The Institute: palace of wonders and marvels

Some places remain within you forever, that is a fact. The Oceanographic Institute in Monaco Ville is so deeply embedded in my mind, I had no clue where this image I photoshopped came from, until reading an article recently:

The underwater palace

This year, I realized only this week,  marks the 100th anniversary of the Institute. The impressions it left upon me 40 years ago are much more than memories.

For 40 years, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was its director, from 1957 until his death in 1997.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

The Institute is also a museum, open to the public which, by and large has little notion as to what wondrous artifacts and creatures they are about to discover.
And the Institute is all about discovery, it stands as one of the world’s monuments to the spirit of  exploration.

Calypso cruises by the Institute

In the above picture, Cousteau‘s exploratory ship “Calypso” cruises past the Oceanographic Institute, and decades later,  his yellow submarine is “parked” out front.

Cousteau's mini-sub

In the Institute‘s basement is an aquarium displaying otherworldly fish and assorted creatures and flora of stunning beauty and strangeness. Also on exhibit throughout the Institute are other marine forms of life as well as skeletons, and much more.

Tall bay windows let you gaze across the sea and imagine yourself as Captain Nemo in his pied-a-terre, unless perhaps at dusk when shadows spread, you strain to hear Cthulu’s lament,  gazing down at the waves breaking on the rocks below.
No matter, the place will stay with you forever, even well after you thought you had forgotten. Except in dreams.


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