The Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich is the third oldest ethnological museum of Switzerland. Owner of its collections since 1914 is the University of Zurich. The main fields of the museum’s activities are the maintenance of the collections, research, teaching and public relations (realization of exhibitions, publications and public events).
The ethnographic museum is located in downtown Zurich within the premises of the Old Botanical Garden “zur Katz”. The building was first constructed in 1864 and underwent various changes over time. Until 1977 it served as a depot, office building and green house of the Botanical Institute of the University of Zurich, the latter still recognizable in the library tract’s architecture.
The buildings conversion into a museum was undertaken by the architects Hubacher, Issler and Partners, Zurich; another major renovation was carried out by the architects P. + J. Diethelm, St. Gall, in 2014. The complex of buildings now comprises of depots, studios of photography, graphic art and conservation, archives, library, office tract, lecture hall and auditorium (which also serves as venue of public events), reception and three exhibition halls (total display space 700m2).
In 1889 the Ethnographic Collection of Zurich was presented to the public for the very first time. Initially the collection was property of the Ethnographische Gesellschaft Zürich (since 1899: Geographisch-Ethnographische Gesellschaft Zürich, GEGZ ); in 1914 the collection was handed over to the University of Zurich where it was open to the public in the university’s main building till 1979. In 1972, with the introduction of ethnology as a new subject of study at the University of Zurich, the former “Ethnological Collection” was shifted from the Faculty of Natural Sciences to the Faculty of Arts and renamed as “Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich”. In 1980 the collection was moved to its present location. Our Zurich day trip planner makes visiting Zoological Museum and other Zurich attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Zoological Museum reviews
Very interesting and informative place, I've never been a big fan of museums but this one felt different, i really enjoyed the visit, looked at every piece of info and watched every animal, stayed...
Very interesting and informative place, I've never been a big fan of museums but this one felt different, i really enjoyed the visit, looked at every piece of info and watched every animal, stayed... more »
A wonderful place to keep amazed about nature as it used to be some million years ago till our times in the area of Zurich. Hands on experience. You are immediately joining the show, and learn a lot..... more
A wonderful place to keep amazed about nature as it used to be some million years ago till our times in the area of Zurich. Hands on experience. You are immediately joining the show, and learn a lot..... more »
Incredible! It's the caliber of a natural history museum, and it's completely free. Highly recommended for anything from a quick visit to a closer study—or even just to find something to do during a rain shower.
Very nice for kids. Good collection, don't expect something amazing though. Would have appreciated to have the explanations written in English or French, this was mostly German
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