Monday, 19 March 2012

Finding Nemo

It was a rainy sunday and I invited my brother, Mark over to my yacht for lunch. I made a hearty ox-tail stew, which went down very well. Afterwards he devoured the bran rusks (Mom's special recipe) I had baked especially for him. We then decided to jump on a train and visit Monaco.

An exciting sea trip awaited. We visited The Oceanographic Museum. Introduced in 1910 by Prince Albert 1.  This monumental architectural work of art has an impressive facade above the sea, towering over the sheer cliff face to a height of 85 m. It took 11 years to build, using 100 000 tons of stone from La Turbie.

The museum is home to exhibitions and collections of various species of sea fauna (starfish, seahorses, turtles, jellyfish, crabs, lobsters, rays, sharks, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, eels, cuttlefish etc.) both stuffed and in skeletal form. The museum's holdings also include a great variety of sea related objects, including model ships, sea animal skeletons, tools, weapons, etc.

An aquarium located in the basement of the museum showcases a wide array of flora and fauna. Four thousand species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates can be seen. The aquarium also features a presentation of Mediterranean and tropical marine ecosystems.

 I found Nemo

Jelly Fish

A visit to the Cathedral is a must. Saint Nicholas Cathedral is where many of the Grimaldi's were buried, including Grace Kelly and more recently, Rainier lll.

The cathedral was consecrated in 1875, and is on the site of the first parish church in Monaco built in 1252 and dedicated to St. Nicholas. Of note are the retable to the right of the transept, the Great Altar and the Episcopal throne in white Cararra marble.

Pontifical services take place on the major religious festivals such as the Feast of Sainte Devote (27 January) and the National holiday (19 November). On feast days and during religious music concerts, one can hear the magnificent four-keyboard organ, inaugurated in 1976.

From September through June, “Les Petits Chanteurs de Monaco” and the singers of the Cathedral Choir School sing during mass every Sunday at 10:00am. Mass is also celebrated here each year on 6 December, when primary children gather for a joyful remembrance of St. Nicholas' life.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral

No comments:

Post a Comment