It's not too hard to find a hotel that boasts a gorgeous waterfront view. But this hotel near the La Fourmigue lighthouse off the Cap d'Antibes in France, takes it a step further: it's actually underwater. At 98 feet below sea level, it's been a bit of an institution, with local fish checking in since the 1960s.
It's part of a miniaturized French town that boasts a neighboring community of houses, a church, town square, a lawyer's office and an amphitheater. It was built between 1963 and 1965 by a pair of French filmmakers to shoot their movie, L’Enfant et la Sirène (The Child and the Mermaid), on an actual underwater set.
After dedicating two years to the construction of the town, the film decided to use a Paris animation studio instead. The resulting film, a musical directed by Sylver Néjad Atzamba was never finished and the underwater set was abandoned on the seabed.
But dig through a diving forum and you'll discover one of the men who actually built the town. He had some incredible old photos of the town's supermarket and salon.
Here's a diver installing the city.
The byline for this article reads: “Will the underwater town of 1000m² at 30 feet deep become pray to vandals again like last year?” (Who is going underwater to vandalize? With SCUBA gear?)
The sunken city is finally being renovated by the neighboring coastal town of Vallauris Golfe-Juan. An agreement in 2007 lets them not only repair and clean the structures but add a few new buildings.
There is a diving company that will take you on an excursion to this fascinating miniature town.
And a mesmerizing video of what you’ll find.
Credit: MessyNessy Chic