Why you should visit the Natural History Museum of Maastricht

November 01, 2017

Though tucked in a sleepy street, the Natural History Museum (NHM) is an interesting place and attracts quite a lot of visitors (both local as well foreigners) all through the year. This place is almost in every Maastricht tourists’ itinerary; so, we also joined the list.

This is comparatively a smaller museum, but still has interesting exhibits of over 550,000 artifacts in the field of geology, paleontology (science of fossil remnants), Botany and zoology collections from / around south Limburg region of the Netherlands.

GROUND FLOOR: The museum display starts on the ground floor, taking the visitors ~350 million years past on a geological journey. Each artifact was unique and pacts with the physical structure and substance of the earth, their history, and various events/processes they went through. It was a surprise to learn that the Maastricht region was once a deep sea which later changed into a shallow mountain range, predominantly making the source of lime stones.

Probably, “Ber” – the skeleton of the famous Mosasaurus found in the Maastricht is the top attraction of the ground floor (as well for the entire museum). This 67-million-year-old Mosasaurus was discovered by paleontologists in a lime quarry of south Limburg region by the year 1998. It was interesting to know that this Maastricht “Ber” is the inspiration and featured in the famous science fiction film “Jurassic World (2015)”.

We also learnt that the very first set of Mosasaurus ruins were also found in the same region, about 200 years ago. But the same was seized by the French – the then rulers of the Netherlands. You can see the same in the Louvre museum of Paris. However, the NHM tells all the history by show-casing a replica of the same first ever Mosasaurus!

The skeleton of a “Allopleuron hofmanni” - a giant primeval sea turtle, which died 66 million years ago, is also on display. We learnt that this giant turtle was from the cretaceous period, same as the era when dinosaurs were alive. Dutch archaeologists discovered this rare stuff in the neighborhood of Maastricht.

FIRST FLOOR: The exhibition continues onto the first floor, slightly moving into the modern era. This includes many interactive displays of birds, insects, and a few special creatures. You get to see the discoveries from woolly rhinos and mammoths, also found in the Maastricht region.

Below the ground floor, underground you have an interesting display of an artificial cave (or) a typical set-up of an excavation site. There’s a small garden outside, and you can see a tiny botanical garden behind the museum, on the banks of the river Jeker.

๐Ÿ‘ Reconstruction of a nearly 5-meter-high Hadrosaurus - the Dutch "dino” :)
๐Ÿ‘ “Ber” - the Jurassic World famous Mosasaurus.
๐Ÿ‘ Skeleton of Giant turtle - Allopleuron Hoffmannii
๐Ÿ‘ Remains of woolly Rhinos and Mammoths’ trunk
๐Ÿ‘ Interactive Birds display (with their sounds), Displays of Honeybees and Butterflies were also quite interesting.

๐Ÿ‘Ž I expected a little more English explanation / information in the Science related museum in Maastricht - a city that’s so international; but was left with disappointment. In the ticket counter, they do provide an English leaf-let, but it’s not so handy.
๐Ÿ‘Ž Relatively small, we took only 2 hours to tour the entire museum. If you’re not so enthusiastic about intricate details of the earth/ground/fossils and prehistoric wild-lives, then it may be even more shorter for you.

OVERALL: Yes, it not a large natural historic museum, but certainly it does provide an exceptionally interesting insight into the prehistoric period, especially to the south Limburg region and there's so much to learn. If you have couple of hours, it’s worth to check-in.

➤ Address: De Bosquetplein 6-7 , 6211 KJ Maastricht
➤ Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays; Tues-Friday: 11-17 hours ; Sat-Sunday: 13-17 hours
➤ Tickets/Price:  Adults = € 6.40; Children from 5 - 11 years & Elders (>65 years) are charged € 4.30; Kids under 4 years are allowed free
➤ More details at website: http://nhmmaastricht.nl/home.html

Tags: #maasticht #limburg #nhm #ber #prehistoric #hadrosaurus #mosasaurus #dino #mammoths #allopleuron

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  1. Nice post! You've mentioned everything I was looking for. Thank you. We're visiting this weekend.

  2. That looks an awesome place. I'm gonna try to visit it. I'm pretty sure me and my friends are going to love it. Check out the Vertis North, you'll love it too. Anyway, Thanks for sharing!