Its outstanding architecture
It took an exceptional building to house the largest private museum dedicated to sailing and the sea in France. And there it's docked, on the banks of the Garonne, in the heart of the historical port of Bordeaux, dating from the 19th century. Here Olivier Brochet has anchored a large white ship around which 3,000 m² (33,000 sq. ft) of hanging gardens unfold. The architect, who also designed the Fabre Museum of Montpellier in Provence and from the Nouveau Musée de l’Homme in the Trocadero in Paris, did not skimp on the dimensions. With its 45 meters (1476 ft) high, seven floors, and 7,500 m² (80,000 sq. ft) of exhibition rooms, the MMM sails just a stone's throw from the bold Cité du Vin.
An unprecedented project
Sea and sailing—although logical, the theme is hitherto unseen in a museum. The MMM combines the maritime world, the natural element and an aquatic environment covering 70% of our planet, with sailing, the main form of human navigation through the it from time immemorial. Norbert Fradin, founder of the museum and a passionate collector, was eager to find a place for his treasures as well as to offer Bordeaux a place for exchange of ideas and meetings.
For its innovative scenography
The Age of Discovery, scientific expeditions, naval battles—the MMM sends its visitors on a fabulous adventure through a dynamic and interactive scenography. About 10,000 marine objects are exhibited on the bridge and the permanent exhibitions. Life-size boats, models, navigational instruments, maps, atlases, works of art, together with multimedia devices, help to give a peek "beyond horizons". The collection boasts many specific features on Bordeaux, one of the largest ports in Europe in the 18th century, nowadays classified in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Explore en famille
When did it all start? How was navigation born? What was the motivation of the first people to cross the water? What impacts did this have on our civilizations? Ask, explain, dazzle, learn...from prehistory to the present, from Ulysses to today’s migrants, the MMM navigates the seas of knowledge and sends young cabin attendants on a journey alongside great heroes of the oceans. They are all there, from the explorers of unknown lands to the commanders of an aircraft carrier, to pirates and the great figures of the offshore racing.
Share awareness for ocean protection
The MMM has also set itself the mission of showing the beauty and fragility of the oceans, a threatened universe that we must learn to protect. "Paradoxes," the second part of the permanent exhibition, thus presents a confrontation, operated through the monumental works of great contemporary artists sensitive to the cause of the oceans. Photos, installations, and paintings all act as gangways to a reflection on the long-term. In the grand auditorium, events, film screenings, meetings, lectures, and discovery workshops extend the exchange.
So, are you ready to raise anchor and cast off?