Experience our planet’s beauty
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF
With a heritage dating back over 300 years and as Basel’s first large museum, the Natural History Museum Basel impresses with its unique mix of old exhibitions, contemporary displays with a personal touch and numerous icons like the extinct cave bear. A visit to this treasure of natural history objects is a unique journey through the history of humankind and our planet. This year, visitors can look forward to the special Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Having its origins in the 19th century, some of the museum’s 7.7 million objects are far older. Its collections include interesting natural-history exhibits from the fields of zoology, entomology, mineralogy, anthropology, osteology and palaeontology.
Having its origins in the 19th century, some of the museum’s 7.7 million objects are far older. Its collections include interesting natural-history exhibits from the fields of zoology, entomology, mineralogy, anthropology, osteology and palaeontology. Today, the museum is situated in a classicist building with an impressive patina and a special atmosphere in each room – the perfect backdrop for the museum’s exciting mix of ancient objects and contemporary exhibitions.
The good life, Photo © Daniel Nelson
The various permanent exhibitions on offer include highlights such as a display on threatened and extinct species, one on dinosaurs, or the one that deals with invertebrates. Additionally, one annual special exhibition is planned, attracting around 30 to 60,000 visitors. “Being able to fully immerse oneself in a topic that is adapted to the needs of visitors is what our visitors really appreciate,” explains Yvonne Barmettler, the museums’s head of communication.
Until 3 June 2018, the special exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases the world’s 100 best nature photographies exclusively in Switzerland. Visitors can look forward to breath-taking landscapes, surprising animal portraits and dramatic natural spectacles that showcase the beauty of our planet. Barmettler adds: “We cooperate with museums from Switzerland and Europe and partly show our own exhibitions, and partly ones that have been designed in other museums. To adapt these exhibitions to our spatial circumstances, we put special emphasis on a personal touch that can only be experienced here.”
Events for all ages round off the museum’s varied programme. Highlights include special school tours, the annual family Sunday which usually attracts 3,000 people or the free ‘After Hours- Chillen im Museum’, where a younger audience can enjoy an after-work drink at the museum bar. It seems no wonder that many of Basel’s inhabitants call the Natural History Museum Basel their favourite museum. Maybe soon it will be yours too.
Schauplatz Natur, Photos © Gregor Brändli