Learn about our origin at the State Darwin museum
Being an environmental scientist, of course I had to pay the State Darwin Museum (Государственный Дарвиновский музей) in Moscow a visit. The museum is located at 57 Vavilov Street, within a 10 minutes’ walk from the metro Akademicheskaya (Академическая). This is an amazing museum and you should give yourself at least 3-4 hours in order to fully enjoy it. The museum was established in 1907 as an educational museum and was dedicated to Darwin’s evolution theory. The founders name was Alexander Kots and the museum’s collection is based on his private collection. The museum we know today opened for visitors on August 2nd 1995. It is divided into two buildings and holds around 400 000 items.
The first building, which is also the main one, consists of three floors. You begin on the ground floor and then work your way up. Just next to the entrance you can visit the part “Get to know yourself” which contains of several interactive exhibitions teaching you about yourself, animals and the nature around us. Once done there you will find yourself in a room dedicated to the history of the museum. The exhibitions that follows are listed below;
– Diversity of life on Earth: Shows the different ecosystems of the planet, its different biotopes along with animal species which have gone extinct.
– Stage of knowledge of Wildlife: Here you will follow the development of human’s understanding of nature.
– Zoogeography: Different habitats (living areas) of species from all over the world are displayed.
– Micro- and Macroevolution: Stuffed animals along with skeletons (partly from dinosaurs) are on display explaining the process of evolution on both a smaller and larger scale.
In the 2d building, which you enter through an underpass, you will find new exhibitions on every floor. These are, unlike in the first building, not permanent but temporary. On the 3d floor there is an interactive maze called “Follow the Evolution”, where you can do just that. The building also hosts a digital planetarium and 4D/5D attractions.
Within the first building there is also an information centre that I was particularly fond of during my visit. It is called “EcoMoscow” and provides information about the nature in Moscow and the Moscow region and also about the environmental problems which is occurring in the area. The center is computer based and works interactive with games, programs and photos. The visit does not stop indoors though. Outdoors around the museum there is a walking path, called “Environmental Path”, surrounded by different and interesting threes, plants and flowers.
Overall it is a really good and interesting museum. The museum organizes seminars, theme days, master classes, guided tours and much more. It is open daily 10-18 besides Mondays. The ticket price for adults is 400 rubles but if you go there on the third Thursday of the month entry is free. Keep the dates 17th October, 14th November and 12th December in mind for free entrance this autumn/winter. I really recommend the museum and the only negative thing I could come up with is that you might find yourself in the middle of several groups of school children being there on excursion, causing chaos from time to time. But overall I think it is great that the children are given the opportunity to go there and learn about the world so I did not really complain when it happened to me.