Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

1900 N. Chaparral Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 • (361) 826-4667

Just as much as La Belle’s story is one of exploration and colonization, it is one of a struggle to survive. Learning from the objects left behind by those who bravely set out to settle new territory lets us identify with their motivations, struggles and strength. This personal connection gives depth to the history that previously we could experience only in books. Jillian Becquet, Collections Manager

Birth of An Expedition

As part of King Louis XIV’s plan to enlarge his territory in North America, La Salle’s four ships set sail from France in 1684. This exhibit includes displays about the unusual design of La Belle and the skill of the shipwrights who built it. Continue the journey and see examples of what was packed aboard La Belle in preparation for settling a new territory, including uniforms, cutlery, weaponry, trade items, navigational equipment, food, and more, as well as one of La Belle’s iconic cannons.

About the Museum

The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History features over 40,000 square feet of history and science exhibits showcasing 500 years of South Texas history. Explore exhibits featuring artifacts from historic shipwrecks such as La Belle, decorative arts, the local environment, and the city of Corpus Christi. Watch history come to life with the Museum Live! Theater exhibits. Meet the General Store proprietor, then experience timeless Southern hospitality in the authentic shellcrete kitchen. Be transported to the 1800s in the one room schoolhouse for an “old school” learning experience.

Must See

See artifacts from the oldest excavated shipwreck in the Western hemisphere—the Spanish ships San Esteban and Espirtu Santo, wrecked off Padre Island in 1554.

For Kids

Opening in mid-2015, the interactive children’s exhibit will engage children of all ages in STEM topics, ranging from DNA to geometry to outer space.

Banner image courtesy Texas Historical Commission