Museum of Natural History in Siena
Prenota il Sangallo Park Hotel e scopri il Museo di Storia Naturale
In 1691 Pirro Maria Gabbrielli, Professor of Medicine and Botany at the University of Siena, along with some students, founded the Academy of Sciences of Siena. The intent was to "scrutinize and investigate the secrets of nature with wisdom and, as judges, reject from the natural sciences all what is false in order to better learn what is true." For the Academics it was coined the term "Fisiocritici" fusing the Greek word physis (nature) and criticos (judges). Academics reproduced a machine to demonstrate the existence of the void and used it for public demonstrations. Then they created the "Fisiocritic heliometer", a sophisticated sundial used to measure time and for astronomical observations. During the nineteenth century the Academy had a remarkable development, and the Museum of Natural History was established. In the first half of the twentieth century the medical and biological activities were prevailing: they allowed the Academy to achieve a place in the Italian medical science while the Siena Medical School took shape. Among academics, there were most illustrious scientists such as Antonio Vallisneri, Carlo Linnaeus, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Alessandro Volta, Louis Pasteur and many others. The headquarters of the Academy and the Museum of Natural History is a former convent from the monks Camaldolesi, known also as the Convent of the Rose or Saint Mustola, built at the end of the twelfth century.
Natural History Museum of Siena
The Museum of Natural History is so called because it includes the main findings from the three kingdoms of nature: animal, vegetable and mineral. The Museum was created and developed since the end of the seventeenth century, mainly thanks to the gifts of the study collections of many Fisiocritics and natural sciences lovers. The purpose of the collection was to find and show to the public the truth of the nature's phenomena. Particularly significant are the collection "Paolo Mascagni" with anatomical preparations made using the injection of metallic mercury in the lymphatic vessels, the collection "Francesco Valenti-Serini," a large collection of terra cotta models of mushrooms, the collection "Francesco Spirito", with anatomical specimens treated with the process of petrification. The zoological collection, where the Marine Mammals stand out, collected since 1970 along the coast regions, and the geological samples consisting mainly of the territory of southern Tuscany are both remarkable.