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Natural History Museum (Pavia)

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Title: Natural History Museum (Pavia)  
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Natural History Museum (Pavia)

The Natural History Museum in Pavia, Italy, is part of the Museum System of the University of Pavia. It is composed of three parts, and today it is in a provisional seat.

Historical signs

The museum was founded for didactic purposes by Lazzaro Spallanzani, a teacher of Natural History at the University of Pavia, in 1771. Particularities of the museum included minerals sent by the empress Maria Theresa of Austria. Collections were kept in the Central Palace of the University for more than a century. However, a new wing was added in 1778: initially named 'Comparative Anatomy', the section was later renamed 'Mineralogy and Zoology' and contained instruments that had belonged to the surgeon Antonio Scarpa. In those years, the museum had housed over 24,000 specimens.

Each part of the museum became an autonomous museum in 1875: that one of Anatomy was moved into Palace Botta in 1903, likewise the one of Zoology was moved in 1935. Instead, the section of Mineralogy was moved to another part of the Palace. In 1960 all sections were moved again into the Castle Visconteo, in trying to create a unique museum open to the public; but, that plan was not realized. In 1995, work started to regain and restore materials because, over the years, the collections became degraded. Recently, the museum has been in a phase of planning; the definitive seat of the Natural History Museum is planned to be in the scientific pole of the University.


The Natural History Museum of the University is located at street address: Office and library: Piazza Botta 9-10 Telephone: (+39) 0382986308 Fax: (+39) 0382986488

Provisional exhibition Via Guffanti 13,

The museum is open (booking required): Monday, 09:00/12:00 - Wednesday, 14:00/17:00 - Friday, 09:30/12:00.

External links

  • Natural History Museum
  • University of Pavia

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