Museum of Natural History was founded in 1888 in Sarajevo. The idea of its founding came up in 1850, however the plan was realised only during the Austro-Hungarian rule. The original building was unsuitable, so accoring to a regulation plan from 1909 a sketch of the museum was made and its construction in the central part of the city of Sarajevo began (on the place of today's Square of Bosnia and Herzegovina). The architect Carlo Parzik designed a new museum complex that contained four pavilions and the Botanical Garden, which was completed and opened in 1913. For a long time it was the only national museum complex in the territory of former Yugoslavia.
The collection of the museum is divided into four main sections: Department of Archeology, Department of Ethnology, Department of Natural Sciences and a Library. The National Museum Library holds 300,000 volumes of books, magazines and newspapers.
The Botanical Garden houses 21 tombstones called „stećak” from medieval Bosnia and Herzegovina. These tombstones are divided in three parts: tombstones from Bosnia, tombstones from Herzegovina and tombstones from other parts of Bosnia.
The most attractive object of the museum is Sarajevo's Haggadah. There are several Haggadahs in the world, but the one from Sarajevo has many illustrations that adorn it.
The story of Sarajevo Haggadah is truly unique. This book was created in the province of Barcelona in 1350. It arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the sixteenth century, along with the Sephardic Jews, who were exiled from Spain. After being used during holiday seasons in Sarajevo for hundreds of years, the Haggadah was sold in 1894 to the Museum of Natural History. During the World War II, the museum director Jozo Petrovic and curator Dervish Korkut rescued the book from the Nazis, by telling a senior German officer that Haggadah had already been taken out of the museum. One legend says that during the World War II, the Haggadah was buried below the threshold of a mosque on Bjelasnica. Sarajevo's Haggadah has a poem supplement that is of great importance to Jewish literature in general.
The Museum celebrates Halloween with a special educational and entertaining program "Dare to Enter the Museum".
Ticket price for the Museum of Natural History
Regular ticket price : 8 KM
Reduced ticket price: 3 KM (for children, students and adults in pension)
FREE ENTRANCE from Tuesday to Thursday for children and adults over 65 years. Adults will pay reduced price – 3 KM.
Working hours of the Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10: 00h do 19:00h.
Museum of Natural History is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10: 00h do 14:00h.
Visitors can see the original Sarajevo Haggadah from 12:00h to 13: 00h on Tuesday, Thursday and every first Saturday of the month.