Natural Science Museum SNM, Bratislava

SNM - logo
Prírodovedné múzeum SNM, Bratislava
Contact: Milan Rybecký Director
Budova SNM, Vajanského nábrežie 2, 814 36 Bratislava, Slovakia
Mailing address: 
P O Box 13, 810 06 Bratislava 16, Slovakia
421 (0) 2 5934 9122
421 (0) 2 5296 6653
9am-5pm Tue-Sun, closed Mon

SNM - logoThe Natural Science Museum SNM is a national museum which focuses on the research, documentation and presentation of the diversity and development of the living and non-living natural environment in Slovakia. Through its collections it ranks among the most important natural science museums in Europe. The acquisition activities of the museum are focused primarily on the territory of Slovakia. Collections are provided to the professional public for scientific study and are presented to the general public by means of exhibitions, lectures, monographs and publication outputs in the professional and daily press, radio and television. The Natural Science Museum is housed in the main building of SNM at Vajanského nábrežie 2.

The museum houses approximately 2.4 million objects from the fields of mineralogy, petrology, palaeontology, anthropology, botany and zoology. The museum’s acquisition activities are focused primarily on the territory of Slovakia; minerals from abroad are acquired in particular for the exhibition purposes and for comparative study. The museum houses various important collections of significant scientists and collectors. Its mineralogy and petrology collections (more than 23,000 pieces) are among the largest in Slovakia; the mineralogy collection includes a large number of rare minerals from Slovak and world locations, specimens from various locations in Slovakia and a collection of gemstones and decorative stones, while the petrology collection represents the varied rock composition of the Western Carpathian Mountains and study samples of European geological units. The palaeontology collection (approximately 360,000) represents the largest collection of fossils in Slovakia. The most scientifically interesting is its collection of 1,256 specimen pieces. Its most valuable collections include a Neogene vertebrate from Devínska Kobyla, Pliocene terrestrial fauna from Hajnáčka, an almost complete mammoth skeleton from Senec and several Triassic dinosaur footprints. The anthropological collection includes almost 9,000 osteological remains from various Slovak locations, including more than 50 Neolithic skeletal findings, the metopic bone of a Neanderthal and a Late-Early Palaeolithic skull. The collection also includes three Egyptian mummies. The botanical collection is centred on the largest herbarium collection in Slovakia, comprising more than 460,000 items from around the world. Historically the most important are the Herbarium of the monk Cyprian from the 2nd half of the 18th century and the collection of Andrej Kmeť, containing more than 77 000 herbarium items. The zoological collection is the most numerous in Slovakia, comprising almost 1.5 million specimens (including dermoplastic, skin, liquid and entomological preparations, osteological and oological material and collections of bird eggs). The collection is divided into several separate units, of which the most extensive is the collection of invertebrates. From the scientific aspect the most important is the collection of specimen material.

The scientific-research activity of the museum is focused on the research and documentation of biotic and abiotic items from the environment of the Western Carpathian Mountains. Expert workers of the museum are also involved in the projects of other scientific institutions (in particular the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) and the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava), which are often undertaken in the framework of the international co-operation. Research outputs include scientific studies and articles and specific professional outputs (scripts, exhibitions, lectures, catalogues, listings). In the fields of the non-living environment, its tasks are focused on mineralogy and lithology-petrology studies with special interest in the Carpathian Mountains. Attention is also paid to significant personalities in the history of geology of Slovakia. In the field of palaeontology research and documentation is focused on selected groups of fossil fauna and stratigraphic layers in the territory of Slovakia. Research in anthropology is focused on the prehistoric, proto-historic and historic populations of Slovakia. Biology disciplines realise basic research oriented on the monitoring of the expansion of selected components of biodiversity in Slovakia, with an emphasis on the systematic sampling and museum documentation of rare and endangered items of biota.