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S636 Argonaute Submarine
Argonaute Submarine Entrance
Inside The S636 Argonaute Submarine
Argonaute Submarine Instrument Panel

S636 Argonaute Submarine in Paris

The Argonaute is a real submarine that served in the French Navy before being decommissioned, and eventually this become one of the many unusual tourist attractions in Paris that sees thousands of visitors every year.

About the S636 Argonaute Submarine

With its French name being l‘Argonaute Sous-Marin, this diesel-electric submarine of Arethuse class was launched on 23rd October 1958 and formed part of the front line for the French Navy, which was used during the war in the 1950s.

She was the fourth ship of the French Navy to bear the name of Argonaute and weighing in at over 500 tons with a length of almost 50 metres, she gave 24 years of service as the Flagship within the French Toulon submarine squadron.
The Argonaute submarine spent over 2,000 days at sea and an incredible 32,000 plus hours submerged, yet eventually, after going enough distance to travel around the earth ten times, the submarine was decommissioned on 31st July 1982 and was also disarmed in the same year.

The Amerami Association was originally founded by the director of the Musee de la Marine and its goal is to preserve French Maritime history, and it was after seven years of negotiations that the Amarami Association eventually managed to save this prototype submarine from becoming scrap.

Originally located at the French Naval base in Toulon in Alpes Cote d’Azur region, it was towed from there via Gibraltar, along the coast of Spain and Portugal, eventually to port of Le Havre in the Haute Normandie region of France.

From there, on 25th September 1989, the Argonaute submarine started to slowly make its way through the seven locks of the Saint-Denis Canal and once it had reached the quay on the Canal de l'Ourcq, the submarine was lifted from the water by giant cranes and then transported on a 96-wheel trailer to its final resting place.

Then in 1991 the Argonaute was finally ready to reveal its technological mysteries and wonder to the public in its now permanent berth, which is in the Parc de la Villette and opposite the Cite des Sciences in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris.

Visiting the Argonaute Submarine in Paris

Having been refurbished for easy visiting and even repainted in 2006, with the help of an audio guide that is available in different languages, you can venture inside and see things like the crew stations and the torpedo launching area, the periscope and the radar detectors, plus much more so that you can get a feel for how these mariners used to live and work.

There is also a dedicated visitors centre with an exhibition that shows the history and techniques of submarines and details of the Argonaute, which means that even if you are disabled and cannot look around the submarine itself, you can still learn more about the fascinating history of the French navy along with the history and technology of submarines.

The l’Argonaute Sous-Marin is just one of the fantastic tourist attractions in Paris and is a great way of spending time with the whole family at this marvel of engineering, not forgetting that it provides a greater insight into the working conditions and fuels the imagination even further.

Access to the S636 Argonaute Submarine

This Argonaute submarine is open to visitors from 10am to 6pm from Tuesday to Saturday and from 10am to 7pm on a Sunday, but during the French school holidays it is open from 10am through to 7pm.

However it is closed on a Monday and on all national French holidays.

As of 2012 a visit to the Argonaute will only cost you €3 per person, but we would like to point out that children under the age of three are not allowed into the submarine, and unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, the submarine itself is not accessible to the disabled.

Located in the Parc de la Villette opposite the Cite des Sciences in the 19th Arrondissement, the nearest Metro station is Porte de la Villette and this landmark in Paris can also be reached by bus on numbers 75, 150 and 152.

Related photo images

  -  Photos of S636 Argonaute Submarine
  -  Photos of Parc de la Villette

Address and Contact Details:

L’Argonaute Sous-Marin
Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie
26 Avenue Corentin Cariou
Ile de France

Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 05 80 00
Fax: +33 (0) 1 40 05 78 18

More information and attractions in Parc de la Villette

  -  Parc de la Villette Park in Paris
  -  History On The Parc de la Villette
  -  Cabaret Sauvage Shows in Paris
  -  Cite de la Musique Music Hall In Paris
  -  Philharmonie de Paris Concert Hall
  -  Le Trabendo Concert And Music Venue
  -  Musee de la Musique Museum
  -  Cafe de la Musique - Now Cafe des Concerts
  -  Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie
  -  The Geode Cinema
  -  The Peniche Cinema
  -  The Fontaine aux Lions de Nubie
  -  Le Hall de la Chanson
  -  Canal de l'Ourcq
  -  La Grande Halle de la Villette
  -  Centre Equestre de la Villette horse riding school
  -  Le Zenith De Paris La Villette
  -  My Boat restaurant
  -  Pavillon Paul Delouvrier
  -  Theatre Paris-Villette
  -  Tartes Kluger
  -  Pont Flottant Villette

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