It was Columbus who saw the Indians burning the magic brown herb. After that, tobacco found its way to Europe, not only as a stimulant, but also as a medicine.

The Wervik region became the centre of tobacco growing in Belgium in the 20th century. Who does not know the famous Wervikschen toebak? It is therefore logical that the National Tobacco Museum is located here.

Campagnebeeld Tabaksmusuem

Smoking, sniffing and chewing in smoke and images

The museum shows how tobacco conquered the world and illustrates almost every aspect of the rich tobacco culture. The collection is quite impressive and now numbers more than 12,000 (!) pieces, showing the most remarkable objects for smoking and making fire. But forgotten forms of tobacco use (sniffing and chewing) are also discussed. Exciting smuggling stories spice up your visit and take you back to the days of bluemen, borders and customs officers. Seeing our fine collection of tobacco billboards of defunct cigarette brands may make you a little nostalgic. And of course the educational/preventive section is not to be missed during your visit. In short, a fascinating and educational experience thanks to the diverse perspectives!

In the museum, non-smokers do not feel like pariahs and inveterate smokers should refrain for a while …

Atmospheric setting

The Tobacco Museum was opened in 1987, in the outbuildings of the listed 18th-century Brieken mill. It gained a new wing in 2003, giving it a completely new look. A tantalising combination of authenticity and sleek modernism. In 2014, the museum underwent a complete metamorphosis to commemorate 100 years of the First World War.

  • Tabaksblad (© David Samyn – Nationaal Tabaksmuseum)
    Tabaksmuseum_juni_2015-18 (© David Samyn – Nationaal Tabaksmuseum)
  • Hand,Holding,Tobacco.,High,Quality,Dry,Cut,Tobacco,Big,Leaf,