At Guise, Utopia became reality !
The industrial pioneer, Jean-Baptiste-André Godin, left something behind him which can best be described as a ‘social palace’ – a ‘town within a town’, created in the 19th century for workers at the Poêles Godin stove factory and their families. Godin baptized it « Familistère (Familistery) » by analogy with the « Phalanstère (Phalanstery) », a predominantly agricultural concept developed by Charles Fourrier. The vast living environment, centred round the family and built on the outskirts of the factory, gave employees access to ‘equivalents to wealth’ (fresh air, clean living conditions, education, wholesome food and clean clothing), something very close to Godin’s heart. Today visitors can experience what life was like during the heyday of the Familistère by visiting the theatre, gardens, school, laundry-swimming pool, shops and, of course, living accommodation, an amazing museum offering a wide range of events throughout the year. Don’t miss it !
Discover the Familistère de Guise and its ‘Social Palace’
The impressive, interactive model of the site during the 19the century will guide you during your visit.
The Social Palace, the main building of the Familistère, consists of three accommodation blocks around a glazed interior courtyard, a fine example for community living.
Schools to educate children, the most precious of the “equivalents to wealth” offered by the Familistère.
The nursery and crêche dedicated to the care and education of babies and infants.
The Italian-style theatre, modelled on a 19th century bourgeois theatre.
The company stores, shops and amenities for families living in the Social Palace.
The laundry-swimming pool directly supplied with hot water from the Godin stove factory and dedicated to keeping clothes clean and bodies healthy.