Natural history in Naturalis

We have a great natural history museum here in The Netherlands, called Naturalis, situated in the old university town of Leiden. They opened their new, much bigger, building last year and we’d been meaning to visit for a while. Especially mini-me was eager to go to see the new T-Rex they have there. So, yesterday we went. The building looks like this from the outside…

… and inside it is quite stunning (click on images to enlarge).

The collection too was stunning, all very nicely put together, but what I think I loved most is that in some parts they displayed the work they do alongside the collection itself. In the two following pictures you can see in the background of the room that researchers were actually busy doing their thing (in this case cleaning off dinosaur bones). The floating skeletons in the middle are of whales.

The assorted animals they had were impressive…

And the dinosaur exhibit was very cool. They were even working on assembling a dinosaur right in the exhibition space.

And I also loved the landscape model of The Netherlands as it was 30.000 years ago during the ice age, accompanied by a skeleton of a mammoth put together from hundreds of different mammoth bones finds.

The early humans exhibit was alas closed to visitors as apparently 1.5 meter distance measures could not be guaranteed there, so that means we just need to come back again another time when it is open again!

We walked into town in Leiden afterwards for drinks, which is always a bit nostalgic for me, as I once lived there for 8 years when I was a student.

Social distancing was doable throughout and judging from afar it was good that we didn’t head into the shopping street as that did look terribly busy. I always long to travel abroad on my holidays, get another perspective and see new things, but this day in Leiden really felt like a holiday as well.

10 thoughts on “Natural history in Naturalis

  1. While I am not particularly interested in natural history, this looks like a museum I would love to visit. The displays not only are cool (with the researchers behind) but some also looked really artistic in design (the butterflies!). And what a fantastic building!
    Leiden looks so pretty! (All of the Netherlands always looks so pretty in the pictures I see.) Lucky you for having lived there as a student. It must have been a nice place to study in!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it’s a really cool museum.
      I loved living in Leiden. When Mr Esther and I wanted to buy our first house, we initially thought of Leiden but it was far more expensive than where we in the end decided to go. Where we are now is very pretty too but Leiden is not only pretty but also a student city and not too large, which gives it a great vibe. Come visit some day and I’ll show you all. 😊

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  2. Esther the outside building looks stunning! What beautiful view along the water and Leiden looks very quaint and easy to walk around. Always great to have a day trip with memories from time spent at a student ! The pics you took are fabulous!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ€—πŸŒΈ

    Liked by 1 person

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