The Museum of Nature St.Gallen is an information centre on natural history and related topics for the Swiss cantons of St.Gallen and Appenzell.
The Museum of Nature was founded in 1846 by members of the St. Gallen Natural Sciences Society. Long time it was together in the same building like the Museum of Art but since 2016 it stands adjacent to the Botanical Garden. The new building has an area of 2000 m²!
The collection contains more than 110000 plants, 110000 invertebrates, 25000 fossils, 8500 bird eggs, 350 parrots, 72000 butterflies and 50000 geological objects. The Museum of Nature also maintains a database on the current state of the fauna in the cantons of St.Gallen and Appenzell. The stuffed animal section is wonderful. There are a few which you can touch!
First Floor – The oldest exhibit
Here you can see a curiosity collection. The oldest exhibit of the museum, which is still an attraction for visitors, is a crocodile from the Nile that was mounted and stuffed in 1623. It is four meters long and was brought back then by the citizen Ulrich Kromm from Egypt to St.Gallen.
Second Floor – St.Gallen and the bear
The first animal that you see when you come up the stairs is a badger. If you go to the right, you will stand in a forest. This area is especially dedicated to the bear – our heraldic animal of the city (see Gallus and the bear). Here it has a bear cave, where you find a really old skeleton of a bear, it is over 20000 years old. But for me, the best part of this floor is the ant farm! Here you can see, where the ants eat, place their dead or raise up their young. Just sit down and look for them some minutes. If you go with your children, there is a small reading corner behind the cave with some children’s books. In this area you can also feel, touch and smell a lot. Do you recognize the trees by their bark? Do you know which leaves belong to which tree? How smell leaves? If you go to the left you come into the room where several times in the year special exhibitions on different topics occur.
Third Floor – Switzerland’s largest landscape relief
This is the most beautiful room in the museum. Here you can, among other things, see ALL animals that live between Lake Constance and the Ringelspitz! From the ant to the deer! On this floor the most of the visitors are unfortunately already too tired to go to the next floor. That’s why I recommend everyone to do this floor at the end! In the middle of the room is the largest landscape relief in Switzerland, it is over 37m²! You can see over 100000 small Houses and Buildings on it. In addition, here live a few live animals: really small mice and lizards. Did you discover all of them?
Fourth Floor – Dinosaur
On this floor are like four different sections. On one you can see petrification and prehistoric finds. As well the original skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur (9 meters long). If you go to the right, you will see a rock cave. Here you can discover East-Swiss minerals. If you continue, you’ll come to a workspace – it is about nanotechnology, robotics and technical inventions. Up here, there is a beautiful little reading corner for children. And last but not least: the simulated supermarket. There is a loooooot to read here… and it about wind power, solar energy and geothermal energy. It is a really important topic but mostly you are too tired to read though all this Informations.
The best way to get there is by public transport. The stop of the bus is in front of the museum. It is an interesting place to visit for adults and children. It is an especially good spot if the weather is iffy. Have fun!
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