Reopening of the Utrecht University Museum (UMU) – Love of science

Reopening of the Utrecht University Museum (UMU) – Love of science

review: Reopening of the Utrecht University Museum (UMU)

Rebuilt due to success

UMU has undergone a major renovation in the past three years because the original building has become too small for the growing number of visitors. There was a larger entrance hall with a museum shop and five new exhibition rooms which were furnished with collections that are now more complete. Video screens with stories from the professors, interactive quizzes, and large, colorful play pillows encourage visitors of all ages to start searching on their own. For example, you can assemble a heart-lung machine, study the behavior of monkeys and humans and experience the streams of visitors in the ever-crowded city of Doom.

science story

Famous Utrecht scholars from past and present have contributed to the collection of more than 200,000 objects. Unfortunately, alpha science is somewhat less present than beta and gamma studies. for value main atlas Van Blau and world famous Utrecht Psalter You should still visit the university library, which is located further in the city. The University Museum basically wants to show visitors how science is done and fortunately does so in a very diverse way through, among other things, natural science tools, naturals, wax models, sensory and soil tests.

academic heritage

One of the highlights is the microscope of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a pioneer of microbiology. The self-made lens with which contemporary Christian Huygens discovered Saturn’s moon in 1655 would also have its own display case. On the edge of the lens is a nice quote from Ovid: “Admovere oculis distanceia Sidera nostris” (“They brought the distant stars to our eyes”). The love of science can be felt in Jan Bleulandkabinet. From 1780 to 1838, this professor of medicine collected anatomical specimens from humans and animals, a rich source of information at the time, and his library is still a place of wonder. In addition to the drawings and reproductions, you’ll also see skeletons and stuffed animals. Latif is a stingray dragon, one of the imaginary animals sold by sailors.

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from Blaska

Plasca hydroidoma, photo by Guido Mocaveco

Very special is the personal donation of Dutch professor Dr. AAW Hubrecht (1853 – 1915). He donated his body to science and his skull is now in Bleulandkabinet. It shows beautifully how passionate scientists can sometimes be. As a professor of zoology, Hubrecht received funds from the university in 1882 to order 86 glass models of father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. He wanted to use these vibrant models of marine invertebrates, including jellyfish, sea anemones and snails, as a subject of study during lectures and practical applications. Perhaps due to its fragility it was not used much. The collection is unique to the Netherlands and is now beautifully highlighted in the museum.


The Oude Hortus with its historic greenhouses has also been renovated, and a new museum café has opened in the Zaadhuis dating back to the 18th century. The perfect place to enjoy all the impressions of your visit to the museum. You can spot many species of plants and trees in the gardens, such as the 250-year-old Ginkgo biloba tree that you no longer encounter in the wild. When you leave UMU, take a look at the rotating mirrored artwork by Jonathan Stratman that hangs high in the auditorium. With this installation, the museum bridges the gap between the worlds of art and science. The Utrecht artist offers a moment for reflection. By looking at yourself, you understand yourself better. Just as science is a way to understand the world.

The UMU and Oude Hortus will be open to the public again from Wednesday 6 September:

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