Aquarium de la Porte Dorée

City: Paris

Country: France

Region: Ile de France

Opend 1931


 Species 300



The Tropical Aquarium was established in 1931 in the only building of the Colonial Exhibition intended to remain in order to show the public the aquatic wildlife of the colonies.

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Last visited 2014


Palais de la Porte Dorée Aquarium Tropical
254/256 rue de Bercy
75577 Paris Cedex 12

Phone number .: 01 40 13 49 13




Open  minimum 10am-5.30pm, closed Mondays, 1st January, 1st May and 25th December 



  • Adult 7,- Euro
  • Child up to 5,50 Euro

Anual pass

  • Adult 15 Euro
  • Child up to 10 Euro
  • Familly card 33 Euro
Familly card is valid for 2 adults and 2 children

You are welcome to take photos, just remember to mention the aquarium on your page

From the design of the 1931 Colonial Exhibition, the exhibition curator Marshal Lyautey wanted to show metropolitan, sustainable, diverse aquatic life of the french colonies. That is why the Aquarium was laid in the same Palais de la Porte Doree, a building that had for objective to persist beyond the Colonial Exhibition. During 1934, the pit left free planisphere is arranged such a setting by architect Albert Laprade himself, with the help of a sculptor. Ponds and fake rocks recompose a "corner bush" populated by crocodiles, turtles, monkeys and African birds. Scientific purposes and were referred spectacular pursued, under the auspices of the National Museum of Natural History and especially Professor Gruvel, director of the Laboratory of Fisheries and Productions colonial animal. The set consisted of a marine aquarium, a freshwater aquarium and a terrarium to house the reptiles as well as a "product gallery" exposing the industrial exploitation of certain species (tortoise skins, crocodiles, corals ...). The project was very ambitious, richly decorated trays painted backgrounds and ice glass dimensions hitherto unparalleled ... The implementation was quite complex works were delayed and continued after the inauguration of the place, the Aquarium was one of the corner stones of the show. If attention is paid to the Aquarium from 1934 to 1938, the Second World War is a disaster for the institution staff mobilization, power cuts, water heating cuts, lack of maintenance of tanks , food shortages ... After this dark period, new specimens arrive at the institution, reported inter alia by colonial administrators. The entry most famous is that of adult Nile crocodiles in 1948, through Professor Théodore Monod, renowned scientist then director of the French Institute of Black Africa. Of the original group, the last crocodile lived until 2010. In 1960, the future of tropical aquarium is uncertain, the links were not evident with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs under André Malraux. Its success, however, allowed it to keep many visitors flocked to the gates of the Palace. After a period of stagnation, a new era in 1968 which marked the end of the colonial economic vision and utility. Dioramas with the use of colonial waters are indeed removed in favor of new aquariums, both sides of the terrarium for turtles. A "neutral" presentation is adopted on geographical and aesthetic criteria. Yet, despite this major orientation, continues to decline due to lack of resources and implications. So that in 1984 there were more real choice: should the Aquarium be closed or should there be undertaken major works? It is under the leadership of Michel Hignette, the renovation of the Aquarium is launched. Installments since the work is carried out gradually without closing the facility. The key initially is to improve living conditions for the animals, without touching the historical aspect of the place, still largely dating from 1931. A larger tank is installed instead of three old, while the original windows are retained: the space where fish life is thus greatly increased. It is also to improve the water quality. New filters, tested on site allow unprecedented exposure of invertebrates in an aquarium of artificial seawater (shrimps, corals ...). This progressive control of water quality and awareness of the educational character of a mark deep aquarium workplace organization. An actual species selection may be implemented. Each tray is now thought in a comprehensive and educational organization of the Aquarium. 
Map 2014 Plan 2015
On the way through the aquarium you will look at 84 different aquariums. The highlight stands in the middle, the Mississippi alligator denn, here you see both the common color and the quite rare white alligators. The aquarium as well shows some turtle and tortoise species like the red-eared slider. Most aquariums though have fish from the tropical waters, both fresh water and sea water. It tries to give a show on biodiversity, adaption to the enviroment, electrical fish and the tropical reef. On your way you meet piranhas, electrical eel, elephant fish, clown fish and it even has several species of lung fish

DE: Dieses Aquarium liegt im Gebäude dass einst die Kolonien und deren leben zeigen soll. Interessant ist die Lungenfischsamlung und der höhepunkt für die meisten die Mississippi Alligatoren von denen es Zwei weisse hier gibt

DK: Dette akvarie ligger i bygningen der er bygget for at vise koloniernes liv og skatte. Interessant er lungefisksamlingen og for de fleste er højdepunktet mississippi alligatorene af hvilke akvariet har to hvide eksemplarer
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