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Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

The Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, normally listed just as MNHN, is the national natural history museum of France and was formally founded during the French Revolution and during its hundreds of years of history has become a significant scientific and cultural establishment.

The royal garden of medicinal plants was created under the instructions of King Louis XIII in 1635, run by the royal physicians, then the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle became the natural progression from this and was formerly opened in June 1793.

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Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle In Paris France

And it was just one year after opening that a menagerie of different animals taken from fairs and royal domains was then set up as well.

Situated not far from the Bastille in the 5th Arrondissement, the Jardin des Plantes as it is known, became the botanical garden of Paris.  Now it includes a small zoo plus the palaeontology museum and the natural history museum and is a fantastic place for all of the family to visit.

There are several different halls within the museum and three different galleries.  The first of these galleries is called the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, which opened in 1994 after major renovation work and the exhibits portray the evolution of different species, and the relationship between man and nature.

Many say that the most impressive section of the Museum National d Histoire Naturelle, is the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution which is dominated by a life sized procession of African animals, led by elephants as it crosses the ground floor of this museum.  And, as you can no doubt appreciate, numerous tours and school parties are always booking to visit this incredible place, so it can become rather crowded at times, even though it is such a large space.

Another of the galleries is called the Galerie de Paléontologie  et d'Anatomie Comparée, where you can get to see things such as dinosaur skeletons, along with the comparative anatomy hall devoted to the vertebrates.

The third gallery is called the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie and provides some absolutely fantastic displays of minerals and crystals and a huge exhibition of meteorites.

There are other halls such as paleobotany hall, which is designed to trace the history of the plant world and the entomology hall, which is devoted to insects.

Plus the Jardin des Plantes will take the visitor on a walk through the many different garden areas, such as the rose garden, the iris garden, the alpine garden and the maze, along with the Botany school section.

The information signs are generally in French although there are some that have been translated into English.

And whether you are thinking of visiting for the cultural, educational or scientific aspects, with its spectacular exhibits which retrace the evolution of nature, this well established museum has something for everyone to enjoy no matter what the age!

The Museum also regularly features visual projections as part of temporary exhibitions on very diverse subjects, which extend and add a final touch to the permanent exhibitions.

You will also be pleased to know that you are allowed to take photographs and videos but you must not use any flashes and if you book in advance, you can also arrange specific guided tours and tours for large groups.

And although this is classified as one museum, technically they are separate as the different galleries are in separate buildings with different entrances, so below you will find the details of these.

Address & Contact Details:

Grande Galerie de L'Evolution
Jardin des Plantes
36 Rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire

Telephone: 01 40 79 54 79

Open every day except a Tuesday from 10am to 6pm and this particular part of the museum also has a boutique, cafe and a restaurant.

Galeries de Paleontologie et d'Anatomie comparee
Jardin des Plantes
2 Rue Buffon

Telephone: 1 40 79 56 01

Again this is closed on a Tuesday but is open Wednesday through to Monday from 10am to 5pm.

Galerie de Mineralogie et de Geologie
Jardin des Plantes
36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire

Telephone: 1 40 79 56 01

Once again it is open every day except a Tuesday from 10am to 5pm

Jardin des Plantes
Rue Cuvier / Rue Buffon / Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire
Place Valhubert

Telephone: 1 40 79 56 01 / 54 79

This has free entry and is open every day from 8am through to 5.30pm

Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Rue Cuvier / Rue Buffon / Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire
Place Valhubert

Telephone: 1 40 79 37 94

This is open every day from 9am to 5pm

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

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