The Historical Galleries
The Historical Galleries
The Historical Galleries

The Historical Galleries

Models showing the history of the city of Neuchâtel

As the centrepiece of a superb exhibition area that contrasts old and new, seven fascinating historical models show how the city of Neuchâtel developed between the years 1000 and 2000. Visitors can learn about the mechanisms that prompted the city's growth from its origins around a castle until it reached its present area, which extends from Serrières to Hauterive.

The models offer a highly attractive way of exploring Neuchâtel's urban development. For example, they demonstrate the importance of the fortifications during the Middle Ages, and the impact of the huge construction sites that remodelled the city, such as the 19th-century land reclamation work on the lake.

The models were built by Jean-Fred Boekholt in the late 1990s; they needed about 10,000 hours of work including 3,500 hours for scientific research.

The models are accompanied by a small exhibition that documents the social and cultural history of the city and its residents.  

A treasure hunt on film

"The secret of the seven models" is a film that vividly portrays these ten centuries of urban history. It revolves around two protagonists who discover the city and its history against the backdrop of a treasure hunt. The film's novelty lies in the transitions from one world to another – from that of the models themselves to the contemporary city: a whirlwind journey across the centuries.

The Historical Galleries are located in the northern courtyard of the Hôtel DuPeyrou, one of Neuchâtel's most beautiful buildings.


Opening times: Wednesdays and Sundays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, or by appointment (except on public holidays).

Admission: free except during Museum Tuesdays and temporary exhibitions (CHF 4.00)

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