Conveniently located a few kilometers from the capital’s center, the museum, the only one of its kind in Albania, takes you on an unforgettable exploration of the country’s myriad living organisms through its nicely exhibited collections.
Museum of Natural Sciences, Tirana. Photo by IntoAlbania.
About the museum
Founded in 1948, as part of the Albanian Institute of Science, the museum exhibits the country’s entire natural heritage. It offers a beautiful and nicely organized overview of the diversity characterizing the plant and animal kingdom of the country. To be exact, this includes 100,000 local specimens, 3000 of which are displayed in its seven pavilions. The museum is named after Sabiha Kasimati, its founder.
Pavilion in Museum of Natural Sciences, Tirana. Photo by IntoAlbania.
From the day it was founded, the Museum of Natural Sciences has been a very important scientific and research center. Responsible for the evaluation and categorization of the country’s high variety of species, the museum includes but is not limited to the following categories: insects, amphibians and reptiles, birds, mammals, mollusks, and crustaceans.
House of the whale and the Balkan Lynx
The museum is housed within a two-story structure. As you enter its spaces, you are immediately confronted with the skeleton of a whale. In 1958, the whale was found stuck in the shallow waters of the Adriatic. It was captured and, since then, its skeleton has been preserved in the museum.
Skeleton of a Whale, Museum of Natural Sciences, Tirana. Photo by IntoAlbania.
Every corner of the museum reserves wonderful opportunities to become acquainted with the variety of species living and growing within the Albanian territory. This is your chance to witness some of the rare, endangered species that are in risk of extinction like the famous Balkan lynx.
We would like to especially highlight the butterfly pavilion of the museum. Its variety and vibrancy are simply dazzling, making this particular pavilion a welcomed invitation to enjoy sheer beauty. Only part of the collection is displayed in the museum’s stands as another part is preserved in a special research area.
Butterfly Pavilion, Museum of Natural Sciences, Tirana. Photo by IntoAlbania.
The fish pavilion, which includes 157 diferent types, is another fascinating pavilion. 73 distinct families of fish are exposed here with the rarest find being the “king fish,” caught in 2009 from the seas of Rradhimë in Vlorë, near the point where the Adriatic and Ionian seas join.
The bird pavilion is another point of pride for this museum. In its colorful variety of birds, Albania claims the largest member of the pelican family and one of the world’s most massive freshwater birds: the Dalmatian pelican. Many ornithology enthusiasts opt to witness this bird in its natural habitat, that of the Divjakë-Karavasta National Park.
Pelican Family, Museum of Natural Sciences, Tirana. Photo by IntoAlbania.
The National Herbarium, a highly valued part of this museum, houses the country’s entire floral capital. It includes the collection of local plants, dried and arranged according to specific criteria and used for purposes of study, documentation, and comparison. Created in 1947, the Herbarium boasts approximately 150,000 specimens!