• Museums

  • Lille - Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires

Lille - The Canonneers' Museum - the Canonneers' flag


Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires
44, rue des Canonniers
59800 Lille 

Opening hours

Monday to Saturday from 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Closed on public holidays

Closed from mid-December up to just before the February school holiday

Closed during the first three weeks in August

Groups by reservation


Tel. : + 33 (0)3

Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille

With the development of artillery technology, firing weaponry became increasingly used in the defence of fortified towns. In order to defend its walls, the town of Lille established a company of gunners deployed to reinforce the existing companies of archers and crossbowmen. The Brotherhood of gunners and culveriners was officially constituted on 2 May 1483 by Philippe le Beau. Under the patronage of Saint Barbara, it saw action in every siege in Lille's history.

As a religious brotherhood, the Gunners saw their company dissolved by the Revolutionaries. However, they were incorporated into the National Guard by decree in 1791. The Lille artillerymen were noted for their courage during the Austrian siege of 1792. In 1803, the then Consul Bonaparte rewarded them, re-organising the corps and renaming it the Battalion of Sedentary Gunners of Lille.

During the Great War, the Gunners fought in Dunkirk to defend the inter-Allied port. Later, in the Second World War, they were deployed to defend the Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing area against enemy aircraft during the French Campaign.

The museum exhibits a collection of artefacts relating to the Brotherhood of Saint Barbara and to the town's defences, together with eyewitness accounts of the day-to-day lives of the Gunners and elements retracing the history of Lille.