Natural History Museum , Nice , Architecture, Monuments, Museum Provence Attractions

Natural History Museum
Address - 60, Boulevard Risso - 06300
Type - Architecture, Monuments, Museum
Small Natural History Museum of Nice (located on the Boulevard Risso) is the oldest museum in the city. Its impressive collection counts more than a million pieces! The two-story building has obviously become ewas clearly «tightish», and in the near future the museum should «move» in a more spacious bilding which is now being constructed on the territory of the Parc Phœnix.

museum dhistoire naturelle musee barla de niceBut meanwhile the visitors approaching to the museum on the Boulevard Risso will see first its façade with large glazed arches. The exhibition space inside occupies an area of over 150 square meters. Here you can examine in detail the collections telling about the incredible diversity of the rich (and at that very fragile) natural environment of the Mediterranean Sea.

In the rooms there are the models of mammals of this region (stuffed wild boars, wolves, badgers, deer, chamois, bats), birds (owl, short-eared owl, tawny owl, sparrow) and reptiles. Next – there are collections of insects, fish, plants, and mushrooms. The minerals and fossils are also widely presented. There is an art gallery with picturescue canvases and graphics with images of plants, mushrooms and fish also in the museum.

The citizens owe the appearance of this museum in Nice to local naturalist, Antoine Risso. (He put forward the idea of creating a collection of the local flora and fauna in the XIX century). Risso, who later became a famous botanist, on its own initiative carried out the study of flora and fauna of the Côte d'Azur. He believed that the Mediterranean was the «paradise» for the naturalist, because it is an area of powerful geological activity,which has become a «home» for a variety of species of plants, animals and birds.

Two of his colleagues named Jean-Baptiste Vérany and Jean-Baptiste Barla examined in more detail Mediterranean shellfish, fish, mushrooms and plants having built a large collection.

These three scientists were able to unite their efforts and in 1846 opened a museum on the place Saint François, in the premises of the municipality. At that, Vérany and Barla granted their own collections for the museum's assemblage. The exhibition was originally presented with minerals, fossils, shellfish, mushrooms, stuffed fish, animals and birds.

Jean-Baptiste Barla, as a representative of a wealthy merchant family in 1896 bequeathed much of his estate to the city. The building on Boulevard Risso which is now the Natural History Museum has been also transferred to Nice. In gratitude, the inhabitants decided to name the streen in his honour. (The museum itself is also sometimes called a Museum of Barla).

Map - Natural History Museum

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