I’ve got another unskippable place for you in Paris. You’ll have your jaw drop in the Galerie de Mineralogie et de Geologie, showcasing the most brilliant and colorful mineral stones on earth. I’ll tell you a little bit about our experience there for you to decide your hotlist for a next Paris visit.
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The wonders of mineralogy
To me, minerals are one of the greatest wonders on earth. How is it possible that nature transforms stone and some atoms into brightly colored and uniquely odd shapes! The forms are endless, there are over 5.000 different types of minerals, some of them looking ultimately sci-fi. What’s more amazing is how it took millions of years to form these stones. And how sometimes gold and silver cluttered together with the stones, creating ingenious tree-like shapes. From now on, we are not so much interested in the nicely polished stones of the jeweler anymore. We love the raw craft of nature. These are truly unique.
The gallery of mineralogy and geology
The gallery is housed in a separate building in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris and is part of the Natural History Museum. It shows the largest mineral stones ever found on earth, from one-meter tall purple amethysts to knee-high spiky shaped quartz stones. The gallery explains the origins of mineral stones well, although you’ll have to be reading in French. Otherwise, some of the videos also have English explanations so you’re not totally lost. The stones are displayed and lit well, ordered by the explanations. And towards the end of it, there are even some meteorites that have crashed down on earth.
The Jardin des Plantes
We always stay in Quartier Latin, the neighborhood around the world renowned La Sorbonne university. On the far east, behind the large mosque, the Jardin des Plantes stretches out not only down towards the river Seine, but also up: the trees here are centuries old and tens of meters tall. It’s the park of the natural history museum and breathes natural discoveries, research and innovations of the late 19th century and early 20th. Those romantic times make for a romantic park.