Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations

Marseille, France

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (Mucem) is a national museum located in Marseille. It was inaugurated in 2013. The museum is devoted to European and Mediterranean civilisations. With a permanent collection charting historical and cultural cross-fertilisation in the Mediterranean basin, it takes an interdisciplinary approach to society through the ages up to modern times.

The museum is built on reclaimed land at the entrance to the harbour, next to the site of the 17th-century Fort Saint-Jean and a former port terminal called the J4. A channel separates the new building and the Fort Saint-Jean, which has been restructured as part of the project. The two sites are linked by a high footbridge, 130 m long. Another footbridge links the Fort Saint-Jean to the Esplanade de la Tourette, near the church of St Laurent in the Panier quarter.

The museum, built 'of stone, water and wind' was designed by the architect Rudy Ricciotti in collaboration with the architect Roland Carta. A cube of 15,000 square metres surrounded by a latticework shell of fibre-reinforced concrete, it houses exhibits on two levels, with an underground auditorium seating 400. The permanent collection and bookshop are situated on the ground floor. There is a restaurant on the terrace at the top of the building with panoramic views of the bay of Marseille, the Corniche and the Prado.

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Founded: 2013
Category: Museums in France

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kartik Natarajan (2 years ago)
Really Great museum with a lot of interesting and different exhibits. The curation is quite different to most museums I have visited and I found the approach very engaging. The architecture and the buildings themselves are also well worth seeing. Tickets are reasonable for the experience. Bear in mind you don't need to buy a ticket to just visit and see the buildings and really through the whole complex.
Michael's Vida (2 years ago)
Its very nice! It was surprisingly free for almost the entire thing! It has a cool food area and an area to go beside the water! There are some secret doors and tunnels too to explore! And the views are really nice!
Seb Moulton (2 years ago)
A very big museum with a lot of varied exhibits. The ancient fort is a wonderful setting and offers beautiful views of the port and city. The history of port is fascinating. It is told through a series of videos that demonstrate the timeline and development of the fort from ancient times to the modern era. When I visited the museum there was an art exhibit in one of the buildings on the top of the fort. It was a very moving collection on refugees and their struggles surrounding their displacement. There is an additional museum below the fort walls that is a more modern structure. Inside was another 3-4 floors of exhibits. I only had time to visit one on the Pharos of ancient Egypt. It was yet another fascinating exhibit. There were many artifacts from this time that were excellently preserved. The exhibit itself was well laid out to provide base knowledge on the Egyptian pharaohs and then expand to the cultural significance of them through the ages. The audio guide was available as a website on your smartphone and the museum provides free wifi to access it. The guide itself was informative and provided good information on certain artifacts. The guide was a little buggy and would randomly pause or exit during the audio. You can definitely spend a whole day exploring all that this museum has to offer
Mason Bly (2 years ago)
We’ll air conditioned. Great information but the items in the exhibitions were rather limited. Fair price though at €11. Great place to walk around to see the views of the harbor!
Anne Huang (2 years ago)
Expositions extremely well designed and displayed in an engaging and easy to consume way with different types of media. The ancient part of Fort St Jean is also well designed with many outdoor spaces to admire the city. I particularly love the thought they put into the design of the icons and signs!
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