Oceanographic Museum of Monaco

Tuesday, 13 June 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, French Riviera, Museums, Exhibitions, Universities, Colleges, Academies
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Central room © Spike/cc-by-sa-4.0

Central room © Spike/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Oceanographic Museum (Musée océanographique) is a museum of marine sciences in Monaco-Ville, Monaco. This building is part of the Institut océanographique, which is committed to sharing its knowledge of the oceans.

The Oceanographic Museum was inaugurated in 1910 by Monaco’s modernist reformer, Prince Albert I, who invited to the celebrations not just high officials and celebrities but also the world-leading oceanographers of the day to develop the concept of a future Mediterranean Commission dedicated to oceanography, now called Mediterranean Science Commission. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was director from 1957 to 1988. The Museum celebrated its centenary in March 2010, after extensive renovations.

This monumental example of highly charged Baroque Revival architecture has an impressive façade above the sea, towering over the sheer cliff face to a height of 279 feet (85.04 m). It took eleven years to build, using 100,000 tons of stone from La Turbie. During construction, the names of twenty well-known oceanographic research vessels personally selected by Prince Albert I were inscribed into the frieze of the museum’s façade.

Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and Monaco-Ville © Einaz80/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Berthold Werner/cc-by-sa-3.0 Central room © Spike/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Loranchet/cc-by-sa-3.0 © panoramio.com - Edgar El/cc-by-3.0 © Stanimir Stoyanov/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and Monaco-Ville © Einaz80/cc-by-sa-4.0
The museum is home to exhibitions and collections of various species of sea fauna (starfish, seahorses, turtles, jellyfish, crabs, lobsters, rays, sharks, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, eels, cuttlefish etc.). The museum’s holdings also include a great variety of sea related objects, including model ships, sea animal skeletons, tools, weapons etc., as well as a collection of material culture and ritual objects made from, or integrating materials such as pearls, molluscs and nacre.

At the first floor, A Sailor’s Career showcases the work of Prince Albert I. It includes the laboratory from L’Hirondelle, the first of Prince Albert’s research yachts. Observations made there led to an understanding of the phenomenon of anaphylaxis, for which Dr Charles Richet received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1913.

An aquarium in the basement of the museum presents a wide array of flora and fauna. Four thousand species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates can be seen. The aquarium also features a presentation of Mediterranean and tropical marine ecosystems.

Numerous artists display their artworks in the museum, such as Damien Hirst and Philippe Pasqua.

Read more on Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, visitmonaco.com – Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and Wikipedia Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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