Flora and fauna at close hand
The top address for students of nature: the Altenburg Mauritianum Natural History Museum is home to more than 350,000 exhibits from the worlds of geology, palaeontology and zoology. They were collected in the last 250 years by natural scientists from areas between the White Elster, Elbe and Mulde rivers. Birds, butterflies, fossils, rocks – all the exhibits occupy a special place in this exceptional museum in Thuringia. Admittance is free.
A very special kind of museum
How did a Japanese spider crab get to Altenburg? What about the skeleton of an extinct sirenian (sea cow) and the teeth and vertebrae of sharks? Children with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge have certainly come to the right place in the Mauritianum Natural History Museum in Altenburg. A wonderful example of local history at first hand. In the Altenburg Mauritianum, families can view specimens of birds, specimens of small mammals, butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and even locusts. In addition, the Natural History Museum also regularly organises bird call field trips. Those who would like to observe and perform research and experiments on a regular basis, can do this one a month in the children's workshop. With the help of specimens and live animals, you can learn plenty of interesting facts about the animal world as well as being able to produce worksheets (to take home with you) in the exhibition.
An exciting history
The history of the museum dates back to 1817. The museum received the name Mauritianum in honour of the President of the Society, Prince Moritz of Saxe-Altenburg (Moritz = Mauritius in Latin), who had a close relationship to nature. Alfred and Christian Ludwig Brehm ¬– authors of the book "Brehm's animal life" – are icons of classic natural science in Germany. They were founding members of the Altenburg Nature Research Society (NfGA), whose collections have found a home in the Mauritianum.
Treasure hunting in the museum
The Altenburg Rat King is one of the most marvelled exhibits on display in the Mauritianum Natural History Museum. Young and old visitors alike rack their brains: What is it actually? Rat king – this is the name for a knot of several rats, whose tails are intertwined and bound together. It was formerly assumed that rats were ruled by a king. The name 'rat king' was later transferred to such knots of dead rats. Fairy-tales and myths often relate hair-raising stories about them. In Altenburg, you can gaze in awe at a knot of 32 mummified rats.
Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday 1 pm - 5 pm
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10 am - 5 pm
Naturkundemuseum Mauritianum
Parkstraße 1
04600 Altenburg
Phone: 03447 / 2589
Fax: 03447 / 892163