Montceau Les Mines Parcours Centre Ville Port Canalfranck Juillot Creusotmontceautourisme 51Montceau Les Mines Parcours Centre Ville Port Canalfranck Juillot Creusotmontceautourisme 51
©Montceau Les Mines Parcours Centre Ville Port Canalfranck Juillot Creusotmontceautourisme 51

The Miners' Union & the School House

in rue Jean Jaurès

Near Montceau town center, rue Jean Jaurès is home to a number of buildings that are inextricably linked with the town’s mining past and working-class memory. If you’re interested in the history of mining and miners, follow us, we’ll show you around!

Rue Jean Jaurès

old rue de l'Est

Running alongside the railroad line, rue Jean Jaurès was formerly known as rue de l’Est. Located on the edge of the town center, it is easily accessible on foot from the town hall via the railway footbridge, or directly from the station.

This “strategic” location has enabled the street to host a number of emblematic buildings with symbolic functions for the town.

The school house

Number 37 is the site of Montceau’s first public school for boys, opened in 1882 following the Jules Ferry laws. The architecture of this tall ashlar building is reminiscent of Gothic or Renaissance buildings, to clearly distinguish the new republican school from the schools run by the mine.

Today, the building houses a school museum. Reconstructed classrooms retrace the history of public education from the 1880s to the 1950s.

43 rue Jean Jaurès

The miners' union

In Montceau, the Chambre syndicale des ouvriers mineurs et similaires was created in June 1899. In 1908, to assert itself, the young union chose to build its headquarters in the Rue de l’Est.

To symbolize this new countervailing power, the miners’ union building was erected in line with the administration building (the mining authority). A blend of brick and ashlar, the three-storey building stands out for its architecture. Its pediment bears the inscription: “Edified by the miners’ union and the like – right and duty”. The building includes offices, as well as a large hall for public meetings, which can also be used as a village hall.

Did you know?

Strikes in Montceau

The Blanzy mines experienced major social unrest between 1899 and 1901. Miners and workers went on strike to demand higher wages, better working conditions and recognition from management. The length and scale of these conflicts left a lasting mark on our memories: in June 1899, there were almost 10,000 strikers in Montceau, out of a total workforce of 11,500, and between January and May 1901, the mines experienced a 105-day work stoppage! It was the birth of the trade union movement.

A health clinic

At no. 31, you can see the former Red Cross dispensary, built in 1922 to combat tuberculosis. The facades and portal are decorated with brick crosses.

This establishment bears witness to the public health and hygiene policies implemented in the past for miners and workers.

Not to be missed