The Musée National D’Historie Naturalle [57 rue Cuvier, +33 140793794] was founded together with the botanical gardens, within which it exists (at the southern edge). However, it became a proper museum only in the 18th century. Formally founded in 1793, the Museum of Natural History grew during the French Revolution, under the guidance of leading thinkers like Leclerc, Lamark and Cuvier.

Musee National D'Historie Naturalle

It started off as a place for scientific research and as such spans across several buildings in the gardens. Aiming to house important collections with regards to the various aspects of natural history, the museum’s collection covers sections of palaeontology, mineralogy, geology etc… Its Grande Galerie de l’Evolution [36 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire,+33 140795479 ad/ch €7/5] is the highlight, as it takes up 4 storeys, covering 6000 square meters. The gallery houses a comprehensive ensemble of animal specimens that tell the tale of the evolutionary process. It also houses an endangered species collection in the second level and a more fun/interactive animal collection (for kids) in the first level.

You can head further back in time in the Galeries de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie [2 rue Buffon, +33 140795601 ad/ch €7/Free], which usually awes visitors with its complete collection of skeletal and fossil displays. Precious stones of another kind are exhibited in the Galerie de Minéral et de Geologie [36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, re-opening date in 2011 still unknown], which displays over 200 pieces of gems, crystals and even artworks from these stones or rocks.