Travel Guide Aix en Provence Get to know Aix en Provence

The Natural History Museum of Aix-en-Provence

The Natural history Museum is a French site located in Aix-en-Provence in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region. Created by Henri Coquand, a famous geologist from the 1838s, the square has been located since 1950 in the splendid Hôtel Boyer-d'Eguilles which was classified as a historical monument from the 17th century.

More than 30,000 people come to visit the Museum every year in order to contemplate the majestic paleontological, zoological or ethnographic collections. Currently, it exhibits more than 375,000 specimens, half of which concern herbaria (155,000 individuals).

The site is also renowned for its paleontology galleries, specifically dinosaurs. There are almost 1,000 remains of species. The estate also has several fossil plants of which 46,000 specimens are listed. The most famous of the collection is that of the Marquis de Saporta, the ultimate founder of paleobotany.

This Museum of Natural History in Aix-en-Provence offers general public educational workshops for children that are realized at Avenue Jean Monnet in one of the rooms of the Planetarium Park. It operates as well in the progression of paleontological researches which are meticulously supported by a scientific follow-up of the excavations carried out in Pays d'Aix as in the educational section by the presentation of stuffed animals.

Life-size reproductions are waiting for you at the Aix Natural History Museum! Among other things, you will have the opportunity to contemplate two masks-helmets of West Africa as well as 54 trinkets of the years 1996. These last ones represent above all a huge ethnological hierarchy of which Guyana, Brazil and Greenland are the most concerned.

During the visit, you will be entitled to a diorama that displays life scenes of the Pacific Islands. A zoological collection is among other things accessible to visitors which has been well preserved by the Museum. There are about 600 species of molluscs, 512 reptiles and amphibians and 85 fish specimens, as well as the many thousands of birds and insects.

Among these masterpieces, we can especially note the gallery Meyer which was obtained in 1951 and is reconstituted from the Bouches-du-Rhône to Dakar in Senegal. This exhibits a collection of approximately 21,000 beetles. That of mammals including oryx, lynx or wolves is 1,500. Do not forget to mention the collection bequeathed by Louis de Barrigue de Montvalon in 1898 which presents more than 600 models of 19th century Provençal fauna. .