The significant striking capacity of Pessac!
Monnaie de Paris offers an exceptional opportunity to visit one of France’s most highly protected, secure factories: the French mint in Pessac (Gironde). Exceptionally, the factory is open to the public on Saturday, September 15, 2018 for 4 guided tours during the European Heritage Days.
Monnaie de Paris performs the sovereign state mission of minting currency, in particular all French euro coins, as well as other foreign currencies. Monnaie de Paris’ mint in Pessac is unique in France and has ensured the minting of these coins since 1973, producing up to 1.5 billion coins every year.
You will be greeted and accompanied by the factory’s craftsmen and workers as you discover the minting process that combines traditional know-how with cutting-edge technology. You will become familiar with the activities and missions performed by Monnaie de Paris and realize their importance in daily life during open discussions.
You will learn all about blank cutting, degreasing, drying, rimming, computer assisted verification, and manufacture of blanks! You will also discover the engravers’ preparative work before striking the blank with the engraved coins. Eventually, operating presses will mint currency before you.
A priceless industrial heritage
The European Heritage Days in Pessac will also be an opportunity to discover the architecture of an emblematic factory from France’s industrial heritage. You will have the privilege of discovering this architecture with Mr. Pierre Lajus, architect from Salier-Courtois-Lajus-Fouquet’s studio who, in a spirit of continuity with Le Corbusier and Bauhaus, was commissioned to design the factory in Pessac. It was inaugurated in September 1973 in Gironde, near Bordeaux.
The functional, imposing building stands out for its huge size and high security. The construction required 26.000 m3 of concrete, 125.000 m2 of form work and 1.200 tons of steel. Building architecture is rational and practical. By design adaptable to advances in technology, the facility minted the billions of French euros required on 1 January 2002.
After 40 years of operation, the Pessac factory is still at the cutting-edge of technology and research. By opening the mint in Pessac, Monnaie de Paris demonstrates its willingness to share its industrial and architectural heritage with everyone.