Amazing Cosquer Mediterranée in Marseille Immersive Experience
Cosquer Mediterranée recreates the prehistoric cave paintings which exist 35 metres below sea level near Marseille in an underwater labyrinth investigated by speleologist Henri Cosquer.
Of course, 20,000 years ago, the cave-dwellers could wander in and out of these dwellings where they drew the wildlife of their habitat: sea animals, bison, penguins, horses and seals. How did they do this? Presumably by the light of torches or oil lamps. And why? It could be either for religious reasons or artistic impulses. Explore these mysteries at the new interpretive centre on Marseille’s waterfront. Continue reading here for the original article by Aixcentric.
Cosquer Méditerranée (website)
Promenade Robert Laffont
J4 esplanade adjacent to MuCEM
Henri Cosquer first discovered the cave (grotte) in the calanques, near Marseille, in 1985. To this day, the cave remains an important archaeological find, as the only known site east of the Rhône River. La grotte Cosquer is a historical monument and one that is in grave danger of disappearing with rising sea levels. The cave sits 37 metres below the water level, so wholly inaccessible except by experienced divers.
“In the last ice age when the cave was inhabited, the level of the sea was 120 metres lower than it is today and the shore lay several kilometres seaward of the current coastline.” ~Archéologie sous-marine
In 1991, the French state began classifying the 500+ drawings and paintings on cave’s walls. The art dates from the Upper Palaeolithic era, and the cave was inhabited twice, roughly 33,000 years ago and a second time 19,000 years ago. All of these treasures could be lost forever with environmental changes and the passage of time. So, virtual preservation became the focus for researchers and historians. The Kléber Rossillon group was selected to create the Cosquer Mediterranée the immersive 3D experience at Villa Méditerranée.
Here is a video of the construction of the virtual cave in Villa Méditerranée:
Réplique de la GROTTE COSQUER : projet Kléber Rossillon.
More to See in Marseille
The Underwater Museum of Marseille (Musée Subaquatique de Marseille) opened its doors, so to speak, with ten newly-created sculptures near a famous city beach. Admission is free, and guided tours are also available.
The museum’s founder, Antony Lacanaud, found inspiration in Mexico’s underwater sculpture garden near Cancun, which opened in 2009. Such sculpture gardens have begun to pop up worldwide, and Marseille’s is one of the first in France, along with two others near Cannes and Corsica.
The Calanques (fjords) of Provence: Just east of Marseille lays the charming coastal town of Cassis, nestled at the bottom of steep, vineyard-covered hills that come almost to the sea. It’s so adorably cute that you might think you are walking into a postcard. There’s nothing better than strolling through town followed by a bowl of fish soup or moules-frites at a restaurant by the docks.
Escape the city heat and head to les Îles de Frioul – the Frioul archipelago. There are four small islands in the group Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and l’îlot Tiboulen du Frioul. The island is the site of an old prison part of the Château d’If and the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas’ novel “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Visit the islands for hiking, sitting at the beach, some casual dining restaurants and a few historical military installations.
History buffs head to Fort Saint-Jean, Musée d’ Histoire de Marseille (one of the largest in Europe), the Musée des Docks Romains (Roman Docks Museum), and musée d’Archéologie méditerranéenne (located inside Vieille Charité).
You can’t visit Marseille without visiting the top of the hill to the Basilique Notre Dame de La Garde. Set high up on the hill overlooking the city and the sea. Notre Dame’s views are spectacular over Marseille’s entire bay, and you get a perspective of this sprawling Mediterranean city.