National Museum of Natural History and Science, Lisbon

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The National Museum of Natural History and Science in Lisbon, Portugal (Portuguese: Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência) is the country's main museum focusing on nature. Established in 1926, the museum functions under the University of Lisbon. Its rich collections, gathered over more than 250 years, span zoology, anthropology, geology and botany. The museum has activities for the promotion of natural history and science awareness, with space for artistic exhibitions, conferences, debates, workshops and courses.


Its public designation is "MUjHNAC - National Museum of Natural History and Science". It was founded in October 2011. This unit incorporated the former National Museum of Natural History and the University of Lisbon Science Museum, integrating their collections, the old buildings of the Polytechnic School, the Lisbon Botanical Gardens and the Lisbon Astronomical Observatory (this one since July 2012):MUjHNAC began in the Royal Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, created in the second half of the eighteenth century, in Ajuda (western Lisbon). It was then housed for a short period in the Royal Academy of Sciences and transferred to the Polytechnic School (1858), first denominated as the National Museum of Lisbon (1861). The Botanic Gardens of Lisbon officially opened in 1878. In 1911, with the creation of the University of Lisbon, the Museum was attached to the Faculty of Sciences, taking the name of National Museum of Natural History in 1926. In March 1978 a devastating fire destroyed much of the building of the former Polytechnic School, as well as the zoology collection and part of the geology collection. The Faculty then moved to other premises. The Science Museum of the University of Lisbon was created in May 1985, sharing the building with the National Museum of Natural History. Both museums were given new bylaws in 2003, becoming autonomous from the Faculty of Sciences and under the direct administration of the Rector of the University of Lisbon.
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