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Zoological Museum, Zurich

4.7
#5 of 41 in Museums in Zurich
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich is the third oldest ethnological museum of Switzerland. Owner of its collections since 1914 is the University of Zurich. The main fields of the museum’s activities are the maintenance of the collections, research, teaching and public relations (realization of exhibitions, publications and public events).
The ethnographic museum is located in downtown Zurich within the premises of the Old Botanical Garden “zur Katz”. The building was first constructed in 1864 and underwent various changes over time. Until 1977 it served as a depot, office building and green house of the Botanical Institute of the University of Zurich, the latter still recognizable in the library tract’s architecture.
The buildings conversion into a museum was undertaken by the architects Hubacher, Issler and Partners, Zurich; another major renovation was carried out by the architects P. + J. Diethelm, St. Gall, in 2014. The complex of buildings now comprises of depots, studios of photography, graphic art and conservation, archives, library, office tract, lecture hall and auditorium (which also serves as venue of public events), reception and three exhibition halls (total display space 700m2).
In 1889 the Ethnographic Collection of Zurich was presented to the public for the very first time. Initially the collection was property of the Ethnographische Gesellschaft Zürich (since 1899: Geographisch-Ethnographische Gesellschaft Zürich, GEGZ ); in 1914 the collection was handed over to the University of Zurich where it was open to the public in the university’s main building till 1979. In 1972, with the introduction of ethnology as a new subject of study at the University of Zurich, the former “Ethnological Collection” was shifted from the Faculty of Natural Sciences to the Faculty of Arts and renamed as “Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich”. In 1980 the collection was moved to its present location.
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Zoological Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
210 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We enjoyed looking at the displays across the two floors. Not all animals are real and not sure if all were accurate, but still a good exhibit, which I'm sure many kids would enjoy. Please note that.....  more
    We enjoyed looking at the displays across the two floors. Not all animals are real and not sure if all were accurate, but still a good exhibit, which I'm sure many kids would enjoy. Please note that.....  more »
  • Museum is well laid-out with every species of bird and mammal represented beautifully, plus lots more. Amazing fossils, dinosaur bones, etc. - so much to see. Great for families too, with some... 
    Museum is well laid-out with every species of bird and mammal represented beautifully, plus lots more. Amazing fossils, dinosaur bones, etc. - so much to see. Great for families too, with some...  more »
Google
  • Free museum! It’s rare that you can enjoy something free/low cost in Zurich. Museum itself is not that big, it has 2 storeys. The exhibitions were rather informative. Only complaint was that we went in summer and I don’t think there was air conditioning, making the place a bit stuffy. Otherwise, would recommend to visit if you have nothing else to do in Zurich.
  • Really cool museum. The entrance is free and they have lots and lots of animals, birds, and insects. The experience was awesome for both kids and adults. They have various expositions so you see something new if you go there once in a while

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