Educational, exciting, unforgettable

A visit to the Natural History Museum of Solothurn

How did our flora and fauna develop? Which plants and animals can be found where in our homeland? What do fossils, rock samples and minerals tell us about the past? Such questions and many more are answered by a visit to the Natural History Museum of Solothurn.

A great opportunity to learn interesting facts about nature, to acquire knowledge while playing and to spend an exciting and entertaining day – in short: an unforgettable experience.

Why is the Natural History Museum of Solothurn special!

Natural History Museum of Solothurn is one of the most remarkable of its kind in Switzerland – not least thanks to its long history. As early as 1825, the
foundation for a municipal museum was laid with the natural history collection of the well-known Swiss geologist, alpine researcher and Solothurn citizen Franz
Joseph Hugi.

It then took several intermediate steps to become today’s Natural History Museum of Solothurn. The museum has existed in its present form since
the end of the 1970s, but its roots go back almost 200 years.

During this long period of time, the natural history collections have been steadily developed and systematically expanded. The collection with its almost 200,000 objects and documents from different areas forms a valuable natural history treasure and is also interesting for research.

However, the most beautiful, striking and remarkable pieces from the collections remain reserved for the visitors. They are shown in the museum’s exhibition – a real visitor magnet.

This is the best way to achieve the «museum’s» goal: to awaken enthusiasm, interest, love and understanding for nature even today – a prerequisite for the so important careful handling of our natural environment. For it is threatened and endangered in many ways.

What can visitors expect at the Natural History Museum of Solothurn?

The museum exhibition fascinates young and old. Local nature is presented vividly and from different perspectives. Many exhibits may be touched and can thus be experienced haptically. Interactive forms of presentation facilitate understanding and provide additional motivation.

The aim is also to shed light on the big picture, changes over time and lines of development. Every living being – whether animal or plant – is shaped by its environment and nothing is as constant as change.

On the ground floor, the focus is on the local habitats of forest, open land and settlement areas, as well as on native mammals. On the first floor, the animals along and in the water as well as in the air are presented.

The second floor is dedicated to the change of life forms in the course of earth’s history, when colder and warmer periods alternated. Here you can marvel at unique fossils and petrifactions – they come from epochs when Solothurn was a tropical sea region or lay under thick layers of ice.

The museum program also includes a possible excursion to the dinosaur tracks near Lommiswil. The viewing platform there on the quarry with the traces of the prehistoric giants offers a good view of the dinosaur remains in our area. A reproduction of «footprints» is found in the Museum.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, thematic special exhibitions are shown twice a year. Therefore a visit is always worthwhile, even if the permanent exhibition is already known. There is always something new to discover.

Important information for visitors to the Natural History Museum of Solothurn

Admission is free for visitors (whether single, in pairs or with the whole family) – a service to the community and in the spirit of a diverse cultural offering that should benefit as many as possible. However, donations are of course always welcome and visitors may feed the hungry raven that caws to say thank you when it gets a donation.

The Natural History Museum of Solothurn also offers

  • Guided tours and programs for groups
  • offers for school classes and teaching
  • topic-specific lectures, events, workshops
  • family programs
  • special offers for foreign speaking visitors
  • and much more

The guided tours, programs and events are always prepared professionally and are accompanied and carried out by experts. Some of them are subject to a fee. A small financial contribution that is guaranteed to be worthwhile!

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