A wonderfully versatile natural history curio cabinet preserved since the 1840s.
This 19th-century wunderkammer is filled with hundreds of curiosities, ranging from old scientific instruments and ethnographic artifacts to various geological specimens from minerals to mammals.
The Naturalienkabinett in Waldenburg, Germany, was founded in the 1840s and has been preserved to maintain much of its original appearance, transporting the visitor to another time. This natural history-focused wunderkammer boasts a much richer collection than many curiosity cabinets, with separate rooms devoted to different topics, from taxidermy to old pharmacy items. Its shelves display such rarities as a two-headed calf, a fetus skeleton, painted skulls, a “chicken man,” and many other oddities.
The museum’s founder, Prince Otto Victor I von Schönburg-Waldenburg, commissioned his secretary to acquire an assortment of already established collections so that his display would be rich and versatile. In this way, the assembly of these items goes back some hundred years before the museum was officially established, making it an important historical relic of the baroque era.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Guided tours are available for an extra fee.
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