Wonderful aquariums and an incredible seashell exhibition makes the Museum of the Sea a unique place on the Atlantic coast and one of the few in its own class in Latin America.
The Museum of the Sea
, which shows most of the sea ecosystem richness
, is placed on the Stella Maris hill summit, just a 15-minute walk from downtown Mar del Plata
The creators of this scientific and cultural enterprise, which makes the citizens feel proud, are successors of Benjamin Sisterna, a collector who studied and collected seashells for more than 60 years. To honor his extraordinary work and legacy, the museum exhibits an incredible collection of 30,000 seashells, among other sea treasures.
Modern and didactic, the museum is divided into different levels, specially arranged for visitors to understand and appreciate the collection. On the ground floor, there is a gathering point where a wide map is displayed. In this map, visitors can find the places explored by collector Sisterna, the auditorium and the Gloria Maris café, surrounded by aquariums and glass cabinets which transmit the magic of the sea.
The nacre level is divided into two areas. Contemporary art and cultural objects mainly of local and regional production are shown in the historical area of the building. The majority of the seashell collection is exhibited in the new area of the museum, and is displayed in glass cabinets with additional information.
The next level displays the rocks: a kind of submerged cave with a central pond inhabited by little sea organisms, and connected with the first level aquariums.
Finally, the sky level offers an inner viewpoint which shows the museum's integrating conception. Besides, visitors can enjoy a lovely view of the city to the sea horizon from the balcony.
A man who fell in love with the sea
As we have already mentioned, the history of this museum is closely connected to a man’s life: Benjamín Sisterna. Benjamín was born in 1914 far from the sea, in the Province of Santa Fe
. But at the age of 18, his brother who was doing military service in the south of the country, sent him a box containing 15 seashells. Curious and self-taught, he became fascinated by the beauty of these creatures and devoted his life to breeding this passion ever since, which led him to visit the most remote corners to look for more specimens. After 26 trips around the world, exploring the seas and exotic beaches, he managed to gather no less than 30,000 pieces, some of them reached a record-breaking size. Nowadays, the Museum of the Sea exhibits them as true city heritage.
Opening hours: Sundays thru Thursdays from 8 am to 8 pm, Fridays from 8 am to 10 pm.
Bear in mind: The museum offers interesting cultural and scientific activities, apart from educational programs for everybody.