Located on the banks of the Loire river, across from the Musée Jules Verne, the Carrousel des Mondes Marins seems to have been born in the belly of the Île de Nantes, the city’s most maritime spot. Adults and children are plunged into the same imaginary universe of this incredible mechanical aquarium, which you can discover at your own pace.
This authentic 360° theatre is also an incredible sculpture dedicated to the sea. Visitors watch as strange and disturbing marine creatures revolve in a huge structure built on three levels. You will discover the sea like never before, from seabed and abyss to sea surface.
This giant carousel, almost 25 m high and 22 m in diameter, is a reinvention of fairground art. Three carousels are stacked in concrete lacework, crowned by a Big Top that is itself adorned with pediments, and guarded by 16 fishermen from all the world’s oceans.
Unsupervised access to the Marine Worlds Carrousel is permitted for individuals age 13 and up. Operation to the Carrousel des Mondes Marins is subject to weather conditions.
In the seabeds,
discover the Giant Crab, the Reverse Propulsion Squid, the exploring Machine that dives deep into the machine room, or the Bathyscaphe that climbs up the central mast… and the latest arrival: the Box Fish. A total of 14 elements fixed onto a rotating plateau.
In the abyss,
on the second level, 6 elements hang 5 metres above the seabeds: the Deep-Sea Lanternfish, the Manta Ray or the Pirate fish… Only visitors over 1m35 (4.5 ft.) are accepted aboard this level.
On the sea surface,
on the third level, a rotating plateau, protected by a Big Top, sweeps away boats, marine harnesses and other flying Fish, a storm Boat, Nutshells and Jellyfish, in a raging whirlpool of 24 big mechanical waves.
« The inhabitants of Nantes’ attachment to the maritime past of their city, the setting up of Les Machines de l’île in the former shipyards in Nantes, at the downstream end of the Île de Nantes have imposed the sea theme as soon as the project started in 2001. The vibrant imagination related to the sea is limitless and shared by everyone. The fishing world or the one of long-distance journeys have put men at the heart of all maritime adventures. Great navigators or pirates, Captain Achab or Némo haunt our imagination. A sunset on the ocean, the beauty of the silent world collide with the fear of the deep sea and of abysmal monsters… The idea to use the same structure as that of the banks to bear the Marine Worlds was the starting point of the invention of the Carrousel. As a way out of the island basement, it found a place at the bottom of the yellow crane, opposite the Jules Verne museum. The other powerful idea that led to its conception is based on the overlapping of 3 merry-go-rounds; it tieds up with our will to conceive incredible machinery that rekindles fairground arts. From 2007 to 2011, the 35 elements of the Marine Worlds populated the Galerie des Machines. Nantes inhabitants could see them as they were being built before their eyes in the workshop then in action in the Galerie des Machines and today they embark in the Carrousel. »
François Delaroziere et Pierre Orefice
Nicole Concordet and Christophe Theilmann are the architects of the first series of Les Machines de l’île inaugurated in July 2007. Nantes Métropole and the authors decided to entrust the project management of the Carrousel des Mondes Marins and of the Déferlante. From the invention of the Marine Worlds concept by the authors, of François Delarozière’s initial drawing and from the execution plans of the Machine, they conducted this building site and notably created La Déferlante. This area fits in line with the slope of block 3, which is now revegetated. It hosts the technical rooms, the staff quarters, a 120 m2
room for special events and a small bar.