Urwelt Museum Upper Franconia

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Urwelt Museum Upper Franconia
Dinosaur Bayreuth 2014.jpg
Dinosaur model near
the entrance to the Urwelt Museum
place Bayreuth
opening 1833
City of Bayreuth (sponsor);
General Directorate of the State Natural Science Collections of Bavaria (scientific supervision)
Joachim Martin Rabold
ISIL DE-MUS-013818

The Urwelt-Museum Oberfranken in Bayreuth is a regional natural history museum operated by the city of Bayreuth with a focus on the history of the animate ( paleontology ) and inanimate ( geology and mineralogy ) nature of Upper Franconia . It developed from a cabinet set up in 1833 through constant acquisitions and enlargements of the collection. The museum has been located in the city center of Bayreuth since 1997 and is looked after by the Bavarian State Natural Science Collections .


In 1832, District President Ferdinand von Andrian-Werburg called for the establishment of a natural history cabinet . Count Georg zu Münster was one of the first to respond to this call by providing 14,000 exhibits as the basis of the new collection. In 1833, for example, the Kreis-Naturalien-Cabinet was opened in the Bayreuth Chamber Presidium. The collection initially contained 19,209 fossils and over 3,000 minerals and rocks.

In 1841 the collection moved to the ground floor of the New Palace . It lived mainly from the voluntary work of individuals: Government Secretary Metzer took over the conservation of the collection items, then the registry assistant Rath, both in their free time. In 1849 the collection had to move to the district agricultural and trade school. Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Braun , who had worked on the construction from the beginning and published the first catalog, became curator in 1850 . He held this post until his death in 1854.

After Kustos Braun died in 1854, the Kreis-Naturalien-Cabinet only served as a school collection, which was administered by various natural history teachers. It was not until 1872 when the notary Käfferlein bought the mineral collection that the collection emerged from its shadowy existence. It was not until 1914 that the collection was made accessible to the public again and appeared as a scientific institution. Theodor Schneid looked after the collection, which had now found its home in the former municipal branch bank building on Friedrichstrasse. Even after Theodor Schneid was appointed to Bamberg , he took care of the Bayreuth collection from there.

After the First World War , the exhibits were returned to the ground floor of the New Palace in 1924. Schneid wrote the first museum guide on this , which also appeared in 1924. In 1934 the city of Bayreuth acquired the Frosch Collection , which it added to the Kreis Naturalien Collection as a loan.

After the Second World War , Bamberg's Anton Kolb took over the supervision in 1955 and enabled the museum to reopen in 1958. In 1964, the district natural history collection was renamed the Upper Franconian Geological Museum Bayreuth .

In 1981 the government canceled the exhibition rooms in the New Palace, so that the museum had to be closed. The Natural Science Society of Bayreuth, the University of Bayreuth and numerous regional fossil and mineral collectors campaigned heavily for the reopening of the collection, which was stored in sealed boxes at the University of Bayreuth and was therefore not accessible to anyone. The General Directorate of the Bavarian State Natural Science Collections accepted the request for the Upper Franconian Geological History Museum to be reopened and found additional support from the Upper Franconian Regional Council and the City of Bayreuth.

In 1997 the sponsorship agreement came about : the city of Bayreuth took over the sponsorship of the museum from the Upper Franconian district, and the general management of the Bavarian State Natural Science Collections took over the scientific supervision. The name has now been renamed Urwelt Museum - Upper Franconian Earth History Museum Bayreuth . In 1998 the museum was opened in the Lüchauhaus (access from Ludwigstrasse), which is owned by the City of Bayreuth.


Skull of Capitosaurus arenaceus

The primeval world museum shows on approx. 600 m² exhibits the history of the animate ( paleontology ) and inanimate ( geology and mineralogy ) nature of Upper Franconia . The exhibits include limestone dinosaurs , a globally rare skull of a Capitosaurus arenaceus and other fossils, rare minerals and a walk-in model of a gold crystal .

Since 2007, a skull and numerous vertebrae of the ichthyosaur Temnodontosaurus from the former clay pit Mistelgau have been on display. The skull is more than a meter in length.

The permanent exhibition Urweltmeer Mistelgau has been set up on the first floor since 2012 . There, a tropical shallow sea, which covered the region 180 million years ago, is depicted using fossils.

In the outside area behind the museum several to ten meter high models of dinosaurs are exhibited. There are other models in the pedestrian zone, not far from the entrance to the museum.

In 2016, what was probably the oldest skeleton of a young Allosaurus was exhibited in the museum.

Important acquisitions

  • 18 ??: Collection of the lawyer Kaefferlein ; Minerals from all over the world. Kaefferlein was Richard Wagner's lawyer
  • 1832 + 1835: Collection of Count Georg zu Münster ; Donation to the district of Upper Franconia
  • 1924: Laubmann's mineral collection by the Upper Franconia district (1924)
  • 1934: Frosch Collection by the City of Bayreuth (1934)

The collections

The collections mainly contain fossils and minerals from the Upper Franconia region:

  • Muschelkalksaurier from Oschenberg and Laineck mountain range with numerous types and originals.
  • Plant collection from the Lias alpha . The collection consists of its own collections and the Hauptmann collection.
  • Fossils from the clay pit Mistelgau Fossils (vertebrates such as ichthyosaurs, crocodiles and remains of a plesiosaur, pterosaur remains, ammonites, snails, fish, belemnites, mussels, insect remains, wood, etc.) from the lias of the region.



  • Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Braun : Directory of the petrefacts in the district natural history collection in Bayreuth . With I. A geognostic-petrefactological map of Upper Franconia. II. A geognostic-petrefactic overview. III. Twenty-two plates illustrations. Leopold Voss, Leipzig 1840.
  • Theodor Schneid: Geological a. mineralogical collection of Upper Franconia . District natural collection in Bayreuth. Ellwanger, Bayreuth 1924 (installed in the ground floor rooms of the New Palace).

Web links

Commons : Urwelt-Museum Oberfranken  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sensational find: Museum in Bayreuth shows baby dinosaurs
  2. ^ Urwelt-Museum-Bayreuth - Little Al ist da , br.de from February 26, 2016

Coordinates: 49 ° 56 ′ 37 ″  N , 11 ° 34 ′ 36 ″  E