Exhibits of the found treasure from the shipwreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha in 1622 - wicked cool pieces of eight, bars of gold and silver stacked up like loaves of bread, and lots of other treasure found at the site. The museum is good at giving lots of historical background and descriptions and uses of some of the items which do not exist (as such) in modern times.
There is another exhibit of the shipwreck of the Henrietta Marie, an English slave ship which sank in 1700. The images and artifacts on this exhibit are haunting...
I enjoyed my visit to this museum. The regular admission is $12.50/adult, but I was able to buy a combination ticket here for admission to the museum and to the Hemingway Home for $22.
this very interesting museum has on display much of the treasure of the spanish ship atocha. the atocha was part of the 1622 tierra firme treasure fleet. on it's way back from havana to spain the atocha and four other ships sunk near the dry tortugas during a hurricane. shortly after the hurricane the treasure from the nuestra senora del rosaria was salvaged because it sank in shallow water. in 1626 the treaure of the santa margarita was recovered by salvagers from havana. because the atocha lay in deeper water it was never salvaged until it was found by mel fisher in 1980's. this museum has very interesting exhibts on keys history and the spanish treasure fleet.
Mel Fisher was a man with a dream -- to locate sunken galleons and retrieve the treasurers which they had carried. He was widely successful and subsequently opened several locations in Florida where the treasurer from Spanish Galleons and the like could be seen and appreciated by the common man. His finds were quite incredible. But one must remember that just finding these sunken ships is an art in itself.
Key West is lucky to have the Mel Fisher Heritage Society, Museum and Exhibit. It is the type of place which should appeal to people of all ages. One current exhibit is the Henrietta Marie* a slave ship which floundered on a reef off of Key West and sunk in July, 1700. The Museum explores the transatlantic slave trade through the history and findings of this ship. The museum actually highlights 4 ships in total and artifacts found.
The museum if open 365 days a year from 9:30 a.m to 5 p.m. Current admission is $12.50 adults; $10.00 for students; and $6 for children (2008 prices). Tickets can also be purchased online. Check for reduced prices or savings coupons, but seeing these exhibits is definitely worth the time and effort. Don't forget to visit the giftshop! I still have a pair of cloisonne earrings I purchased at one of Mel's smaller exhibit/museums in Sebastian, Florida. The Key West Museum store, no doubt, also has great gifts.
If you like diving, read "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson!! It is a noon-fiction book about wreck divers discovering and uncharted WWII sub off the coast of New Jersey!! It's fantastic!!!
This museum honors Mel Fisher, a local hero, who with a crew of salvagers found the sunken treasure of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha.
This small museum is informative, but a bit pricey ($11) for what is actually there. The second level is devoted to the transatlantic slave trade and was very well done.
The grand exterior leads one to believe there is a lot to see, while actually, a good deal of the space is devoted to a large gift shop area (I always have a problem with a place that routes you out through the gift shop).
Mel Fisher is famous for his search for buried treasure amidst shipwrecks. After decades of searching, Mel finally hit it big in 1985 and discovered the remains of a ship which sank just off the coast of Key West in the 1600s. After a long legal battle, which I recall hearing about in vague detail, Mel Fisher was proclaimed the victor and received the spoils of this undersea buried treasure, valued in the hundreds of millions.
The maritime museum has exhibits and a video which explain the dangerous and costly process of recovering shipwrecks. Some of the finds from the 1985 shipwreck are on display here as well.
This museum was set up by a local underwater treasure seeker and contains a collection of many of his finds.
What a great place to go if you're a history buff. Notice in the photo, you can see all the spanish writing...just amazing. And the musuem lets you hold a gold bar!!!!
What a great place to go if you're a history buff. Notice the bowl in the photo? Look how the pattern is still there...just amazing. And the musuem lets you hold a gold bar!!!!