It’s Wednesday, and time to wander again. I recently visited the French coastal town of Biarritz, and this week I’m going to wander to Le Musee De La Mer – the Biarritz Aquarium.
Opened to the public in 1933, the building is a stylish example of Art Deco architecture, much like the nearby Casino. However, the origins of the aquarium go back a few decades earlier, when the Marquis de Folin convinced the French authorities to commence scientific studies of the Bay of Biscay. He wanted to create a ‘seat of learning’ where people could come and learn about the oceans, a field of study that was gaining in popularity at the time. The First World War halted development of his idea, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that it came to fruition.
Perched upon cliffs high above the town, the Aquarium looks out onto the sea…
…and also onto some fairly impressive houses. This one would be fairly close to my dream home, I think!
The Aquarium has been extended and renovated since the 1930s, but still retains its original Art Deco interior design. There is something about this style of design that lends itself particularly well to maritime themes, I think.
The aquarium also houses a Scientific Study and Research Centre, which focuses mainly on the nearby Bay of Biscay. There is a museum section which houses sailing and surfing artifacts, and different exhibit areas for each of the world’s oceans.
Like much in central Biarritz, the Aquarium is easy to get to on foot – a short walk along the beach path and through a picturesque old harbour, then up a (not too steep) hill. Once inside, we spent several hours exploring the oceans – we listened to whale songs, examined skeletons and surfboards, watched seals play and found Dory, as well as Nemo.
We also visited the Shark Cave, a massive tank home to several species of sharks, including a rather lonely looking hammerhead. To be honest, I’m not too fond of seeing animals in captivity, even though I’m sure these tanks are top of the line. However, the gorgeous girl is particularly fond of all things aquatic, so an aquarium stop is de rigeur wherever we go on holiday. She thoroughly enjoyed this one, especially the glow-in-the-dark exhibits.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Biarritz, and will definitely wander there again, both on this blog and in real life. Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me, see you next time!
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We’ve visited this ‘musée’ too, Helen. Loved it and love your description of it.
Thanks, Juliet! It’s in a great spot, isn’t it 🙂
Yeah, beautiful spot. I want to go back to Biarritz……now!
Me too! 🙂
Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
I always love Helen’s Wednesday Wander series – check out her visit to Musee De La Mer in Biarritz! Please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop on over to Journey to Ambeth and say hello!
Thanks for sharing, Suzie! 🙂
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