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MUSEUM OF ZOOLOGY

Housed on the ground floor of the Department

The Museum of Zoology of the University of Athens is about 160 years old. It is the first and most complete of its kind in Greece. Initially, it was the nucleus of a wider Physiographic Museum, established since the middle of the 19th century, on the first floor at the wing towards Akadimias Str. of the central building of the University. Later, the botanical, palaeontological, mineralogical and anthropological collections were detached from it, and they became autonomous forming the Botanical, Palaeontological, Mineral and Anthropological Museums.

By the end of the 19th century, the executives and the personel of the Museum had been involved in the creation, study and exhibition of zoological collections, realizing the double destination of the Museum, which is the education and entertainment of the public and especially for younger audiences. At a time when modern audiovisual media were non-existent, the only zoological museum at that time, operated as a pole of attraction for many visitors and as an important factor of general education in the newly established Greek State and its developing capital. Greek and foreign researchers of the Greek fauna, amateur collectors, wildlife hunters and many others have deposited their findings, collections and trophies at the Museum and contributed to its enrichment with new material.

The calamities of the Museum during the occupation and post-war lack of means and spaces, did not allow any modernization, enrichment or renewal. Since the early 1960s, the Museum was closed to the public due to the need for repairs to the building that was housed in. In 1965, exhibits and scientific collections were transferred to scattered storage facilities around the Campus. Repeated reallocations abased the old, sensitive material. Fortunately, with the erection of the new building of the Department of Biology, the Zoological Museum settled definitively in comfortable spaces and since 1988 began - progressively - to present to the audience and mainly to school students, parts of its rare and valuable exhibits, while continuing to being enriched with new collections such as the very important collection of mammals and birds, donated by the Papalios family.

Museum collections include:

  • About 500 small and large mammals from Greece, Europe and all other continents, either taxidermized or as skeletons.
  • Rich collection of about 2500 birds including all species from Greece
  • Collection of eggs and bird nests
  • A large collection of about 1000 reptiles, amphibians and fish of both Greece and the world's fauna
  • Invertebrates include very large collections of insects and molluscs (snails, bivalves, cephalopods, etc.) and a significant number of other invertebrates such as sponges, corals, crustaceans, etc.
  • A large number of anthropological findings, mainly skulls, some of which have palaeopathological symptoms.

The Museum's activities are related to:

  • Research: Systematics, Biogeography,Ecology, Conservation Biology of various animal groups.
  • Education: Exercise of students in Zoology, Biodiversity, Fauna in Greece and Natural Anthropology - Training of TEI students in the maintenance of organic materials - Training of secondary school teachers - Environmental education of pupils
  • Audience awareness: Visits for primary and secondary school students, university students and others - Press releases - TV interviews and presentations - Collaboration with environmental organizations to promote their work
  • Consulting: Identification of animals (harmful insects, imported animal products, etc.) - Environmental impact studies - Bibliography on the animals of Greece - Organization of natural history museums - Use of animals in environmental education - Advising on public services for the conservation of the fauna of Greece
  • Collection management: Preservation of the Greek natural heritage – Databases and literature collection for the Fauna of Greece and for endangered and rare animal species - Enrichment, preservation, recording of the museum material.
  • Library: The Museum's library includes many old and rare zoological books and magazines from around the world. It is also equipped with modern manuals, guides and identification keys, magazines etc.
  • Archive of the Fauna of Greece: The Zoological Museum houses the Archives of the Fauna of Greece of the Department of Biology, which includes a large number of works and reports related to the fauna of Greece as well as data on the recording and analysis of the animals living in Greece .

Access:

Daily: Bus 250 (Evangelismos-University Campus Museum) from the Annunciation Station. Bus 608 (Galatsi-Zografou Cemetery), about 500 meters from Terma (Zografou Cemetery) within the campus.

Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays: On the aforementioned days, the operation takes place occasionally and there are due announcements. Access is via Bus 608 (Galatsi-Cemetery), approximately 500 meters from Terma (Zografou Cemetery) within the University campus.

Access by car is from the Central Entrance of the University Campus (Uluf Palme)

Communication:

Postal address: Zoology Museum, Department of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 157 84 Athens - Telephone: 210 727 4609, 210 727 4376 - Fax: 210 727 4619 - E-mail: zoolmuse[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr

Opening hours: 9:00 - 15:00 (group visits upon request)

General Admission: 2 Euros