The London Natural History Museum, the perfect museum for taxidermists and major collectors. Like the British Museum, the initial collection comes from Sir Hans Sloane , a botanist also famous for importing cocoa from the Caribbean. Sloane donated his collection of stones, animals and plants collected around the world to the nation in 1753.
Initially the collection of Natural History Museum in London was housed in the same building as the British Museum. Back then, the mummies and new Greek and Assyrian archaeological finds attracted large crowds. The collection of 80 millions of objects and artefacts is the largest in the world.
A brief history of the Natural History Museum in London
The natural history collection became bigger and bigger and a building had to be built to house it. Land was purchased in South Kensington It was originally called the British Museum (Nature). The London London Natural History Museum building itself is spectacular, opened in 1881, is in the Victorian Neo-Gothic style.
The architect Alfred Waterhouse was commissioned to build a cathedral for the natural world. His creation is so unique, adorned with curious animal gargoyles and decorated with botanical motifs that, perhaps more than any other museum, it is worth visiting for the architecture alone.
In the museum, there are galleries devoted to zoology, thousands and thousands of fossils, bones and stuffed animals. Immediately upon entering you can see the skeleton of a huge dinosaur. Did you know that the natural history museum in London needs more than 151 thousand litres of alcohol to preserve the 22 millions animal and plant samples?
There are interactive exhibits, ideal for children of school age, but there are also areas committed to children. More suitable for enthusiasts are the galleries of minerals and plants. In this museum, you can feel and touch the Victorian spirit of collecting, labelling and attempting meaning to the world.
Darwin al London Natural History Museum
A recent gallery is entirely dedicated to Charles Darwin and explorations.
You can also see among the treasures of the museum the first edition of Darwin’s work that revolutionized the sciences. That is ‘On the Beginning of the Species’
When Darwin visited Australia and described a platypus many did not believe it. He also sent a sample of the animal’s skin which was deemed a fake. You can see these samples in the Darwin section.
Darwin thought birds came from dinosaurs but never found proof. The archeopteryx fossil shows that birds are descended from reptiles. In fact, if you look carefully you see the outline of the feathers and feathers.
What is in the Natural History Museum in London?
The museum garden contains vegetation and animals tricks as well as a beehive but is only open from 1 April to 31 October ( 10: 00 – 05: 00), you can see a range of British Isles environments such as Fen, reeds, hedges, woods and meadows – and attracts dragonflies, hen ‘water, moths, and different types of birds.
In the summer, outside you also have the opportunity to enter and visit a butterfly house ‘with many butterflies flitting around, while in winter you can skate. And every now and then you can also sleep with the dinosaurs
Other temporary exhibitions are also organized. if you have the time to see them. Every year there is also the well-known exhibition of animal photographs or The Wild Animals Professional Photographer of the Year
The museum is located on five floors and divided into four coloured areas. The blue zone which is called from Dinosaurs to Man is the most popular one with its dinosaurs and the skeleton of the blue whale hanging from the ceiling.
Don’t miss the mammoth skull too, but you’ll have a nice choice of animals to observe, from elephants to the Indian python. You will then end up in the dedicated gallery The central hall and dominated by the skeleton of 32 m which is a reproduction of a Diplodocus– ‘ Dippy ‘, now the skeleton of Hope the whale is seen instead.
Here also begins the green area dedicated to birds, insects, fossils and minerals. The bird collection includes the dodo, the now legendary extinct bird. Do not miss the part of the insects where you can enter a reconstruction of a tower built by termites.
The part dedicated to minerals is much less interactive and lets you see how the museum in the 1800 Don’t miss the meteorites and pieces of moon rock.
The red zone instead focuses on the earth and the universe. The part dedicated to geology is fascinating starting with a strange journey on an escalator and passing through many volcanoes and a simulation of an earthquake, better if you enter directly from Exhibit Roadway and destiny the escalator.
These galleries present the history of our planet, past, present and future – from the Large Bang to current environmental problems. Don’t miss the dinosaur footprints! The orange zone or the Darwin Centre is a recent part of the museum and consists of artefacts collected by Charles Darwin himself. Here you explore the idea of evolution
How to visit the Natural History Museum in London?
The museum is free from 2001, after a few years when you had to pay, and it’s a great way to spend the day with or without young children. Request peace to see it all.
There are paid temporary exhibitions, but you will have a lot to see even without having to shell out a penny.
The museum is located a short distance from South Kensington station on the Piccadilly Line, for a real overdose two other great museums are located nearby: The Science Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum.