From 1895 to our times

120 years after its construction, the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans definitively ceased operation. It then underwent a turbulent period of uncertainty until it became a cultural and touristic site.  Partially abandoned at first, the saltworks deteriorated, damaged by both men and the weather.  Its buildings were largely dismantled and the grounds returned to their natural state.  Faced with this situation, certain minds mobilised and succeeded in classifying the saltworks as a Historical Monument in 1926.  The following year it became the property of the Conseil Général du Doubs and its restoration was envisaged.  Several campaigns were necessary between 1932 and 1996 in order to fully restore it.

La Saline Royale en ruine

During this time, the saltworks, deprived of its initial vocation, found diverse temporary uses.  It became a warehouse, a Spanish refugee centre, a detention centre for gypsies, a camp for German soldiers during the Second World War, an archive deposit and, for a time, a rural holiday resort. It was only in 1972 that it found its current vocation.  The Conseil Régional du Doubs entrusted the Claude-Nicolas Ledoux Foundation with the mission to develop the site as a centre for cultural activities and tourism. In 1982 the saltworks was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.