Discover Maltese cultural natural environment 

National Museum of Natural History, Malta

Malta's natural cultural history as never seen before! Visit virtually the National Museum of Natural History and discover Malta's diverse environment and its natural cultural resources. Geology, Ornithology, Evolution, Conchology, Marine Life are all there to be discovered.

The Building
The National Museum of Natural History is situated in Mdina in an eighteenth century palace known as The Vilhena Palace.

The palace was designed in Parisian Baroque style, substituting the original building of the medieval University.

This magnificent Baroque Palace is still known as Vilhena Palace. His bronze bust lies over the main door and his coat of arms are sculpted on the main gateway and on the inside of the portico.

The original building was the seat of the medieval Universita, or local Maltese government.

It enjoyed a limited degree of autonomy in the internal administration of the island during the late Middle Ages

The palace also served as the law courts of the Universitas. It later moved to another building but Vilhena Palace still incorporated within it the Corte Capintanale of the Universitas.

The main building still holds a number of small cells that were apparently used for solitary confinement. Two rooms and a tiny cell are of particular interest.

One of the most famous inmates to be locked up in these cells was Mikiel Anton Vassalli, the ‘Father of the Maltese Language’.

The Collection
The collection is made up of several private donations pertaining to different areas of interest which were amassed along the centuries.

The young rock formation of the Maltese islands does not allow us to find very old animal remains.

The islands started forming some 30 million years later the demise of dinosaurs and therefore one can find an array of fossil faunal remains.

A vast osteological collection highlighting the intricate bone structures of vertebrates including large original skeletons, delicate bone structures and other skeletons

The collection consists of an interesting variety of exhibits highlighting the nautical environment and its species

Throughout the ages birds have inspired man through their calls, colour and most of all, flight.

Although the number of resident species in Malta is low with some eighteen breeding species, the number of visitors is quite impressive, with just over 380 species recorded.

The collection presents both local as well as exotic species of shelled animals

The Maltese archipelago is made up of a number of islands, rocks and stacks.

Islands are important eco-systems mainly because of them being isolated from the mainland. This leads to unique speciation and island varieties.

Credits: Story

John J. Borg, The National Museum of Natural History, Mdina

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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