The Strasbourg Château Vodou Museum

The Strasbourg Château Vodou Museum

Unique world collection

The Château Vodou is a unique museum, which houses the world’s largest private collection of West African vodou artefacts.

Every exhibt has been used as part of religious practices: ancestor worship, medicine, divination, witchcraft and other major life events.

Through an evocative display, visitors may discover a fascinating culture and a belief system that is still widely practiced today.

The museum’s collections originate in Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria. Their mysteries are showcased in an exceptional location: a water tower from 1878.

 

Vodou : a wealth of gods and symbols

When they hear the word “Vodou”, most people tend to think of Voodoo as it is portrayed in Hollywood films, with celebrants falling into a trance, zombies, and effigies pierced with needles – as opposed to what it truly is, a belief system shared by millions of people worldwide.

Vodou is present not only in West Africa, where it originated, but also in North America, South America, and in the Caribbean, having been brought by African slaves to the New World. It is also represented in Europe, through migratory flows in the 20th century. Vodou is a religion as well as a philosophy of life, and encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practises.

In Vodou, this world and the invisible world are indissolubly linked. Mankind depends on this other world, which is peopled by ancestors, spirits, gods, and other forces that influence people’s lives. Every Vodou legend can be said to begin with a catastrophe: all the crises, diseases, deaths, wars and other disasters that affect mankind originate in this parallel world. In this regard, Vodou provides an explanation for misfortunes ranging from a failed exam to violent death; these can be interpreted as a message from the beyond. Through Fa divination, mankind can communicate with the vast pantheon of Vodou deities (there are an estimated 300 deities), all of whom are devious, prickly, jealous, vain and conceited. In short, these gods hold a mirror up to mankind.

 

Château Musée Vodou of Strasbourg presentation

The Strasbourg Château Vodou Museum offers a surprising experience

  • Visitors discover a world of wonder ;
  • They are introduced to a fascinating, living tradition through a collection of remarkable artefacts.

The term “Vodou” is spelled “Vodoun” in Benin, “Vaudou” in Haiti, and “Voodoo” in Louisiana, where it is still practised. These different names reflect the different traditions that have developed locally. Today, specialists believe there are an estimated 200 million practitioners of Vodou worldwide, taking into account all the various traditions.

 

 

touring spot

A Vodou garden

Kò sí ewé kò sí orìs_à “Without leaves, no orixás (gods).” Vodou country proverb.

JARDIN VODOU

The Vodou world is closely linked with the world of plants: 41 different types of plants are used in Vodou rituals. The Bokono (priest) uses them to heal and relieve those who come to him for help, but he also uses them to make fetishes.

Here at Château Vodou you can discover several of these plants and their medicinal uses.

Some of these plants and seeds were hard to find, but many of them are now housed in the Vodou garden greenhouse. You can explore most of the plants used in traditional Vodou remedies, but also in the making of fetishes like those on display inside the Château Vodou Museum. We are still actively looking for the missing specimens, and hope to add them to our collection very soon.

Free access with a Château Vodou entrance ticket. Entrance to garden only : 2 €