The National Museum of Natural History – MNHN is France’s most important natural history museum and one of the world’s largest. Currently, the institution oversees twelve different locations throughout France. The museum’s original home, headquarters, and the most popular venue is the Garden of plants in Paris.
The complexity of history and architecture
The museum’s beginnings can be traced back to King Louis XIII’s establishment of a royal garden of medicinal plants for medical and scientific purposes in the first part of the 17th century; the garden was later converted into a public museum of natural history in 1793, during the French Revolution. Along with being a museum, the institution has always been a renowned research center, with notable scientists such as Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, Georges Cuvier, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, and Henri Becquerel having worked for the institution.
The Garden of plants complex includes a variety of ancient buildings and monuments, as well as gardens, and is flanked by a 2000-foot-long massive parterre known as the Esplanade.
The Magny Hotel, designed by Pierre Bullet and built-in 1699-1700, was eventually integrated into the museum’s grounds.
The “Buffon Gloriette” is a kiosk designed and constructed in 1786-1788, making it Paris’s oldest metallic structure. The Amphitheater (or Auditorium) was also designed by Verniquet (1787).
The Zoo’s Rotunda (1802-1812), is a Jacques Molinos-designed structure.
The Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology is a Neoclassical pavilion designed and built between 1833 and 1841.
Today’s Garden of plants
The MNHN now includes eight galleries, greenhouses, laboratories, a restaurant, a cafe, five food kiosks, two stores, workshops, a botanical garden, a park, and a zoo, as well as a botanical garden, a park, and a zoo.
The Gallery of Evolution houses a permanent display covering 6,000 square meters (64,500 square feet) that focuses on the evolution of life and creatures on Earth, with over 7,000 specimens, some of which are quite colossal.
The Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy is a beautiful hall that houses around 650 animal skeletons, fossils, and other objects, including dinosaurs, extinct reptiles, birds, mammals, and fish.
Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy Gallery
The Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology houses a 770,000-piece collection of minerals, rocks, jewels, and meteorites, and is known for its gigantic crystal exhibit.
The Botanical Gallery, which was renovated in 2012, is the world’s largest herbarium, with over eight million specimens. The four Greenhouses (Grand Serres in French) are attached to the Botanical Garden and hold trees and plants from three habitats: tropical areas, deserts, and New Caledonia, with the fourth greenhouse devoted to plant development.
A park and numerous thematic gardens, including a rose garden, an alpine garden, a vegetable garden, and a labyrinth, make up the Botanical Garden, which spans 24 hectares / 59 acres.
Embark on a journey into the heart of nature.
Geology enthusiasts will enjoy the “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition in the mysterious, which features a collection of unusual giant minerals near the Grande Galleria
In the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy, skeleton fans can travel back in time 450 million years. This fascinating, old-fashioned structure, built-in 1898, is jam-packed with dinosaur skeletons, prehistoric animals, and other surprises. Fossils of all sizes, tracing hundreds of millions of years of evolution, will undoubtedly pique your interest.
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY?
The National Museum of Natural History is a public cultural, scientific and professional establishment. It is placed under the dual supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Ecological Transition. At the crossroads of earth, life and human sciences, the vocation of the Museum is exercised through five activities: conservation and enrichment of collections, research, higher education, expertise and the dissemination of scientific knowledge. If you wish to know more about the Museum, consult the section "The Museum" .
WHAT ARE THE SITES OF THE MUSEUM?
The Museum includes 11 sites open to the public throughout France as well as two marine stations, laboratories, a prehistoric excavation site... In Paris, within the Jardin des Plantes (Paris 5th arrondissement ), 7 places of visit are open to the public: the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution, the Galerie des Enfants, the Galerie d'Anatomie comparee et de Paléontologie, the Galerie de Geologie and Mineralogy, the Virtual Reality Cabinet, the Great Greenhouses of the Jardin des Plantes and the Menagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes. In Paris, you can also visit the Musée de l'Homme (16th arrondissement) and the Paris Zoological Park ( 12th arrondissement). In Île-de-France, you can discover the Arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup (78). In the Region, you are welcome at the Haute-Touche Zoological Reserve (36), at the Harmas Jean-Henri Fabre (84), at the Concarneau Marinarium (29), at the Val Rahmeh-Menton Botanical Garden (06 ), the La Jaÿsinia Alpine Garden (74), the Abri Pataud (24) and the Paléosite de Sansan (32). Discover all the sites open to visitors in the Visit section.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO APPLY OR ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AN INTERNSHIP AT THE MUSEUM?
The Museum regularly recruits civil servants (through transfer, secondment, etc.) and contract workers (fixed-term contracts, vacations). It also welcomes students for internships or work-study training. If you wish to find out about competitions, vacancies and internship or work-study offers, do not hesitate to regularly consult the Recruitment section.
DO YOU WANT TO BORROW A COLLECTIBLE FOR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES?
The Museum can regularly lend its collections for research as well as for temporary exhibitions. Your request must be made via the Colhelper platform . If you would like to know more about the procedures and conditions for borrowing, as well as all the information necessary to make a request, consult the Request for collection loans page .
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR TEACHING AND OUR CAMPUS?
Every year, the Museum welcomes students, young researchers, French and international professionals within the Doctoral School “= Natural and Human Sciences: Evolution and Ecology”, of the “Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution” Masters. The Museum also contributes to educational programs at License level in partnership with several French establishments.
ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL, RESEARCHER OR INSTITUTION, AND ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A SPECIMEN OR OBJECT HELD IN OUR COLLECTIONS?
You will find a presentation of the organization of the collections as well as the contact details of the collection managers in our section which presents the sets of collections . You can also consult our scientific database.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE OPENING HOURS AND DAYS OF OUR PLACES TO VISIT?
The National Museum of Natural History invites you to visit many sites in Paris and the Region. In Paris : Jardin des Plantes (Paris 5th arrondissement ) with 7 places open to the public: the Grand Gallery of Evolution ; the Children's Gallery ; the Gallery of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology ; the Geology and Mineralogy Gallery ; the Virtual Reality Cabinet ; the Great Greenhouses of the Jardin des Plantes ; the Menagerie, the Jardin des Plantes zoo . Museum of Man ( Paris 16th ) Paris Zoological Park ( Paris 12th ) In Ile-de-France: Arboretum of Versailles-Chèvreloup (78) In the Region: Haute-Touche zoological reserve (36); Harmas Jean-Henri Fabre (84); Concarneau Marinarium (29); Val Rahmeh-Menton Botanical Garden (06); La Jaÿsinia Alpine Garden (74); Abri Pataud (24); Paleosite of Sansan (32).
HOW TO BUY YOUR TICKET?
You can buy your tickets online at the Museum ticket office or on site at the ticket desks at each of our visit sites. You can also buy your tickets on the Fnac network.
HOW TO AVOID QUEUES AT CHECKOUTS?
You can buy and print your skip-the-line tickets in advance at the Museum ticket office . Reservations on the Fnac network are possible for the galleries of the Jardin des Plantes and the Musée de l'Homme. We invite you to consult the practical information of our sites for more information.
CAN I ENTER THE SITES OF THE MUSEUM WITH THE CULTURE CARD?
Not dependent on the Ministry of Culture, the Museum does not offer free admission or reductions for holders of the Culture Card on all of its sites.
IS THERE A TICKET FOR ALL THE SITES OF THE MUSEUM?
There are no combined tickets or tickets valid for all the sites of the Museum, however we offer annual passes which will give access to several sites in Paris. Discover all our offer in the Visit, Buy an annual pass section .
WHAT ARE THE VISITING INSTRUCTIONS?
In order to guarantee a comfortable visit for each of our visitors while respecting the collections on display, or the animals in our zoos, we invite you to read the visit instructions for each of them in the Visit section or on their websites . dedicated. Garden of plants Museum of human Paris Zoological Park Arboretum Versailles-Chèvreloup Marinarium of Concarneau Harmas by Jean-Henri Fabre Botanical garden Val-Rahmeh Menton
ARE THERE ANY ACTIVITIES OFFERED FOR GROUPS?
Discover our group visit offer and book now! The Museum also offers guided tours, workshops and activities for schoolchildren . To find out more, see the page dedicated to curricular and extra-curricular activities .
WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES TO DO AS A FAMILY?
All our exhibitions and visit sites are suitable for a family visit. They also offer cultural programming for young and old throughout the year. We invite you to consult the agenda of our programming .
ARE THERE ACTIVITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
Find our offer of individual visits on the dedicated sites (section "Accessibility) Jardin des Plantes , the Museum of Man and the Paris Zoological Park . Reservations are required for free, guided and group workshop visits to the Jardin des Plantes, the Musée de l'Homme or the Paris Zoological Park. For more information on how to book, go to the Groups page .
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THE SPACE RENTAL RATES?
The Museum regularly rents some of its spaces for private professional events (Grande Galerie de l'Évolution, Jardin des Plantes, Musée de l'Homme, Paris Zoological Park, etc.). If you want to find out more and know the prices, we advise you to consult the Space rental section . If you are a professional and would like to organize an event on one of our sites, you can request a quote online .
DO YOU WANT TO BUY TICKETS IN BULK?
The Museum offers tourism professionals as well as works councils and associations the purchase of tickets in advance. For works councils and associations, we suggest that you buy your tickets in advance at preferential rates and take advantage of the advantages. For tourism professionals, we offer an offer to purchase tickets in bulk dedicated to resale to individuals. Discover our offer in the section dedicated to tourism professionals & Works Councils .
WOULD YOU LIKE TO FIND OUT ABOUT OUR CONTINUING EDUCATION OFFER?
The Museum offers a continuing education offer made up of 23 modules designed for various profiles.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR EXPERTISE ACTIVITY?
The Expertise center of the Museum mobilizes different trades around three major services, an inexhaustible source of data on nature. To find out more about expertise at the Museum, see the section devoted to the expertise of the Museum .
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS AND OUR OFFER?
The Museum offers a dematerialized and tailor-made rental formula for its exhibitions. Discover our offer in the Traveling Exhibitions section .
DO YOU WANT TO SHOOT OR FILM IN OUR LOCATIONS?
The Museum offers its spaces for filming and photography in a professional setting. To find out more, go to the Filming and shooting section .
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MUSEUM MEDIA FOR PROFESSIONAL OR PERSONAL PURPOSES?
The Museum makes the media it produces available on the Museumedia online platform .
DO YOU THINK YOU'VE FOUND A METEORITE?
The Museum lends itself to the expertise of potential meteorites discovered by individuals. To find out if you think you have found a meteorite and possibly have it appraised by one of our scientists, go to the Expertise a meteorite page .
FOUND A RINGED BIRD?
Since 1989, the Center for Research on the Biology of Bird Populations based at the Museum has set up a program for the temporal monitoring of populations of nesting common birds in France, relying on the network of volunteer banders. If you think you have found a ringed bird, we invite you to consult the website of the Center for Research on the Biology of Bird Populations (CRBPO).