The main courtyard of the Château de la Verrerie
©The main courtyard of the Château de la Verrerie|Creusot Montceau Tourisme
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From Marie-Antoinette's crystal workshop to the Schneider apartments

An emblematic site in Le Creusot, the Château de la Verrerie preserves the memory of the town’s industrial history. Open to visitors, it’s a place of discovery for all those with a passion for industrial and technical history.

Discover the château… And its many facets. Follow us, we’ll show you the way!

At the time of the Royal Manufactory

Le Creusot was born of the arts of fire at the end of the 18th century. Iron, cast iron and steel made its reputation. But another activity also enjoyed its golden age until the 1830s: glass and crystal manufacture.

The mining of Montcenis coal from 1769 onwards led to the creation of the Royal Foundry at Le Creusot in 1781. At the same time, the fashion for lead crystal, which had originated in England, spread to European courts and wealthy circles. The Manufacture des Cristaux de la Reine, founded near Paris in Sèvres, decided to move to Le Creusot to take advantage of its coal resources. A large U-shaped building was erected on the heights overlooking the foundry to house workshops, warehouses, administration and workers’ housing. Nearby, two conical brick halls housed the furnaces.

A factory at the service of luxury

Named ” Manufacture Royale des Cristaux et Émaux de la Reine Marie-Antoinette “, the new factory quickly took off. It manufactures ordinary glass and, above all, luxury crystal products. The company specialized in opalines (or opal crystal), opaque crystal pieces tinted in the mass, and inclusions, small objects with an inlaid ceramic decorative motif.

The home of the blacksmiths

In the early 1830s, the glassworks were sold to Baccarat and Saint-Louis, who decided to repatriate all production to eastern France. The Creusot glass and crystal industry died out. The buildings were used to house miners and foundry workers.

In 1837, the Schneider brothers, new owners of the foundry and forges, bought the buildings. Eugène Schneider decided to make it his home in Le Creusot. Work was gradually undertaken to transform the former crystal works into a prestigious residence, which took the name of Château de la Verrerie. In the 1860s, the main building was first modified. However, it was between 1905 and 1911 that the most extensive renovation work was carried out, giving the building its current 18th-century neoclassical appearance.


In what was once the crystal glassworks, the forge masters want to be able to receive customers and distinguished guests. So one of the former furnaces is to be converted into… a theater!

A place of discovery

Today, the Château de la Verrerie is a heritage site. The main building houses the Musée de l’Homme et de l’Industrie – Écomusée Creusot Montceau, which introduces visitors to the history of the region’s industrial development, the former crystal works and the Schneider dynasty.

In an adjoining building, the Pavillon de l’Industrie invites visitors to immerse themselves in the industrial adventure of Le Creusot by exploring the history of the forges and their production, from their origins to the present day, with the help of a tablet.

The highlight of the tour?

It’s certainly the Petit Théâtre. Who could imagine that an old glassmaker’s kiln could conceal such a setting?


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