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
- Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
57 rue Cuvier
Phone: +33 1 40 79 30 00
Lisa D. Aug-15-2018
Personally, I love the museum of comparative zoology because Cuvier touched things in there that are still there. However, if you are looking for a "real"... Read More
Ryan W. Mar-25-2018
I like to imagine the adventurers who collected all of these specimens in the 1800s. They were stumbling upon the a great truth, but slowly. One dissection... Read More
Heather S. Oct-19-2017
This place is amazing! I could stay all day! In fact I got hungry and was glad for their café on the second floor. I came for the Meteorite exhibit, but the... 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.
Map & Instant Route Finder
Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.