The Oceanographic Museum was inaugurated in 1910 by Monaco’s modernist reformer, Prince Albert I. This monumental architectural work of art has an impressive façade above the sea, towering over the sheer cliff face to a height of 279 feet (85.04 m). It took 11 years to build, using 100,000 tons of stone from La Turbie.
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.) both stuffed and in skeletal form. The museum’s holdings also include a great variety of sea related objects, including model ships, sea animal skeletons, tools, weapons, etc. An aquarium located in the basement of the museum showcases 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. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was its director for many years, beginning in 1957. The Museum celebrated its 100th birthday in March 2010, after extensive renovations.
- 10 to 6 from October to March
9.30 to 7 from April 1 to September 30
9.30 to 7.30 in July and August
It only closes on the day of the Grand Prix
1. Take the number 1 or 2 Bus towards Monaco-Ville. The bus should be marked Palais-Musée on the front.
2. Walk. What most people do. It’s a fair hike up the hill.
3. Car. Only for Monaco registered cars.
4. Lift (US: elevator). If you’re very resourceful, you’ll find the lift at the back of the Quai des Pêcheurs car park, take it to the top floor, then take the escalator which comes out right beside the museum.
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