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Natural history museum Bertholdsburg and sea aquarium Zella Mehlis

Home -> Europe -> Germany -> Travelogue Germany -> 27 September 2012

Thursday 27 September, natural history museum Bertholdsburg and sea aquarium Zella Mehlis

We had a few very quiet days and now we are ready to become more active again. First we drive a bit to the west, to Schloss Bertholdsburg in Schleusingen.
Monument in Schleusingen Bertholdsburg Castle, SchleusingenThe castle Bertholdsburg was built in the 13th century and is later named after Count Berthold VII who resided here in the beginning of the 14th century.
Now it is a natural history museum with an extensive collection of fossils and minerals (about 70,000 which are of course not all displayed) which we always love to see. The museum was started in 1934, but over the years the themes have changed several times, during the GDR it was mainly about the lives of the people in the region.
It is also nice to see a castle for once where not everything is about the history of the castle itself. There is of course still a small part that deals with local regional history, they could not really ignore it.
Bertholdsburg Castle, Schleusingen Bertholdsburg Castle, SchleusingenFor a 13th century castle it still looks good but it has also been regularly rebuilt and now looks more like a Renaissance palace.
Apart from the museum, there is also an extensive library with thousands of old books and research is being carried out into the region's 300 million year history.
We especially like the colorful and extensive mineral collection, the € 4 entrance fee is really not expensive for it.
Sea aquarium Zella-Mehlis Sea aquarium Zella-MehlisAfter a cup of coffee in the castle restaurant we drive to Zella-Mehlis, a town north of Schleusingen. There is a sea aquarium that we would like to see where a lot of tropical fish species can be seen. Do not ask us about the names, we have no idea about fish names. It is incredible how many species of fish in all sorts, sizes and colors can be seen here. But they are here especially proud of the million-liter water basin where sharks swim that you can see from very close.
Sea aquarium Zella-Mehlis Sea aquarium Zella-MehlisIn most aquariums there is a lot of colorful coral, the natural habitat of many of the animals that swim around here. It seems that in the oceans the coral is bleaching worldwide due to the warming of the ocean water so it can no longer offer protection to many species of fish. But due to the global warming, the growth of small food such as plankton is also getting slower, which in turn has the effect of disrupting the entire food chain around a coral, from plankton to sharks. Fortunately, there are projects under way to allow corals to be restored more quickly, which seems to be very possible if the pollution is stopped by humans.
++ Sea aquarium Zella-MehlisIn total there are more than 50 aquariums with more than 200 animal species and there is a separate crocodile house where you can view these ancient animals up close from the walking path that runs through it. The aquarium is not really big but we find it very nice, especially for children it is worth a visit because they are allowed to stroke all kinds of fish like the Koi carps.

On the way back we drive through the sleepy town of Suhl. Like many other towns in Thürings it used to be a mining town until the ores ran out. In the 2nd World War an extensive weapons refinement was set up and hunting weapons are still being produced.
Sculpture group in SuhlIn the 80s and 90s of the 20th century, more than 50,000 people lived here, but after 1988 the population is rapidly declining and the town is not very lively either. We are looking for a restaurant in a shopping center for a real Germanc schnitzel with bratkartoffeln (baked potatoes) and then drive back to our house where we have a quiet evening


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