Imagine what it feels like to discover something big.
Please note: A portion of the Bullock Museum’s first floor galleries, including the ship La Belle, is temporarily closed and undergoing a major transformation that opens fall 2018. (Read more.)
In 1995, marine archaeologists discovered something big on the muddy bottom of Texas's Matagorda Bay– the wreck of the 17th century French ship, La Belle. One of the most important shipwrecks in North America, La Belle changed both Texas history and the practice of marine archaeology in one of the most ambitious excavations of its day.
The remains of La Belle were reassembled during a seven-month, award-winning exhibition at the Bullock Museum. The shipwreck La Belle is the central artifact that will introduce new scholarship on early Texas history and anchor the Museum's permanent galleries. Discover the early history of Texas through the 17th-century ship, select original artifacts, and a multi-sensory film that tell this important narrative.
There is only one La Belle, and it's at the Bullock Museum. Bring the entire family to discover this history-changing Texas story through artifacts like trade goods, weaponry, settlement supplies, and personal belongings of 17th-century sailors and colonists. Experience the challenges of preparing for a long voyage at interactive stations. Watch the documentary of the groundbreaking excavation of La Belle, done inside a cofferdam on the floor of Matagorda Bay, and then view the reconstructed ship itself. This is one-of-a-kind history for everyone.