Located in the heart of the docks, the historic port of Bordeaux in the 19th century, the Musée Mer Marine is a place for exchange and for showcasing the world’s maritime heritage. Its founder, Norbert Fradin, also wanted to reaffirm the link between the ocean and the city of Bordeaux.
Unprecedented in its dual theme of “sea” and “navy”, the MMM deals with both the universe of the sea as a natural element, and that of the navy through the history of the relationship between men and the sea and the evolution of navigation. It aims to be a space for production, exhibitions and expression for all the actors and audiences of the world of the sea, and more widely of the heritage scene.
Its massive structure, which evokes the body of a ship, is a mixture of sobriety and nobility. Its architecture, although contemporary, is timeless. Inside, there are no load-bearing walls, and the spaces are vast and wide open to create a dialogue between the outside and the inside, the basins and the museum, by letting in light.
As its name suggests, the Bassins à Flots district is intimately linked to the sea. Since 2010, a vast development programme for the entire site has been underway. It is Bordeaux’s rich maritime past and “the pre-eminence of water, wherever you look”, that led Norbert Fradin to choose this area to set up the MMM. Where the Base sous-marine, Cap Sciences and the Cité du Vin already stand, the Musée Mer Marine is the new driving force behind the extraordinary cultural development that is taking place in the Gironde city, while at the same time reconnecting with the thread of its maritime memory.
With more than 10,000 marine objects (models and life-size ships, navigation instruments, maps and atlases) and works of art, the Musée Mer Marine retraces (in the tour located on the ground and first floors) the history of navigation techniques and displays in space the wealth of know-how used by sailors from all over the world, throughout the ages. It takes the visitor on a journey through the great discoveries, scientific expeditions and naval battles that have changed the course of history.
On the second floor, in this last part of the permanent exhibition, the focus is no longer on history but on oceanographic exploration. Visitors will be able to discover the evolution of the oceans from their formation to the present day, marvel at the richness of marine ecosystems, and explore unknown environments while reflecting on the fragility of the oceans and the life they shelter and the solutions that can be found to preserve them.
In addition to its two “matrix” themes of the sea and the navy, the MMM claims a privileged relationship with Art. This de-compartmentalization is illustrated both within the permanent exhibition and through its temporary exhibitions.
The Musée Mer Marine is located in the Bassins à Flots district. A district full of history and anecdotes to know. If you want to discover more, come and visit the city of Bordeaux thanks to the guided and commented bus tours offered by Bordeaux City Tours.
89 rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux
Tram B : station Achard
V3 : station Musée Mer Marine
Bus : Liane 7 & 32 arrêt Lucien Faure / Liane 9 arrêt Place Maran
Parking : Interparking Cité du Vin
Tuesday to Friday : 1pm – 7pm
Saturday and Sunday : 10.30am – 7pm
Closed on January and 25 December
Last access to the ticket office 30 minutes before closing time