Natural History Museum, Paris

4 out of 5 stars 17 Reviews

57 rue Cuvier 75005

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Façade of the Grand Gallery
    Façade of the Grand Gallery
    by Nemorino
  • The Grand Gallery of Evolution
    The Grand Gallery of Evolution
    by Nemorino
  • Pollution of the Rhône
    Pollution of the Rhône
    by Nemorino
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    The Grand Gallery of Evolution

    by Nemorino Updated Jul 27, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Grand Gallery of Evolution
    4 more images

    For many years this was just called the Zoology Building, but in 1994 they did a complete re-launch and changed the name to La Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, which is appropriate because it really is a grand museum.

    It helps to have a reading knowledge of French, however, because only a few of the explanations have been translated into other languages.

    Downstairs at level 0 there is a thorough and systematic exhibit of marine habitats, including the open sea, the Arctic and Antarctic, coastlines, coral reefs, hydrothermal vents and the quite frightening abyssal plains, where numerous life forms manage to exist at great depths despite the cold, darkness and extreme water pressure.

    At level 1 (first two photos) there is a parade of stuffed animals that look as though they are queuing two by two to get in to Noah’s arc, but in fact they are demonstrating the diversity of animal species that live on land in various terrestrial habitats.

    The galleries at various levels around the sides of the building include exhibits on extinct and endangered species, the diversity of life, the evolution of life and man’s role in evolution.

    Among many other exhibits there is a vivid display (third photo) showing pollution in the valley of the Rhône River, which interested me particularly because I had noticed in Geneva how fantastically clean the Rhône is (for the first 800 meters after leaving Lake Geneva) and how filthy it has become by the time it reaches Lyon.

    The Grand Gallery of Evolution is one of several museums in the Jardin des Plantes. Together they form the National Museum of Natural History.

    These museums are not included in the Paris Museum Pass. I paid 7 Euros for admission to the Grand Gallery of Evolution in 2012.

    Next review from July 2012: Beaumarchais

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Special exhibitions in the Jardin des Plantes

    by kokoryko Updated Dec 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lamarck and the dragon
    4 more images

    Not only is the Jardin des plantes au beautiful Jardin à la Française, where the gardeners keep the alleys and massifs manicured, change often the flowers, where some trees begin to blossom in February, there are also a number of open air special exhibitions which are held in the garden. Last winter was an exhibition about dragons and legends, and on the main picture you can see a wondering Lamarck looking at a dragon, at the entrance of the Jardin des Plantes. Today (May, 8th) begins an exhibition about the Geology of France, in the frame of the International year of Planet Earth. I will go back to visit; I have time till end November. . . . I could see some of the preparations for this exhibition, like putting signs beside trees, recalling the scale of time for the planet, the geological ages, the important changes our planet has undergone, the birth of life, the appearance of multicellular organisms, etc. . . . . A giant map (Picture 2) is now hanging on the walls of the Galerie de Zoologie, you can see examples of signs on picture 3. There will be exhibitions of giant rocks like on picture 4, at the bottom of a mosaic geological map of France (accessible soon), and another of the signs displayed in the garden on the last picture
    Amways something to see at the Jardin des Plantes , and enjoying the garden and discovering a bit of the planet or of legends beautiful flowers, isn’t it worth a visit? .
    Open : the ”Jardin des Plantes” is open every day from 07:30 to19:45

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • parismumsie's Profile Photo

    A Delight for Children.....and Adults Too!

    by parismumsie Written Oct 24, 2009
    3 more images

    Since we traveled to Paris with two children ( 7 and 4), we researched the best places to take them. Luckily our apartment sat between Jardins du Luxembourg and Jardins des Plantes! The Natural History Museum exceeded our expectations. This newly renovated museum is just amazing. Every type of animal can be found there and the "march of the animals" has to be experienced first hand. My photos can't do it justice.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • parismumsie's Profile Photo

    A Delight for Children.....and Adults Too!

    by parismumsie Written Oct 24, 2009
    3 more images

    Since we traveled to Paris with two children ( 7 and 4), we researched the best places to take them. Luckily our apartment sat between Jardins du Luxembourg and Jardins des Plantes! The Natural History Museum exceeded our expectations. This newly renovated museum is just amazing. Every type of animal can be found there and the "march of the animals" has to be experienced first hand. My photos can't do it justice.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo

    Muséum national d'histoire naturelle

    by black_mimi99 Updated Aug 8, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    mi's

    The Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, founded in 1793, is the French national museum of natural history. It is a government institution with missions to develop research, collections, expertise and education in the fields of natural history and human sciences. Early in its history the Muséum became a publisher, and since the Annales were established in 1802 a steady output of peer-reviewed scientific journals and monographs has been maintained.

    When My visit here, enter into the Jardin... really beautiful garden, full of trees, flowers, and many kinds of medicinal herbs plants. And also contains small zoo.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle is a MUST

    by kokoryko Updated May 28, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jardin des Plantes seen from Valhubert entrance
    4 more images

    For those who like nature, like science, like Natural History (with capital letters!), the animals, plants, rocks, history of science, History, and also peaceful gardens, flowers, well, nature at its best, and also classical(18th -19th centuries) buildings, the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) is a place not to miss when in Paris! If you are interested in French science and culture, be prepared to spend at least one full day in this wonderful place, but you can spend even 2-4 days, and will not be finished. . . . . As a tourist (real traveller!) one day is the reasonable minimum. And your kids will love it! They will ask you to come back, I bet it!
    Let us first walk in the “Jardin des Plantes”, the park, coming from Metro Austerlitz, cross the Boulevard de l’Hôpital, and be greeted by the mammoth, at the entrance 2, Rue Buffon, standing proudly in front of the building hosting the “Galeries d’Anatomie comparée et de Paléontologie” (Comparative Anatomy and Palaeontology gallery). Leave the building on your left and walk 60-70 metres to Lamarck’s statue, and look to the south-west: you have an overview of the “Jardin des Plantes”, here designed like a “Jardin à la Française”, little squares, straight perpendicular alleys, and. . . flowers, as far the eyes reach, plane trees and chestnut trees on the sides, and at the other end, at 450 metres, the building of the zoological gallery (Galerie de Zoologie).
    It is just an introduction, the MNHN comprises a number of galleries, gardens, greenhouses, a zoological garden, an alpine garden, botanical gardens, even a mini-forest. . . . . Where to begin? Within a few hours it is not possible to see all, and it is better to focus the visit if your time is short, and you may come for some of the wonderful temporary exhibitions in the “Galerie de Géologie” or the “Galerie de l’Evolution”, or even an open air exhibition.
    Let me first present a bit the MNHN in the next tip, its history, its main “attractions” (I hate that word, except, for its real sense, physical), and physical is also valid for attraction for persons, and the geography of the MNHN, as it is quite a huge place, all together, as the figures of the collections here demonstrate:
    243.000 minerals
    300.000 rocks
    2000 meteorites
    200.0000 fossils (animals and plants)
    7.000.000 cryptogams in herbarium
    8.000.000 flowering plants in herbarium
    150.000.000 insects
    1.000.000 fishes and reptiles
    200.000 birds
    150.000 mammals
    35.000 human skulls
    1.000.000 prehistoric artefacts
    300.000 ethnographic artefacts
    25.000 living plants
    5.000 living animals
    . . . . . . Euuuuh, I am not fan of figures, but here, I am impressed!
    You may learn more about the MNHN in the website the designers made the effort to make an English version.
    On the main picture, taken on a wonderful stormy March day is a general view of the park, with the “Galerie de Zoologie” in the background; you discover this view after having passed the mammoth (picture2) who greets you at the entrance, 2, rue Cuvier.
    The gardeners change quite often the flowers in the massifs, and plant very simple but original flowers like these poppies on the third picture. Walking in the park, whatever daytime, whatever weather, whatever season is always a great pleasure, and looking at the trees, the little plants and flowers, discovering their names displayed on little signs is a wonderful pastime. . . . . (Picture 4).
    And, walking in the more hidden areas of the park, you may even make some discoveries like this statue (picture 5), (Dian?), full of grace and energy, a real beauty, located near the “Pavillon d’Histoire” (Tip to follow), just fitting to the general décor.
    The MNHN sells a 2 days pass for 20 Euros (15, for kids and other people entitled to reduced tariff) giving access to all galleries, places to visit, and allows discounts in some shops and restaurants in the MNHN.
    Open : the ”Jardin des Plantes” is open every day from 07:30 to19:45 the other units have different opening times (next tips)

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The new host of the Great Gallery of Evolution.

    by kokoryko Updated May 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wheke, the giant squid
    4 more images

    Since March 28th, Wheke (Main picture) is the host of the Great Gallery of Evolution at the MNHN; Wheke is a giant squid (Architeutis sanctipauli) which had been captured offshore New Zealand January 27th 2000 and has been “plastinised” (a conservation process which grossly consists of dehydrating the animal, then injecting very slowly, during weeks, a hardening resin which keeps as much as possible the original shape of the animal) by specialists of the MNHN and Italian experts of plastination. Adult squids can reach a size of 18 metres, this one here was 8.5 metres big before plastination and measures now 6.5 metres; even that size, I would not like to be caught in his tentacles. . . . . .
    The Great Gallery of Evolution displays parts of the MNHN collections on 6000 square meters distributed in four main levels; it is a modern museum, fully renovating the Zoology Gallery, inaugurated in 1994:
    On the ground level you discover marine life, its diversity, lit by bluish light, giving to this level the perfect atmosphere to look at fishes, corals, life of the abysses. . . . Wheke is now a bit of the star of this level, but the whale skeleton and the giant sharks have still their fans; I like a lot walking in the blue light between the pelagic fishes displays in glass walls, you are like a diver there.
    The first level displays the main ecosystems of land: the African savannah, with its great and spectacular variety of mammals, the Saharan desert, life of the polar regions, tropical forests of America; I wonder how the designers managed to put so many specimen in that space and it does not look overload. . . . Second picture taken from the second level: it looks like all animals are heading to Noah’s Arch. . . . Note you can observe them from very close.
    On level two, you are invited to think about the influence of mankind on Nature. . . . . . Hunting, picking, fishing and vanishing species, endangering biodiversity. . . . pollution, but also domestication of wildlife, creation of plant varieties and animal races; spectacular examples, many explanatory boards, genetics, you can spend a whole day only at that level, but if you go to the Southern corner of the gallery, you will enter a long narrow room, in shadow light, like in a underground necropolis, and look at specimen of animals and plants which already disappeared from the planet or are highly endangered: thylacine of Australia, dodo from Reunion, Aepornis, a giant bird of Madagascar, of which only one single egg (third picture) (and a few bones), remains on the surface of the planet, the tulip of Maurienne, . . . . the list is incredibly long, and still gets longer. . . . .
    On the third level, the kids (and me too!) learn about modern evolution concepts, and can see the incredible beauty and variety of life, how it evolves, how palaeontology, molecular biology and comparative anatomy tell the history of life on the planet. And more, beautiful displays of insects show the variety just among small groups. . . . .
    The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is one of the most beautiful museums dedicated to Nature I know! Don’t miss it when in Paris.
    And coming back to the ground level, walk between the glass walls displaying the pelagic fishes, greet the big mola (moon fish) and feel the peace of the ocean. (fifth picture)
    .
    Open : every day, except 1st of May and Tuesdays, from 10:00 to17:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 18:00 from April 1st to September 30th
    Entrance: 8 Euros, kids, 6 Euros. Keep your ticket, as you will have a reduced tariff in the next gallery or the zoo. . .

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The people who made the MNHN

    by kokoryko Updated May 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lamarck at Valhubert entrance
    4 more images

    The Royal Garden of Medicine Plants has been created by Jean Héroard and Guy de la Brosse, physicians of king Louis XIII, in 1635; during the French Revolution, it became the Jardin des Plantes and in 1793, the Convention established the MuseumNational d’Histoire Naturelle; it is one of the oldest Natural History Museum of the world, containing unique collections (many of them not visible to the ordinary public), very rare specimen of extinct fauna and flora, rare rocks and minerals; there is for instance the famous herbarium of Humboltd and Bonpland, with the 6000 specimen they collected during their expedition in “Equinoxial America”, but also the herbarium from Jean-Jacques Rousseau (He collected plants during his “Rêveries du promeneur solitaire”), with rare plants from Guyana, etc. . . . . All together 8 million specimens in the flower plants collection. . . . . .
    The zoology collections are as impressive, and a few spectacular specimens are accessible to the general public, in the Galerie de l’Evolution or in the Palaeontology and comparative anatomy galleries. As it goes for rocks and minerals, only a few (several hundreds!) spectacular specimen are on display; the collections are reorganised and moved to another place (since 2003, and it seems far from being finished!).
    When you arrive in the area of the MNHN, you will walk in rue Buffon, rue Cuvier, Jussieu, Geoffroy St Hilaire, and other famous scientists who have their names in the streets around. These were the guys who made the MNHN, as it is nowadays, generally speaking, and since two centuries, the MNHN is a “lighthouse” for natural and human science; today, a few hundred of scientists are conducting fundamental research in this institution.
    The tourists can have an idea of science and work carried out here since more than two centuries, visit the gardens and some of the galleries, and travel in another world for a few hours, discover science and nature, see that science and nature can be wonderful and beautiful. So, a walk in the Jardin des Plantes is a first discovery of the place, and have a look at the buildings where you will choose to enter, walk in the garden, see the statues, see the greenhouses. . . . . . Let me take you to the different places in the next tips, we start from Lamark’s statue (Lamarck was the first, with Haeckel, to write about Evolution, before the immense Darwin formulated this theory as we know it today), at the Valhubert entrance, Quai St Bernard, near the Seine River and go left to the Comparative anatomy and Palaeontology Gallery; then, we keep on the South-Eastern side, walking South-West, will pass by the botanical galleries, have a look at the roses garden, reach the geology and Mineralogy Gallery, then go opposite to the Great Gallery of Evolution, at the back of the Zoology Gallery, have a look outside of the Zoology Gallery, then go north-west on the western side of the Jardin des Plantes, have a look at the greenhouses, pass by the kitchen garden, walk through the Botanical Gardens and Ecology gardens, arrive at the rocks and peony gardens. I will leave you to visit the “menagerie” (the zoo), as I do not like cages, barriers, look at imprisoned animals, and wait for you at the western door of the zoo for a walk in the little forest (an English style garden is a more appropriate name) on small hill, with a maze at its summit, after a short visit to the “Cabinet d’Histoire”, and then, we will leave the Jardin des Plantes, on its south-western entrance, and have a green tea at the café in the Great Mosque of Paris. Ready? This little trip can be done in one day or one week. . . . but it is possible to skip a few of the places. . . .

    Main picture: statue of Lamarck at the Valhubert entrance.
    Second picture: window of the Comparative Anatomy and Palaeontology Gallery, with saw-fish rostra behind the bust of Milne-Edwards.
    Marble statue in the roses garden on the third picture; Venus Genitrix, from L.M. Dupaty.
    Kitchen garden on the fourth picture,, with a modern strawman, and the strange colours of the one of the greenhouses.
    Of course, don’t miss to pay your respect to Buffon watching “his” creation (fifth picture).
    Open : the ”Jardin des Plantes” is open every day from 07:30 to19:45 the other units have different opening times (next tips)
    The MNHN sells a 2 days pass for 20 Euros (15, for kids and other people entitled to reduced tariff) giving access to all galleries and places to visit.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Walking in the Jardin des Plantes

    by kokoryko Written May 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    End February
    4 more images

    One thing you will do of course, when you will visit one or the other of the Galleries located in the Jardin des Plantes is to just walk in the garden, look at the statues located in the roses garden, hidden somewhere near the Pavillon d’Histoire, look at the trees and flowers, look at people even. . . . Since ever it seems, I like this garden, whatever the season. . . . like on the main picture, this blooming cherry tree during a rainy day.

    Picture 2 shows that during the nice days, small children can enjoy a ride on some prehistoric animal. . . .
    Strange statues like on picture 3, a prehistoric man inventing the cutting and sharpening of stones, or very expressive ones like on picture 4, a faun attempting to seduce an angel.
    And during the warm days, you can have a rest on the lawn; usually it is not permitted but (Was it a dream? It became a nightmare. Was it in another life?) beneath this tree (picture 5) I had a wonderful afternoon sleep; the grass is very smooth there.
    So, just walking around in that garden is enchanting. . . . . .
    Open : the ”Jardin des Plantes” is open every day from 07:30 to19:45

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The world of the abysses, a temporary exhibition

    by kokoryko Updated May 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Piglet squid
    4 more images

    Many of the specimen of the mineralogy and geology were formerly displayed in the Galerie de Mineralogie et Geologie, in the main part of the building, on the left side of the actual entrance: hundreds of dusty cabinets and drawers with rock samples, antique mineralogical instruments, microscopes, goniometers, chemical analyses equipment; all this has disappeared now, (two years ago, it was already closed, but I visited it when I was student, and few years ago), and the area has been renovated and designed to host temporary exhibitions; future will tell if it is for the best or the worth, but museography evolves and the public is interested in spectacular displays.
    I visited here recently (May second) an excellent and very entertaining exhibition called “Abysses”; as its name indicates, it is (was, at the time of posting this “tip”) about the depths of the sea, exploration of the deep parts of the oceans and seas, life in the darkness of the abysses. . . . .
    It was well done: you enter in shadowy light, strangely (and fortunately, because of the ambiance) people are silent, and you begin your dive in the abysses. Left are miniature displays of bathyscaphs, pictures, few screens with movies and sorts of games or quizzes for the kids (and grown up), then mostly photographs of spectacular animals living between 500 and 8000m depth; in the middle of the long (30-40 m) rectangular hall are tens of animals coming from the depths, preserved in formaline or in plastine ; you are surprised to see most them colourless, or even transparent, as the photographs (many of them, lit from the back, transparent on glass sheets) you see on the walls are full of colours.
    At the end of the hall, a big screen on which a long (20 minutes) movie about life in the depths is played (third picture), and then return, looking at tens and tens of incredible photographs from life in the depths, incredible creatures, incredible colours, incredible stories about their discoveries. Very well done pedagogic boards explain these marvels, show the links between earth and life at great depths, explain all strategies life has developed to occupy the deep space of our planet, and explaining also, it is just the beginning of exploration there, more to explore than on the moon, or Mars. .

    I liked a lot the poesy of this piglet squid on the main picture (I put my name on the picture, but of course, it is a picture of a picture, I was not in the abysses) and this other spotted squid (second picture). A tiny “plastinized” transparent crustacean on the fourth picture, and the entrance of the mineralogy gallery on the last picture, with its richly decorated gable.

    You can visit the exhibition on this website:
    http://www2.mnhn.fr/abysses/index-en.php

    Entrance: 7 Euros, kids, 5 Euros. Keep your ticket, as you will have a reduced tariff in the next gallery or the zoo. . .
    The price includes the visit to the mineralogical collection.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The marvellous mineral world.

    by kokoryko Written May 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance of the geode
    4 more images

    Galerie de Mineralogie et Geologie
    Here is where you can see what physics and chemistry do in nature: geometry, symmetry, colours and shapes, and also how artists, craftsmen, jewellers. . . use the beautiful minerals. Only the most spectacular minerals are displayed for the public, and when you enter the gallery, on the ground level, on the right side of the building entrance, you enter like into a cave, or, better, a giant geode, where quartz crystals higher than yourself mark the entrance into the mineral world (Main picture); Amethysts from Brazil, giant Tourmaline crystals from Madagascar, Afghan Beryl crystals, and lots more big crystals can be looked at and touched, in this section on ground level, and you also see the psychedelic colours of radioactive minerals displayed like paintings in frames; there are interactive screens for the curious wanting explanations about the colours, how they are generated, what they physically mean.
    But the best is to come, in the lower level, the “Treasure Hall”, containing gems from the old royal collections and minerals or mineral assemblages among the most beautiful in the world (so they write in brochures. . . ), for their colours, shapes and rarity. As examples, just have a look at this Rhodochrosite from Colorado (picture 2), beautiful fuchsia coloured crystals, or this blue Cavansite from India (picture 3); hundreds of minerals, with famous gold nuggets, rubies, sapphires, topazes, emeralds. . . . . raw or cut and polished by jewellers. Royal treasures like these jewels from India (picture 4) , give you to dream. . . . . And I think about the work invested in that stone marquetry chosing colours and colour variations, fitting, polishing; picture 5 shows a 20 cm wide extract of one of the three 2.5 by 1.5 meters tables, from Mazarin’s collection.
    Many of the pieces of art in this “Hall of Treasure” have been made accessible to the public by Buffon and Daubenton in 1745; Daubenton (the first director of the MNHN) added in 1796 most of the raw and cut gemstones to the collection, and opened it to the public, “to show the use of gemstones in artwork and jewellery”; during the troubled times of French revolution, there were not only looters, head cutters, future tyrants, there were also people caring of art and science for the benefit of the general public . . . .
    .
    Open : every day, except 1st of May and Tuesdays, from 10:00 to17:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 18:00 from April 1st to September 30th
    Entrance: 7 Euros, kids, 5 Euros. Keep your ticket, as you will have a reduced tariff in the next gallery or the zoo. . .
    The price includes the visit of the temporary exhibition, if there is one.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Comparative anatomy and Palaeontology Gallery

    by kokoryko Written May 8, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Noah and his folk welcoming you. . . :-)
    4 more images

    When you enter this gallery on the ground level, you are greeted by a skinned Noah leading the skeletons to his Arch. . . . (first picture). There is an impressive herd of skeletons walking all in the same direction (Picture 2), hundreds of them. . . . . . This Gallery opened in 1898 displays a “vast landscape of bones”, but not only that. It is a huge building with wide windows enlightening the basement level. In the centre are squeletons of large mammals and on the sides are the displays for comparative anatomy (other than squeletons) of vertebrates: you will see brains of fishes, reptiles, birds, mammals, and human, preserved in formalin filled glass containers, stomachs, livers. . . . . ; if you are curious of monstrosities, at the end of the building you will see Siamese twins, six-legged lambs. . . etc. . . and some explanations about these monstrous phenomena; well, all what vertebrate life can offer, including the bad. . . Of course, you can think of Jonas when he lived a few days in the belly of the whale, passing by the giant skeletons of these animals (Picture 3); not only kids are impressed by these giants.
    On the first floor is the Vertebrate Palaeontology section and of course, the diplodocus occupies a wide space, and you can have a close look at the T. rex’s teeth, stay beside an Iguanodon, but also read the explanatory boards, a bit old fashioned, ( and outdated, but we are here as tourists, it is not important), learn about evolution, see the links between past life and actual life.
    There is a long balcony on the second level from where you have a bird’s view above the big fossil skeletons (many are casts) (Picture 4). At the second level is the invertebrate section, and there is an impressive collection of ammonites, urchins (Picture 5), insects, etc. . . I find the old fashioned display very interesting, and even moving, in some way, we are very close to the work of the palaeontologists, their notebooks are displayed, along with the specimen they describe, analyse, classify. . .
    This museum is a bit old fashioned, a bit dusty, (in the figurative meaning), but really gives an introduction to classification of the living world, the way it is looked at by scientists, even today, but mainly as life was studied a century ago; “you can’t read in the future, and that is frustrating, but at least in this museum, you can read in the past” (A. Gaudry, palaeontologist of the 19th century) ; there is history in this gallery, and you will be surprised, how kids are very interested, ask questions, compare, go from one place to another. . . , and of course, the spectacular specimen (monstrosities, giant dinosaurs, whales. . . . giant fossil bones) attract lots of people.
    When you have finished your visit, you can walk into the small shop, look for some postcards, find some souvenirs like puzzles, books, posters. . . .
    Open : every day, except 1st of May and Tuesdays, from 10:00 to17:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 18:00 from April 1st to September 30th
    Entrance: 6 Euros, kids, 4 Euros. Keep your ticket, as you will have a reduced tariff in the next gallery or the zoo. . .

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    Two interesting museums

    by christine.j Updated Feb 19, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    One of the museums I had planned to go to this time was the Natural History Museum. It consists of two buildings, the Gallery of Comparartive Anatomy and Paleontology and the Grand Gallery of Evolution. You have to pay entrance twice, but get a reduction upon showing the ticket from the other house.
    The Paleontology building is full of skeletons. Among many others there is a skeleton of the quagga on display, only the second one I've seen. The other is in the Grant Museum of Zoology in London. For the many children in the museum the dinosaurs and the huge whales were the biggest attraction. I also liked the painting on the wall, made to look like rock paintings, which fitted nicely in with the mammoth
    This part of the museum is an old building from 1898.

    To get to the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution you walk through the Jardin des Plantes.This is the modern part of the Natural History Museum. No skeletons, but lifelike animals, grouped together in their natural habitats. There is a Polar area, the Sahara Desert and the African Savannah are shown etc. I thought it was very well displayed and I really liked it. You're not allowed to touch the animals, understandably so with so many visitors, but I would have liked to stroke the polar bear or pat the elephant. This is a museum for which you need a lot of time if you want to see all.

    I paid 6 Euro for each, first the full price ,then the reduced price for the Galerie de l'Evolution. There were long lines, especially families with children were waiting to go in.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Jardin des Plantes

    by MM212 Written Jun 25, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    la Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, May 2007
    3 more images

    Originating as a medicinal herb garden in the 17th century, the Jardin des Plantes evolved over time into the botanical garden of Paris. It now also contains a small zoo, as well as three galleries that make up the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (natural history museum). The three galleries are: la Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Galerie de Paléontologie et d'Anatomie Comparée, and Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie. The museum also has branches elsewhere in Paris and the rest of France.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    Museums : La Grande Galerie de l Evolution!

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Aug 26, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The animal procession
    2 more images

    Part of the Museum National d Histoire Naturelle, and by far its most impressive section, is the Grande Galerie de lEvolution.

    This museum, much frequented by school parties, is dominated by a huge procession of African animals, life sized, led off of course by the elephants, and including the babies! It crosses the ground floor, with the rest of the museum and the many other life size figures on the balconies high up. It really looks like a hangar, large enough for several air buses. This is the nineteenth-century Galerie de Zoologie, an enormous, dark space surrounded by tier upon tier of glass and iron balconies, dramatically lit by glowing spotlights.

    There is also a fascinating reconstruction of the attack by a wounded tiger on the Duc d'Orleans on his elephant.

    lulu

    The "teaching" aspect is obviously considered important, and it is very well done, illustrated dramatically by the model animals. I particularly enjoyed the section on domesticated animals, from the camel to the cow passing by the chicken and the horse! It is a pity that the signs are mostly in French, although some of them come with an English translation.

    Metro Place Monge

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Paris

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

62 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Natural History Museum
3.5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all Paris hotels