The Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle,Nantes!

Well here I go again, been at home makes you think about where you have been and take a closer look at my blog. Well as usual i write on the many places visited and as always never quite tell all! Nantes is a city that is like one of my homes, not only for the visits with the family and friends that live there but on my business trips as well; needless to say been all over. However, there is so much beautiful things to write about my belle France that oh well here is another, the Natural History Museum of Nantes.

The Nantes Natural History Museum  was first devoted to natural history in a private office created in 1799 by François-René Dubuisson, a pharmacist, lover of natural history. This office is then located rue Caylus name of the current rue Saint-Jean during the French revolution. These collections were bought by the town in 1806 and installed in the premises of the old school of surgery of Saint-Côme, belonging to the city, and located rue du Port-Communeau; the current rue Léon-Blum. The museum, inaugurated on August 15, 1810, then presents collections of geology, mineralogy and botany. François-René Dubuisson remaining conservative until his death in 1836. From 1836 to 1863, Dubuisson’s successor was Frédéric Cailliaud who added a collection of natural sciences.


In 1838, the idea of assigning the old mint hotel on rue Voltaire to the installation of collections was mentioned. Located on the hillside a little west of Place Graslin, the building has indeed been unused since the abandonment of the monetary strike in the city, but this possibility is ruled out, the hotel will successively house the courthouse, a school of science and a business school. It is then envisaged the construction of a room at the top of the jardin des plants, then later in the extension of the Cours Cambronne. Finally, they came back to the initial project since it was decided to build new buildings on Place de la Monnaie, backed by the old Hôtel de la Monnaie built between 1821 and 1826. The foundation stone of the building was laid in 1868, the museum began to be laid out in 1872 and was inaugurated on August 19, 1875, during the congress of the French association for the advancement of science. The Natural History Museum was then one of the first to be installed in a building specially built for it. Subsequently, an extension was carried out on the adjacent building of the old Mint. A vivarium was created there in 1955 to display live animals.

In 1970, the departure of the Nantes business school which, since its creation in 1900, occupied part of the premises of the former Hôtel de la Monnaie, will finally allow the museum, whose expansion had then become essential, to integrate the building by incorporating it into its own premises. The old school classrooms become exhibition rooms dedicated to prehistory and paleontology, while the amphitheater is transformed into a conference room. Visitors now enter through the entrance on rue Voltaire, formerly reserved for the business school. After ten years of enlargement work, the museum thus restructured was inaugurated on March 5, 1980.

The first floor zoology gallery presents the phylogenetic classification of vertebrates. Among the remarkable specimens, a whale skeleton over 18 meters long. This large cetacean was rammed in 1991 by the LNG tanker “Edouard LD” from Algeria, and its skeleton recovered in Donges near the LNG terminal at Montoir-de-Bretagne thanks to a collaboration with the National Veterinary School of Nantes which had prepared for four years in its Anatomy Unit.

The museums of Nantes metropole on the Natural History Museum in French: Museums of Nantes metropole on the Natural History Museum

The tourist office of Nantes on the Natural History Museum in English: Tourist office of Nantes on the Natural History Museum

This is a magnificent charming area of Nantes to even walks and see the wonderful architecture of buildings all around you, not to miss the Natural History Museum. Hope you enjoy the brief tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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