Museum fur Naturkunde – Berlin, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Berlin, Germany

Museum fur Naturkunde

Berlin's natural history museum houses the world's largest mounted dinosaur and the late beloved polar bear Knut. 

This natural history museum in Berlin houses 30 million specimens, including the late celebrity polar bear Knut and a mounted dinosaur that is the largest in the world.

Founded in 1810, the Museum für Naturkunde is Germany’s biggest natural history museum, with impressive collections in minerals, zoology, and paleontology. Highlights of its illustrious collections (some of which go back to Prussia) include an example of an Archaeopteryx (the oldest bird known to have existed), the world’s largest chunk of amber, extinct animals like the quagga and Tasmanian tiger, and deceased local animal celebrities, including Bobby the gorilla and Knut the polar bear. The tallest towering mounted dinosaur is a Giraffatitan brancai (although it had a few different dinosaur species mixed in its construction).

An absolute gem of this collection is the so-called “wet collection,” hundreds of thousands of fish and sea creatures preserved in glass jars. Some are over 100 years old. They have so many, it fills a whole specially designed room of the museum, with shelves that reach upwards and only stop just under the roof. And the room is illuminated in a certain way so that the whole place shines like amber. Though it is somewhat hidden in the back of the museum, it’s a must-see. If you can’t find it straight away, ask for it, don’t miss it.

Know Before You Go

Take subway U6 or tram M6 to station Naturkundemuseum (until recently called Zinnowitzer Straße).