Vaud Geology Museum © Musée cantonal de géologie / Stefan Ansermet

Vaud Geology Museum

A real history book, the Vaud Geology Museum is packed full of treasures, testaments to a past that is often shrouded in mystery for the general public. The museum’s free permanent exhibitions in the Palais de Rumine in Lausanne include fossils, crystals and an explanation about the formation of the Alps.

Housed in the Florentine style building of the Palais de Rumine, the treasures of the Geology Museum take its visitors to another world, with a 16,000 year-old mammoth skeleton, one of the most complete ever found in Europe and an enormous molar discovered in 1897 which apparently belonged to a hippopotamus that grazed along the tropical banks of the Morges 1.8 million years ago.

Here too, mineralogy enthusiasts can discover the amazing collection of a thousand minerals created by Czar Alexander 1st and brought to Switzerland by his tutor, Frédéric-César de La Harpe. But the main attraction is The Welcome Nugget, the biggest gold nugget ever recorded at 57.3 kilos. Truth be told, this is the single replica of this nugget since the Australian original was melted in London in 1859…

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