Musée Stella Matutina - Atlas Obscura

Musée Stella Matutina

Saint-Leu, Réunion

A museum dedicated to the history of sugar cultivation on Réunion island. 

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This museum in Saint-Leu is constructed on the grounds of a former sugar plantation and discusses the agricultural, technical, and cultural development of sugar cultivation throughout the tumultuous history of Réunion island.

Sugar cane was first brought to Réunion around the 17th century, when French settlers arrived on the small island in the Indian Ocean. The tropical climate lent itself to growing crops like coffee, cloves, and sugar cane, which became the dominant crop on Réunion in the early 19th century.

Musée Stella Matutina first opened in 1991, inside a former factory where sugar cane was processed. In 2011, the museum and surrounding site were rehabilitated. Dozens of refurbished machines are on display, alongside stories from the people who worked in the fields and factory to keep the island’s sugar industry running. 

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