A leap in time

Cosquer Mediterranean

Marseille is a city rich in cultural and historical heritage, but did you know that it has a real prehistoric treasure? Does Cosquer Cave sound familiar? We tell you everything about this nugget hidden several tens of meters below the surface of the water.

The discovery of the Cosquer cave

Let’s start at the beginning. In 1985, Henri Cosquer, an experienced scuba diver and underwater enthusiast, went diving in les Calanques, his vast playground. That day,  he dived towards the cap of  Sormiou, a place he was used to surveying . At a depth of  36 meters, a cavity dug into the rock wall  caught his eye and he decided to explore it. This is the beginning of a great adventure for this man who will make a major discovery that will change his life. At the end of the immersed gallery, which is nearly  175 metrers long, he discovers a real treasure dating back 30,000 years: more than 480 works of art painted or engraved on the rock, penguins, deer, ibex, bison, as well as handprints and traces of a fireplace.
After several trips back and forth over a period of time, between 33,000 and 19,000 BC. The sea at that time was 120 meters below today’s level and the water was several kilometers away. The climate was cold and the landscape was not the same as today.

In 1991  the cave was authenticated and revealed to the general public. A year later it was classitfied as a historical monument. Since then it has been studied by historians and researchers. Unfortunately, with the rising waters, this cave is doomed to disappear, some of the paintings are already partially submerged.  The need to bring this unique cave to the surface and share it with the world will become a priority. The cave is currently inaccessible and its entrance has been closed.

A unique restitution

As for its big sister  “La grotte Chauvet”, it is the company  Kléber Rossillon that has been chosen to restore and exploit the cave, which since June 04, 2022 has opened its doors to the public in the Mediterranean Villa, on the esplanade of J4. This jewel of prehistoric will have no more secrets for you.

Your visit will begin on the ground floor, in a diving club, the same one where Henri Cosquer was preparing for his underwater walks. Don’t worry, you won’t have to wear your diving suit or flippers! You will then go down 37 meters below the sea, on board a diving chamber (you  understand that it is in fact a simulation, in reality you will  go to level -2!)

At the exit of the “caisson” you will embark in small vehicles to go back in time to the Paleolithic. After 35 minutes of immersion, you will be back on dry land where an exceptional documentary on the discovery of the cave will be presented to you.

On level 3, you can take advantage of the Gallery  of the Mediterranean to learn more about our ancestors and their way of life. The visit to the 3 levels lasts 2 hours. You will also find food, luggage storage and a shop.

Come and discover in the center of Marseille one of the most beautiful testimonies of our past. Don’t hesitate and book your ticket now!

Practical information

Address

Villa Cosquer Méditerranée ,Marseille 2ème

Prices

Full price 16€
Child 5€
More

Did you know?

The boat on which Henri Cosquer made  his expeditions and discovered the famous cave, had a predestined name, it was called Cro Magnon, funny  coincidence !

 

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