brother. The town will acquire it in 1899 with the project to build a museum dedicated to art and history. The Sandelin Museum will be inaugurated 5 years later.

Address: 14 Rue Carnot, 62500 Saint-Omer
Phone: 03 21 38 00 94

Find out more on the website of the Sandelin museum and the museums of St-Omer:

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