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Poland is still rich in natural regions and the natural environment is still intact by heavy industry in many areas. Currently, there are 23 national parks in the country. Still, for obvious reasons visiting this sights is not possible all year long. This is why natural history museums are created all over the country. The most interesting institutions of this type function by or in the national parks or in big cities. Some natural exhibitions are also placed in bigger museums where only a part of the displayed elements are connected with natural environment.

 

Nowadays in Poland there are over 30 natural history museums that gather more than 2.5 mln exhibits. Particularly interesting are the museums of national importance such as: Gdynia Aquarium , Museum of the Earth in Warsaw or Natural History Museum in Białowieża or at Święty Krzyż Summit. The important factor that we have to mention at this point is that natural history museums in Poland as many other institutions of this type has in recent years opened to new technologies and made their exhibitions more interactive and interesting for the visitors. Good examples of such new and interactive museums are Hydropolis in Wrocław that is, as a whole, dedicated to water and water biomes; and Giganci Mocy (Power Giants) in Bełchatów that is dedic ated to coal.

 

Selection of major natural history museums in Poland

Some other natural history museums worth mentioning include: Natural History Museum in Cieplice Śląskie Zdrój, Darłowo, Drozdowo, Granica (museum of Kampinowski National Park), PAN Museum in Kraków, UJ Zoological Museum in Kraków, Natural History Museum in Krościenko (Museum of Pieniński National Park), in Miedzyzdroje (Museum of Woliński National Park), in Ojców (Museum of Ojcowski National Park), Museum of Environmental Knowledge in Poznań, Natural History Museum in Puszczykowo (Museum of Wielkopolski National Park), Museum of Forest and Wood in Rogów, Natural History Museum in Smołdzino (Museum of Słowińskie National Park), in Sobieszów (Museum of Karkonoski National Park), Natural History Museum of Wrocław University in Wrocław, Tatrzańakie Museum in Zakopane (Museum of Tatra Mountains) and finally Natural History Museum in Zawoja (Museum of Babiogórski National Park).  

 

Here you will find a selection of our favourite natural history museums in Poland:

Gdynia Aquarium

Located at the South Pier in the very heart of Gdynia. A Modernistic building of the Aquarium offers an amazing view over the Kościuszki Square, Gdynia’s beach and Gdańsk Bay. The Aquarium is also a museum operated by National Marine Fisheries Research Institute as well as a zoo. It was opened as a museum in 1971. Visitors may see extraordinary species of fish, reptiles and amphibians from all over the world. The Aquarium exhibits four main habitats: coral reef, oceanic depths, Amazonian tropics and the Baltic Sea. There are approximately 1,500 specimen, representing 250 various species, living in the Gdynia Aquarium.

 

Hydropolis

Hydropolis is a high-tech multimedia museum dedicated to water. Divided into eight thematic parts and started off with a short 360-degree film which takes you from the Big Bang to nucleosynthesis to the formation of planets to the origin of Earth's aqua, Hydropolis is a friendly-for-all-ages discovery zone where visitors can peek at creatures found in a drop of water, spin an Archimedes' screw, sit in a replica of the Trieste bathyscaphe, which made a descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960, or kick back in the sea-sounds-and-bioluminescent-jellyfish relaxation space. Informative and impressively designed, this is one experience we wholeheartedly recommend.

 

Nature and Forest Museum in Białowieża

Nature and Forest Museum is the oldest museum in the Polish national parks. Its traditions reach back to the interwar period, and its collection includes many precious scientific collections and rare specimens. The museum is housed in a modern building, which in an innovative and attractive manner exhibits natural collections, ranging from zoology, through botany ending with historic use of the forest.  All the exhibition uses modern interactive manner of presenting the exhibits.

 

The Museum of the Earth in Warsaw

The Museum of the Earth gathers, studies, preserves and exhibits collections covering all the geological sciences, with special regard to Polish minerals, meteorites and rocks, Baltic amber, fossil flora and fauna and archival documents on the history of the Earth sciences in Poland. The museum’s collection comprises over 180,000 specimens and objects. Particularly noteworthy is its extensive collection of amber and other fossil resins, ranking among the largest natural science collections of such type worldwide.

 

Natural history museums pay an important role in spreading nature sciences knowledge. We heartily recommend visiting them by all school groups but also for adult groups interested in natural environment. We believe that in times of ecology crisis that we experience nowadays it is vitally important to spread the knowledge about our planet and its mechanisms. If you want to plan a trip to Poland including this places just contact one of ITS Poland DMC professional group coordinators.  

Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska

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