The National Museum of Natural History in Paris France was established in 1793 and has a very interesting history that actually predates this. It is said the actual origins of the museum are in the medicinal gardens of King Louis XIII or Jardin royal des plantes medicinales, which were later renamed and modified by King Louis XV to simply Jardin du Roi or the Kings Garden which then enabled the gardens to focus on a broader spectrum of natural plants and later on natural history in general.
From 1739 to 1788 the Royal Garden was run under the direction of Georges-Louis Leclerc, de Buffon who was the leading naturalist of his age, the Royal Gardens survived the French Revolution and was later changed under the Republican Government to the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. The original aims of the museum were to educate the public and increase the natural collection as much as possible.
There are a number of branches of the museum throughout France but the main one is still in the original location of the Jardin des Plantes, 5th arrondissement of Paris or Metro Place Monge. The museum is recognized as one of the three largest museums of natural history in the world today and is also recognized legally as the National Reference Centre or the Natural World.
The museum's huge collection is estimated to exceed 60 million specimens from a variety of disciplines including geology, botany, palaeontology, zoology and anthropology.
One of the biggest attractions at the museum is the world famous Great Gallery of Evolution which is an enormous, slightly overwhelming space that houses an incredible array of species and specimens from throughout our natural history. These range from dinosaur skeletons and fossils to extinct species of animals and a very detailed look at how these different species including man have evolved over the years. The museum itself has evolved with the times and presents a number of installations with interactive mediums as well.
Nearby attraction: Jardin des Plantes
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: Musée National d’Histoire NaturelleFee: Yes
Many tourist attractions are temporarily closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please verify any opening hours below with the attraction before visiting.
57 rue Cuvier
Phone: +33 1 40 79 30 00
Sagruilla P. Jun-29-2019
The Yelp pages on this group of museums is conflated and confusing. The Jardin des Plantes is the large park expanse, which is free to wander through, and... Read More
Jessica G. Mar-04-2020
The Natural History Museum is fairly small, but impressive. It is a large, four-story room with a central exhibit (large models and "stuffed" animals) and... Read More
Denise W. Sep-27-2019
This is actually one of B's favorite museum other than the Louvre. It is crazy here. I would call this place a dumping ground for bones. Not just dino... Read More
Accommodations near Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle:
|Metro / RER Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|M7 or M10||Jussieu Station||5 minutes|
|M5||Quai de la Rapée Station||5 minutes|
How to get to Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle by Metro / RER
By Metro: Exit Metro M7 or M10 at Jussieu Station and go to your left walking straight south along Rue Linne to the entrance via the gate at the southeast corner or exit Metro M5 at Quai de la Rapée Station and go to your right throught the plaza and right again across Pont d'Austerlistz (Bridge) to the entrance gate on the far side of the traffic circle and make your way through the gardens to the entrance.
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