General about the Natural History Museum in Admont
The “Naturhistorische Museum” - Natural History Museum - was set up again after the devastating fire of 1865 by the Admont Benedictine Father Gabriel Strobl in the years 1866 to 1910.
In his scientific activity Father Gabriel Strobl built up a huge insect collection with roughly 252,000 specimens, with the collection of about 80,000 flies being one of the three most important in Europe. Through his own collecting, exchange, buying and in the form of gifts Father Gabriel Strobl acquired over 44 years the collection that can be admired in the partly newly planned Natural History Museum.
When one enters the Natural History Museum through its main entrance one comes in the first gallery into the world of reptiles and amphibians. The visitor is “greeted” by an over 2 m long Mississippi alligator and a wealth of snakes, lizards, tortoises etc. both dry and in alcohol.
A “glass-case ribbon” stretches for about 24 metres and shows in texts, pictures and exhibits the historical development of the Natural History Museum. The first side room is dedicated to Father Gabriel Strobl’s life work:
His scientific and artistic work is described in a large table glass-case, while an exhibition of various insect groups can be seen on the walls. The second side room presents all 243 examples of the wax fruits made by Father Constantin Keller (1778-1864) in an impressive installation. The second gallery contains a beautiful composition of two elements - air and earth: European butterflies along the left wall and a large collection of dried and pressed cryptogams in historical cases along the right wall mirror the harmony of animals and plants.
The third sphere of life - water - is represented in this room by a collection of conchs (gastropod shells) and specimens of fish. The “Lion Room” has been left in its original state and takes its name from the large East-African lion which Father Gabriel Strobl acquired from the famous Africa researcher Dr. Emil Holub. In addition, many valuable specimens, especially of exotic mammals amd birds, are arranged in the original cases.
The end of this “Nature stroll” is the “South-East Pavilion” with a splendid view of the National Park area. Once the sole room in the Natural History Museum, this presents a colourful show of European and local mammals and birds, together with a large collection of stones and minerals.