The Jardin des Plants, or the city garden, in la Rochelle has the Natural History Museum on one side. I loved seeing animals up close like you can at these types of museums although I imagine the animal rights people would shut them down if they could. These animals were probably preserved years ago if that helps. There was a family in the museum and the children were just charmed by seeing lions and tigers and all sorts of other creatures. It really needed air conditioning though. Maurice and I were miserable and didn’t stay as long as we would have if it had been cooler.

On the way to the museum I found an unmarked courtyard that I had read about containing the symbol of the Templars who were once very powerful here in la Rochelle.

There were wonderful collections of sea shells which I love seeing. I used to collect them myself. There were also a lot of fossils.

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A room full of various deer and the like.

I liked this arrangement with the fox and its prey.

The lion looked a little moth eaten.

Some skeletons here and there. No whales though.

This giraffe was at the top of some stairs. It turned out to be Zarafa, a gift from the ruler of Egypt to Charles X of France. There was an incredible amount of work to get her to Paris as there had to be a specially built boat to get her down the Nile-there was a place for her head to stick out-and then up the Seine but she survived. She lived in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris for 18 years and started a giraffe craze of high hats and hairdos. I’m surprised she ended up in Nantes and not the nice Museum of Natural History in Paris.

2 thoughts to “Natural”

  1. Interesting. The Museum of Natural History in Pacific Grove has “stuffed animals” too, although not on such grand a scale as this one. Did you see it when you were here?

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