The Museum of Nature South Tyrol is located in the former Maximilian Administrative Building in the northeast corner of the old part of Bozen/Bolzano. This Late-Gothic building was first mentioned in the year 1500, as Emperor Maximilian I ordered the new agency building he built in Bozen/Bolzano to be finished and the roof put on. In the following years, the building served the administration of revenues from the Etsch/Adige River. In the course of the centuries, it served various other uses – especially as an administrative building.
Only very few historical structural components have survived in the interior of the building. But the Gothic vaulted hall on the ground floor is of special beauty; temporary exhibitions are usually held here. In addition to it, two Gothic wooden ceilings, a few lancet archways, and two painted coats of arms in the cross-ribbed vault of an oriel have endured.
The building is state property. The Province of South Tyrol took possession of it in 1973. Gradually, the idea arose to locate the planned Museum of Natural History in the “Administrative Building.“ In 1989, the execution of this plan was approved, and the reconstruction work was begun shortly thereafter. In March of 1997, the Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time with a Special Exhibition. Two and a half years later, the Permanent Exhibition rooms were finally completed and opened to the public.
On the ground floor of the Museum of Nature, there's a shop where visitors can purchase selected articles: rare stones and minerals from all over the world, materials to start one's own collection, museum T-shirts, posters, postcards, museum publications, selected literature on the current Special Exhibitions, and much, much more.