Sunday, 1 March 2015

Cité du volcan museum

The Cité du Volcan museum re-opened in August 2014 after several years of refurbishments. It tells you everything you need to know about Reunion's Piton de la Fournaise in particular, and volcanoes in general.

Exterior of the Cité du Volcan

It's located in Bourg-Murat, the small town where most of the eating and accommodation options are to be found nearest the volcano.

Exterior of the Cité du Volcan

Initially opened in November 1992, its existence is largely due to the French volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft, who had studied La Fournaise closely. They both died in a pyroclastic flow in Japan in 1991.

Exterior of the Cité du Volcan

It used to be known as the Maison du Volcan until 2011 when it closed for refurbishment. It reopened on August 5th 2014.

multi-sensory  lava tunnel, entrance to the Cité du volcan

Covering 6200m2, the new museum includes a 4D cinema, a 270°C auditorium screen, and has innovative and interactive features such as holographic projections, augmented reality, wide 'multitouch' surfaces, and audio-visual environments.

one of the exhibition rooms

In a bathyscaphe the colonisation of underwater lava flows is explained, including how a lava flow becomes a coral reef and the birth of living organisms.

one of the exhibition rooms

part of the Piton de la Fournaise timeline

A large part of the exhibition lets you explore Reunion island and its geological and geographical features, including the island's birth, more than 3 million years, up until the present day.

a copy of the first-ever map of Reunion

Other parts let you seen the human effect the volcano has had on the island, and explores the legends surrounding it.

exhibition room about the Volcano observatory 

The Cité du Volcan is one of four museums operated by the Regional Museums of Reunion group. The others are Kelonia, Stella Matutina and the MADOI.

exhibition room about the Volcano observatory 

The museum is open every day (apart from Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1st) from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The ticket office closes at 4:45 pm.

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