|Centrally located in Strasbourg's University campus, this museum was built in the 18th century with elements from Jean Hermann's Gallery of Natural History. Frequently expanded, the collection is currently one of France's richest. A tour of its vast galleries allows the imagination to soar as the naturalist exalts and children are filled with wonder. First you'll discover the fascinating worlds of the Arctic, the Antarctic or the Andes, then further on different places spring forth as we encounter a myriad of birds, insects, turtles, lizards, starfish, kangaroos...all offering a rich and colorful panorama of the diversity of the animal kingdom.
The collections of Strasbourg’s Museum of Zoology find their origin around the middle of the 18th century when Jean Hermann (1738-1800), an outstanding naturalist and scientist from Strasbourg, set up a "curiosity chamber" in his own home. His natural history collection already contained several thousand specimens he had gathered with the help of his connections to the most famous scholars and explorers of his century. After his death, the collections were purchased by the City of Strasbourg and a Museum was founded to house them. Later, mainly during the 19th century, the collections were considerably enriched.
The zoological collections of Jean Hermann constitute the core of the present Museum of Zoology, which is located in a building inaugurated in 1893, when Alsace was German. Thus today’s collections have the unique peculiarity of sharing both characteristics of typical collections « à la française » and of having been under German administration for 48 years.
As a rule, the vast majority of the present-day collections date back to the 19th century. The 20th century contributions have enriched only the malacology and entomology departments.
In addition to its job of preserving this natural cultural heritage, the museum is also a place where scientists from around the world can come and consult specimens, notably referential specimens or types.