Natural History Museum of Montauban

Today we went to the ‘Musée d’Histoire Naturelle Victor Brun‘. We aren’t huge fans of museums, or should I say, the kids in particular aren’t huge fans. I still remember my oldest son’s comment after he went with some of our friends to a museum of ancient Egyptian art: “it was just a ton of heads and vases” – I’m sure he’s right, and I completely respect that dusty historic artefacts doesn’t interest him (or any of his siblings). Yet. I say yet, because I’m just about certain that this will change in time. History has a way of becoming more relevant to us, and thus interesting, with age. For my part, I absolutely love some museums while there are others I find extremely boring. It all depends on where your interests lie and obviously how the museum is laid out.

A Small But Comprehensive Museum.
So this natural history museum isn’t very big. It sits on the first floor of a historic building in the city centre, but even if it’s not huge, there’s still a LOT to see. The first hall has mainly mammals, among others an elephant, but it’s true that when you’ve had the chance to walk with real elephants, you just don’t relate to a stuffed version very well 😉

Nevertheless, it’s fun to observe the many different representations of animals, and see how many you actually know or recognize. The adjacent rooms hold among other things an impressive collection of birds. I was particularly surprised by the section of hummingbirds. I had NO idea there where that many species! A quick google search told me there are in fact over 300. Well, there you go, I learned something new again today 🙂

Something equally impressive to see, was the ostrich eggs and the giant Atlas moth. Though once again, we definitely prefer to see all these things in real life and natural context, rather than exposed behind glass! Well, we got to talk about where we’d need to go in order to do so and whether it is even possible. Obviously, even when you’re willing to travel for the experience, you won’t be able to do everything there is to do in the world, or see everything there is to see!

Skeletons And Craniums.
One thing that a Natural History Museum DOES do very well, is present you with the opportunity to see what is inside the animals. Now this is something that I personally find hugely interesting. Unfortunately the collection of skeletons is not very large at this museum (the focus seems to be on the stuffed animals) but they did have a few. One was the snake, pictured above. It was really funny to see the many small bones spiraling up the long spine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a snake skeleton before in fact.

Practical Info.
Like many places in France, the museum is closed on Mondays. One huge positive point is that kids are free and adult entrance is only €3,5 which makes it perfect for a low budget traveling activity!


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