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Grande Galerie de l'Evolution - African Animals

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Grande Galerie de l'Evolution


Naturalized animals

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Who is it for?

Paris for you
Paris for you

Why you will love it?

The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution (Great Gallery of Evolution) is part of the Natural History Museum of Paris, one of the oldest museums of its genre in the world. From the massive animals of the African savannah to the creatures of the deap blue sea, the building houses a wide collection of naturalized animals in a setting that will amaze both kids and grownups alike.

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About this place

36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris
Line 5/10 - Gare d'Austerlitz

Monday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
more less
Monday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Tuesday : Closed Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
1 January 1 May 25 December

Our Insiders' Article

A 17th century active research campus

The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is set in the lush gardens of the Jardin des Plantes and is part of the Natural History Museum. It contains a wide variety of naturalized (taxidermied) animals that many French scientists brought back from France’s great colonial empire.
The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is made up of 4 floors, each presenting a different theme in the evolution of life and how animal habitats have changed as a result of human activity.

More than meats the eye

The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is a perfect stop when in Paris with kids or when looking for an off the beaten path activity. Make sure you check out the other parts of the Natural History Museum located in the Jardin des Plantes such as the Ménagerie zoo, the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy and the Grandes Serres greenhouses.

On the first floor, there is a special kid section called the Galerie des Enfants, for kids aged between 6 and 12. The program is in French and English. A snack bar is also located on the first floor.

Naturalized animals

Probably the most captivating element of the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is the long line of naturalized African animals in the center of the first floor.

Also very impressing is the whale skeleton at the entrance of the museum, which opens the whole section on the ocean and deep sea creatures.

Famous inhabitants of the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution include the Royal Rhinoceros of King Louis XV (the first big animal to be taxidermied here in the 18th century) and Siam, the 6-ton circus elephant that died in 1997.

The evolution of species

On the mezzanines of the 2nd and 3rd floors, you will be able to get familiar with the works of famous naturalists such as Buffon, Lamarck or Darwin, and understand how their work has enabled us to understand evolution.
One of the most moving parts of the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is the hall dedicated to the endangered or extinct species of the planet, such as the Tasmanian tiger and the Dodo of Mauritus island, both extinct, or the Tiger of Sumatra which can still be saved.

A state of the art museum

The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution was built in 1872 to expose the whole zoological collection of the Natural History Museum of Paris. But after WWII, the gallery became a wreck: the roof leaked and damaged the naturalized animals, which lead to the closing of the museum.
Still considered salvageable, restoration of both the building and the animals started in 1991. The Grande Galerie de l’Evolution reopened in 1994 and is now a great place to visit when in Paris with kids.

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