The Rock Museum: La Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie
The Low-Down: La Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie, or the “Rock Museum” as we like to call it, in the Jardin des Plantes opened in 1841 as part of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, which is the group of museums, gardens, and the zoo in the Jardin des Plantes. It claims to be one of the world’s leading mineral collections and we can confirm the hallway of giant crystals is pretty darn impressive. They also have an impressive collection of red fluorite, smoky quartz, météorites, and the crown jewel: King Louis XIV’s 135.74 carat Grand Sapphire.
Why Check it out: Very parfait for kids ages 4 and up who love rocks and and sparkly stones. (Don’t you remember seeing your first geode then collecting rocks on the beach hoping to smash it open and find a treasure?!) The collection is a great opportunity to educate children about all the rocks flying about in our solar system and here on Earth.
Good to know & What’s Close by: Since the little ones have a limited attention span, and you might be pressed for time, you will be glad to know this museum is very small. (We took a four-year-old who was only interested in the giant rocks and a five-year-old who was more captivated by the collection than the four-year-old, but then it didn’t take long before they were both ready to run through the garden.) You can navigate the entire museum in an hour and then head off for the Jardin des Plantes or the zoo on the other side of the garden. The Grand Mosque is right across from the exit of the gardens, a 3-minute walk, and is a good stop for mint tea and Moroccan sweets.
Photos by Ajiri Aki
Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie
Closest entry: 36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris
Tickets: 6€, 4€ for 26 and under, free for babies and handicapped visitors.
Metro: RER line 5 to Gare d’Austerlitz, RER C to Paris-Austerlitz, 7 to Censier Daubenton, 10 to Jussieu or Gare d’Austerlitz
Bus: 24, 57, 61, 63, 67, 89, 91 to Mosquée or Jardin de Plantes