Visit at the ‘Tiere im Turm’ exhibition on the Friedenstein castle in Gotha

This exhibition is a small part of what once was the ‘Naturkundemuseum Gotha’, it is now placed in a single floor of one tower the Friedenstein castle and consists of a hand full of stuffed animals including some birds.

One thing that is immediately noticeable is the darkness in all the rooms, almost as if this exhibition was planned by – or for vampires, that’s stupid!

In one of the first showcases are some animals that are alternately illuminated one after the other, among them is this plastic model of a Chinstrap Penguin that seems to drift around in the nothingness of space and time ….:

Space Penguin Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica)

Another room shows some animals from Antarctica, all with the German names only, scientific names are not used, and the whole exhibition seems to be made especially for children, which is actually a thing that many museums think they need to do for what reasons ever ….

This is probably the only room that is not pitch black, by the way.:

some Antarctic (or rather subantarctic) birds in two showcases
Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea)
Snowy Sheathbill (Chionis albus), one of my favorite birds … somewhat

Another room is dedicated to the biodiversity of the tropics, and here we find, well, maybe about twenty birds (this time with their scientific names attached), some five mammals, a hand full of insects without any names and … animal sounds from speakers, that are extremely annoying because they are way too loud!

… and this room again is as dark as – I don’t know – a rainforest at night maybe.:

an example for the lighting concept of the exhibition
Short-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon portmani)
Brassy-breasted Tanager (Tangara desmaresti)

The last room of the exhibition is dedicated to European native nocturnal animals, so there’s basically no light at all … which is a lot of fun if you want to take some photographs of something ….:

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus)
Little Owl (Athene noctua)

In the museum shop I found this cheap book about the bird specimens that still are hidden in the depots of the former ‘Naturkundemuseum’; it must be nearly a thousand specimens or more which once were all shown to the public, as I can well remember from my childhood days.:

The current exhibition exists since 2010 and nothing was changed or added despite plans to relocate all of the specimens from the former museum into the castle where they are supposed to get more space, that’s a great shame because at least the bird collection is indeed one of the largest in Europe and contains some extremely valuable specimens!


edited: 31.10.2021