Transvaal Museum of Natural History

July 22, 2012 Colin Top 10 Attractions

The Transvaal Museum of Natural History is considered to be the leading natural history museum of South Africa. It is located in the heart of the country’s capital city, Tshwane. It was founded in the year 1892 and had its humble beginnings in a small room in the top floor adjacent to the clock tower of the Parliament House.

Initially, the collection of items in the museum was so small that it did not warrant even permanent staff to maintain the collection. However, over time, the items at the museum began to increase and many people donated fossils of plants and animals and various other artifacts of importance.

The growing number of items made it necessary for the museum to expand and be relocated to its current venue which is a magnificent building made of sandstone. The majestic skeletons of huge dinosaurs greet visitors at the entrance to the building. The interiors are filled with cavernous halls that display a wide array of interesting artifacts.

A large number of fossils displayed at the museum come from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. One of the most popular fossils from the site is Mrs. Ples, who is almost a national celebrity. This fossil is just a skull which is theorized to be the representation of a distant relative of all mankind. Other fossils at the museum include those of amphibians, reptiles, fish and also plants from the Karoo.

The Discovery Center at the Transvaal Museum of Natural History is specially created for children and offers a hands-on experience for young minds. However, the center is accessible only by prior appointment. There is also a reconstruction of a Deinonychus dinosaur which is again a popular attraction for kids, especially after they have seen very realistic dinosaurs in movies like Jurassic Park.

Apart from prehistoric relics, the museum also contains information on subjects pertaining to the recent past as well. For instance, one can learn about Shakespeare and the 17th century clay pipes that people used in Stratford-upon-Avon, which seem to suggest that people in those days could have been smoking cannabis or some similar compounds.

The museum is located on Paul Kruger Street, opposite the Pretoria City Hall. Paul Kruger Street can be found between Visagie and Minnaar Streets. The Transvaal Museum of Natural History is open seven days a week from 8 am to 4 pm, except on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

 

 

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Transvaal Museum of Natural History

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