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The International Hussars Museum: vive the hussars!

art & culture

You may have seen the film with Juliette Binoche, ‘The Horseman on the Roof', based on the Jean Giono story. But what do you know of a hussar?

They were feared by their enemies, loved by women, and envied by other military men. These legendary soldiers appeared in Hungary in the 15th century, their title and dress subsequently adopted by cavalry regiments around Europe. It is Richelieu who suggested to Louis XIII to create the first French hussars. They sabered without fear and without reproach. It was even said they slept on their horses. The hussars were in all fights, all major European battles, until the First World War.

It was Marcel Boulin, then curator of the Massey Museum, who had the idea for a museum dedicated to hussar tradition, as the first hussar regiment was stationed at Tarbes. The museum brings together more than 15,000 objects evoking 400 years of history. Even if you are not keen on horses, or a lover of military culture, do not refuse this visit.

Though certain aspects are very technical, such as their harnesses, their clothing, their equipment, and their weapons, others will remind you of how these riders have inspired the imagination of fashion, theatre, and film.

Musée International des Hussards
Musée Massey
65000 Tarbes

+33 (0)5 62 44 36 95

www.musée-massey.com

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