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The Gothenburg Natural History Museum

The Gothenburg Natural History Museum is a natural history museum located on a hill in Slotsskogen, just above Linneplatsen, a height that used to be called Oliveldalscheuden or Ekebaken. The museum was opened on July 9th 1923 and cost SEK 1,480,000.

Ecology and human impact on the environment is one of the areas in which the museum frequently holds exhibitions. There are a large number of stuffed animals from all over the world. Several times a year you usually discover the Malmese Whale, a preserved blue whale that got stuck in Akimsfjord in southern Gothenburg in 1865. There you can sit inside the whales and hear about whale life.

The museum has very large collections of animals from all over the world, but with an emphasis on animals from western Sweden. There is also a geological collection. The total number of specimens in the collection is estimated to be ten million. There are several thousand so-called model specimens, which serve as reference material for species description. The collection in the museum is used by researchers on both a national and international level.


The museum was founded on October 31, 1833 by decision of the Royal Society of Science and Science of Sweden in Gothenburg. It was initiated by its chairman Olof Farhus, also head of the Western Customs District and former prime minister, who wanted to build "... a museum for naturalists collected in the provinces belonging to the diocese of Gothenburg". For this purpose, the Association of Museums was immediately established. In 1835, two rooms were rented from the House of East India at Norra Hamngatan 12, now the Gothenburg City Museum, which was expanded in 1861 to half the East Indian House.

The premises in the East India House have been too small since the mid-1890s, and in February 1914 the city's governing body was warned that new premises were needed. On October 1 of the same year, the city council adopted a resolution with numbers 46 for natural history and 8 against. The city then allocated SEK 325,000 for the construction of the Renström Foundation. They also reserved the right to decide whether a museum should contain art or natural history. In 1916, Elisabeth Peterson, the first Swedish female zoologist, began working in the museum as a preparatory worker.

The Gothenburg Natural History Museum

In 1923, the museum moved into its present building, designed by the architect Ernst Torulf from Gothenburg. The question of whether the building should be equipped with towers or not was decided in a room in the so-called Brack House in Drottningtorghet, where the model was built. The participants were both Ernst Torulf and Karl Westmann. When the invitation to tender expired on February 1, 1916, it turned out that the lowest bid exceeded the budget by just over 200,000 Swedish crowns. The future manager of the museum, Leonard Jaegerskildskieldo, received five donors to donate 5,000 Swedish kronor each over a period of four years. In addition, the city council contributed the remaining 160,000 Swedish kronor. When the museum was ready, the donors paid 318,400 Swedish kronor, the city 669,000 Swedish kronor, the Renströmska Foundation 325,000 Swedish kronor, interest for the period of construction was 78,000 Swedish kronor and various materials 91,000 Swedish kronor. In October 1921 the move from the House of the East Indies began.

In 1981, the museum was given a southward expansion designed by the architectural bureau Bo Cederlef, which won the Per and Alma Olsson Foundation Prize for building that year in Gothenburg.

The museum has belonged to the Vestra Götaland region since 1999.

Enter the new section, which is dedicated to various special exhibitions. There is also a café and a lecture hall. The café also has a kitchen, which is open to the public, and is popular because of its proximity to Slotsskogen.

The Gothenburg Natural History Museum

The old part contains permanent exhibitions, mainly animal models and stuffed animals from all over the world. The most famous are the Maltese whale, the young blue whale that sat in Akimswicken near Gothenburg in 1865, and the African elephant, see below. There is also a small geology department.

Parts of the permanent exhibitions have been recently renovated, such as the former corridor of invertebrates, now called life history and awe-inspiring diversity. The diorama exposition has received a new frame. Geological Exhibition Our land has been moved to the Geological Room, which was opened in summer 2018. Renovation work on the remaining exhibitions will continue from 2019 onwards.

The museum was previously responsible for the observatory in Slotzskogen since 1982. This relationship ended when the museum moved to the Vestra Gotaland region.

Since 1904, the museum has had the Gothenburg Biological Society of Friends .

The rear part of the museum was baptized on October 24, 1997 in Cal on Hell Hill.