Skinned, Pickled and Stripped: Old-Fashioned Zoology in Lausanne

Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Musée cantonal de zoologie, Palais de Rumine, Lausanne, Switzerland

I think it’s only fair to state at the outset that I don’t really like looking at stuffed animals. Or bits that have been pickled in jars.  Or bones.  It just makes me feel quite nauseous.  But I know that lots of people find it interesting, and some people, like Sister Chickpea, have a fascination with aspects of nature that I find repulsive, so I don’t judge others.  I just don’t like it.

Spread over two galleries, the museum is stuffed full (pun intended) of animals.  The effect that they’ve gone for is an old-fashioned, 19th century setting, presenting rows of animals in glass cabinets just as they would have been in the past.  In fact, many of the skeletons and creatures in jars were used for educational purposes in the university.

There are apparently 25,000 vertebrates in the museum, and the original collection is added to with animals which die in zoos or are randomly found, dead.

The floor of the Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

The floor of the Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Explaining evolution in the Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

A really quite fresh looking tiger with cross-eyes, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

A really quite fresh looking tiger with cross-eyes, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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So many stuffed birds, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

An extremely anxious wallaby, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

An extremely anxious wallaby, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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The Jungle Posse are comin’ to getcha, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Chinese dragon from Ai Weiwei installation protecting birds, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Army of animal skeletons, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland

So In Summary

If you like your animals unresponsive, this is the place for you.

Further Information

Like the other museums within the Rumine Palace, entry is free.  The information is only available in French.

The museum was filled with little children who were gazing with fascination at various animals, so I guess it’s a child-friendly place.  My favourite moment was seeing a child point at a seagull excitedly, saying, “Peacock!”

The museum has its own website, which is in French only: www.zoologie.vd.ch

How To Get There

Please see the entry on the Rumine Palace for information.

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