Parkstraße 10, Altenburg

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Here you are now at the city's most important natural science museum and not far from the Lindenau Museum, which you may have already visited. If not, you should not miss it. The Mauritianum is located on the edge of the castle park above the Lindenau Museum in a picturesque setting.


360° view over the Mauritianum and the castle park

It was built in 1907/08 and was the domicile of the Natural Research Society of Easterland. This society was founded as early as 1817. The building reminds a bit of a baroque orangery. The pilasters on the outer facade are decorated with many animal motifs, including bats, parrots and monkeys. The natural science and ethnological collections of the society were housed here. The duke had provided the building site for the building and the state of Saxony-Altenburg covered the construction costs.

By the way, the architect of the building was the same one who planned the construction of the Bismarck Tower in Altenburg's city forest and other important buildings a few years later: Alfred Wanckel. The building was opened in 1908 as the "Museum of Natural History and Ethnology". Incidentally, it got its name Mauritianum from a member of Altenburg's ducal family: Prince Moritz of Saxe-Altenburg, brother of the reigning Duke Ernst I, was a patron of the Natural History Society of the Eastern Land. The museum was named after him.

(1) Main entrance of the Mauritianum Natural History Museum in the castle park.
(2/3/4) Ceilings and floors inside the Mauritianum: Nature everywhere you look.
(5) In the exhibitions: from large crab,...
(6) South American mammals
(7) butterflies


Famous scientists were associated with the Naturforschende Gesellschaft, for example Alexander von Humboldt and the Jena zoologist Ernst Haeckel. 

However, the most famous members were father and son Brehm. The "bird pastor" Christian Ludwig Brehm from Renthendorf was one of the most important ornithologists of his time and his son Alfred Edmund Brehm was the author of the famous "Brehms Tierleben".


(1/2/3) Icons of the German Natural Sciences Hermann Schlegel, Christian Ludwig and Alfred Brehm
(4) ​Monument in front of the museum


The building was extensively renovated at the beginning of the 2000s. It houses a permanent exhibition with insights into the fauna, flora and geology of the region, as well as an overview of the extensive museum collection. This comprises around half a million scientific artefacts from all over the world. The collections are housed in two other historical buildings in Altenburg. The biological collections and the library are located in the former "Amalienschule" school on the edge of the "Schlosspark" near the castle. The geosciences collection, the collection of minerals, rocks and fossils, is housed in the "House of Geosciences" in the "Altenburger Wasserkunst", the historic water tower in the medieval town centre, right next to the small pond.

(1) Building of the water art at the small pond in Altenburg: House of Geosciences
(2) The Amalienschule Altenburg


Puzzle Gallery:

What could this be? Look for the object in the exhibition!


In the permanent exhibition of the Mauritianum, one can understand the changes in the Altenburg landscape by means of the animal world. In the geological exhibition, one looks back many millions of years, e.g. to the marshes of the brown coal period or to the time when the sea reached our region and was populated by sharks and manatees. Fossils from the Ice Age, such as mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, show that the land was also covered by ice and snow at times. 

The changes that have taken place over the last 200 years can be traced through the bird collection. As the landscape changed, so did the bird life. 

As a curiosity, the most famous and largest specimen of a rat king is shown, which was found almost 200 years ago.

Today, the Naturforschende Gesellschaft Altenburg (NfGA), which was revived after 1989, with its museum 'headquarters' in Schloßpark, is one of the most active institutions in the entire region when it comes to nature conservation, research on biotopes, renaturation or biodiversity. Important national model projects are realized, in which especially many young people on site and in the whole region can also participate. The fact that the museum is expanding fits in with this.

Großstöbnitz is home to the association's own farm, which uses horses, cattle and water buffalo living freely in wilderness areas. For example, in the post-mining landscape near Meuselwitz.

Numerous events are offered for children in the museum and in nature. Educational offers such as the "Kinderkolleg" or "Naturkunde für Kinder" are very popular.

The director of the museum is Mike Jessat. Take a look at his interview. It's fascinating.

Opening Hours

Monday closed

Tuesday - Friday

1 - 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The entry is free


You can find all contact details of the employees here.

NfGA / Naturkundemuseum Mauritianum:

Naturforschende Gesellschaft Altenburg e.V.

Parkstraße 10

04600 Altenburg

Phone: 03447 2589