Opened in 1822, the Museum of Natural History is one of Lille’s oldest and is the only of its kind in Nord / Pas-de-Calais. The fact that the museum still stands to this day is nothing short of a miracle, seeing as it overcame two World Wars and yet continued adding items to its ever-expanding collections – that now comprises of over 200,000 specimens. It now focuses on two main themes, mineralogical and zoological. The former has tens of thousands of minerals and paleontological items, some of which date back 400 million years. The latter, on the other hand, contains 1,500 mammals, 1,000 reptiles and 100,000 insects to name a few, including several now-extinct species from around the world like the Iguanodon dinosaur, the Tasmanian Tiger and the Passenger Pigeon. Throughout its exhibitions the museum present the history of earth and life with various interactive displays and informative posters, encouraging visitors to care for the rapidly disappearing species and preserve the planet’s precious legacy.
The Museum of Natural History is located on rue de Bruxelles in Lille, close to Lille Grand Palais metro station. The closest parking is located on rue de Cambrai. Entry costs €4 per adult and €2.60 per child. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. It is otherwise open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30AM to 5PM, and on weekends from 10AM to 6PM.