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Know and love the sea

Built along a side of the fortress of Monaco, the Oceanographic Museum, which was conceived by Prince Albert I, great-great-grandfather of Prince Albert II of Monaco, has been watching over the oceans for more than a century.

Sailor and precursor of oceanography, Prince Albert I approached travel and science from an early age and directed 28 scientific campaigns, dedicating most of his life to the study of the oceans. To give impetus and prestige to oceanography, at the beginning of the twentieth century he decided to dedicate a foundation to it: the Oceanographic Institute. From the friezes on the facades to those of the rooms, the marine world permeates all the architecture of the Museum. Since its inauguration on March 29, 1910, this Temple of the Sea, with an area of 6500 m2 open to the public, stands out as an international reference point and aims to love and protect the oceans. The museum promotes public awareness the ocean, through oceanographic collections collected by the prince, permanent and temporary exhibitions and aquariums.

The Museum’s aquariums are very many and suggestive: the tropical area reveals to the visitor the lively life of the coral reef and its inhabitants with bewitching shapes and colors. You can observe sharks and piranhas, the clown fish and the fearsome stone fish with lethal spines, and you can see the hood fish or the seahorses.
Instead, more than 200 varieties of invertebrates are to be discovered in the Mediterranean basins, a sea that contains unsuspected treasures. Discover the intelligent octopus, quiver in front of eerie moray eels and admire the relaxing ballet of the jellyfish.

Faithful to the will of its founder to enclose under the same prism of the two driving forces of civilization: Art and Science, the Oceanographic Museum is also open to contemporary art, hosting some important exhibitions such as Damien Hirst, Huang Yong Ping, Mark Dion, Marc Quinn or, more recently, Philippe Pasqua.