A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
So, you find yourselves in Brussels. So, you think you have seen all the sights which are clichéd & associated with the city (I am looking at you, Grand place & Atomium). Well, there is one place which perhaps not many people have not heard much about, and is nestled away in the City. I am talking about the Museum of natural sciences, or as kids would call it in all their innocence. ‘The Dinosaur museum’. I was with a couple of my friends when I visited this museum, and honestly it wasn’t my idea but that of a friend of mine, who from her childhood had an obsession with T-rex and friends, to visit this museum. Though initially skeptical this was certainly a fun trip.
As the tour begins, the idea of the museum folk seems to be that of making an impression in the viewers mind about the size and range of the dinosaurs. There is an immediate sense of perspective as there are giant bones which are hanging from the ceiling. There is also an evolution exhibit which highlights the evolution of animals following on from the dinosaur era.
To put simply, this is Europe’s largest exhibition on dinosaurs. Apart from the ubiquitous dinosaurs, the museum is also home to other displays such as the evolution of man, the shell collection, Journey through Antarctica, Mammoths, whale collections, rock collections including the lunar rock etc. There isn’t probably a soul who hasn’t watched the Spielberg masterpiece ‘The Jurassic park’, I am no exception and as a child I watched with fascination as the majestic T-rex chased and scared the living daylights of Jeff Goldblum and company. In the Dinosaur museum one of the most popular exhibits is that of the T-rex.
Apart from the T-rex this museum also has a large collection of Iguanodons which were interestingly discovered in Belgium towards the end of the 19th century by a group of miners. There is a floor to ceiling glass cube which by itself holds about 9 large iguanodons!
All in all, this is a museum which recreates the sense of thrill which was felt by the early paleontologists when they first discovered the fossils. You don’t have to be sweating out in the dusty deserts of United States or the prairies of Alberta to get that feeling. Visit the Dinosaur museum. Oh, and they offer a discount for students too, all the more reason to visit !