The Natural History Museum of La Rochelle!

This museum I have spoken briefly in previous posts in my blog, however, feels deserves a page of its own. It is a wonderful history and great architecture which I like even if by there briefly. I like to tell you a bit more on the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle or national history museum of La Rochelle.  The Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle or natural history museum is located in the town of La Rochelle, in Charente-Maritime dept 17 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. It is installed in the former palace of the governor of Aunis since 1831 that was given by Napoléon I in 1808. For info, now the museum is closed until June 2022.

A hotel was built on the site of the old Jesuit garden between 1708 and 1718, The hotel became the hotel of governors in 1748. In 1775, the city built two wings, one to the south adjoining the left wing of the existing hotel, on the garden of the royal college, the other north of the garden for outbuildings and stables. When Napoleon I passed to La Rochelle in 1808, he gave the city two wings to install the public library there. The left wing of the hotel was refurbished in 1832 to house the natural history collections donated in 1782 to the Académie des belles-lettres, sciences et arts (Academy of Literature, Sciences and Arts) ,which became the Lafaille Museum. The garden is landscaped in a botanical garden style.  Louis-Benjamin Fleuriau de Bellevue bequeathed most of his natural history and ethnography collections, as well as his library, to the City Museum in 1852. The Fleuriau Museum was opened in the north part of the building from 1874 to 1903, it receives the decoration which still remains. The episcopal palace was bought by the city in 1910 to allow the extension of museums and the botanical garden. The right wing was extended in 1914 to rue Albert-Ier, along rue Alcide-d’Orbigny. The Lafaille Museum was enlarged in 1920. It was restored between 1958 and 1960. The dolmen of La Jarne went up into the garden.

The Natural History Museum occupies all of the buildings. A new restoration was made in 1998, and the museum reopened on October 27, 2007 after almost ten years of work made it possible to create air-conditioned reserves, to redevelop the garden and above all to double the exhibition area, compared to that which existed formerly, by also increasing it by an auditorium for the conferences. The museum offers 2,300 m2 of exhibition spread over two areas, natural history and ethnography, very well represented by collections of primary importance due to the quality of the old collections, some of which come from 19C sailors and explorers of the region, while others come from large collections like that of André Breton: natural history collections: present since the 18C they are the fund of the museum Ethnographic collections.


The official Natural History Museum of La Rochelle :

The La Rochelle tourist office on the museum

The Alienor Museums Council on the natural history museum of La Rochelle:

And there you go folks, I feel better, this wonderful Natural History Museum of La Rochelle. A nice architectural gem and nice history of La Rochelle. Hope you enjoy it as much as I.

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

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