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The Natural History & Mushroom Museum

A One-Of-A-Kind museum Dedicated to Mother Nature

Address: 20, Pindou Street, Kalambaka Telephone: 0030.24320.24959 Website: Meteoramuseum.gr

In the shadow of the emblematic rocks of Meteora, on the main road running through the town of Kalambaka, you’ll find another reason to extend your visit in this area: the newly opened Natural History Museum of Meteora & Mushroom Museum, a one thousands square meter space where wonderful dioramas vividly depict the habitats of a wide collection of stuffed birds and mammals. The visitors of the museum have the opportunity to meet a big variety of wild animals and birds of our planet, some of them live in small populations under the risk of extinction and protected by strict international, EU and Greek legislation. A nature lover and avid collector of birds, Nikos Pallas, one of the three founders of the museum, saw his dream come true in early November of 2014. “I have loved nature ever since I was a child. I collected birds growing up and later joined forces with two friends. “The museum is the result of 25 years of collecting birds and other animals from around the world” he said, adding that 90 percent of the specimens have come from nature parks or other collections and are all properly documented. “We have not done any hunting ourselves,” Pallas assured. Pallas explained to eKathimerini.com that the displays have been created by some of the best taxidermists in the world and have been ranked at the top of an international quality scale developed by Safariworks. The dioramas, in which the specimens are placed, were created from 18 artists, Greek and foreign, commissioned to make the landscapes look as real as possible. Optical fibers have been added to some of the display cases in order to depict the star-studded skies frequented by nocturnal species. The science behind it all is also solid, as the museum works with the Environment Ministry and the Callisto environmental group and is currently developing ties with the academic community to develop a research center. The second area of activity, mushrooms, is equally impressive.“It is the first of its kind in Europe, with a great collection that is constantly being enriched, as we have thousands of varieties in Greece,” said Pallas. In this part of the museum as well, the displays are placed in natural-looking surroundings, separated into four types of forest, depending on where the species grow: beech, pine, fir and oak. The mushrooms and sculptures are crafted individually to perfectly replicate the real shapes and colors. The scientific adviser here was Giorgos Constantinidis, an international authority on mushrooms, said Pallas. The natural history museum exhibits a wide collection of 300 species of birds and mammals as well as a comprehensive mushroom museum, the first of its kind in Greece to be exact, with several dozens of the main species of mushrooms. The division of the mushrooms was an exciting idea of Nikos Pallas and his passion with nature. The presentation of the collections through dioramas depicts the natural terrain where the wild animals live in and where the mushrooms grow. The quality of the exhibits is excellent while their placement in space is in thematic units and exhibits are distributed depending on the type of the ecosystem they belong to. Mushrooms are presented in a unique way, which includes the three major phases of their development providing a comprehensive picture of the way they develop in each ecosystem. The high quality of the exhibits and the properly configured environment, create a striking effect and make the museum experience enjoyable and productive.The high quality of the exhibits and the properly configured environment, create a striking effect and make the museum experience enjoyable and productive.In the contexts of the museum’s initiative, as far as mushrooms are concerned, certain activities are organized for visitors in order to bring your close to nature and help you familiarize with the magical and relatively unknown world of mushrooms. In a distance not very far from the Museum and in a short time, you will have the opportunity to look for, collect and get pictures of mushrooms. You will have the advantage to cook them while fresh in nature and finally taste this very unique and nutritious product, which is generously given by nature to Greek mountains especially in the area of Kalambaka. Mushroom hunting takes place in the forests near the museum with the help of experienced guides and mushroom hunters, making this experience both enjoyable and useful. Visitors can choose to also take mushroom cooking classes, and gustatory experiences either on the mountain or in an excellent restaurant with a great view of Meteora. What’s more, the museum organizes seminars, conferences and workshops about mushrooms, where the participants gain basic and practical knowledge on mushrooms and how to find and collect them on the Greek mountains. Finally, the Museum, with the guidance of experts, gives to visitors the opportunity to create your their sculpted mushroom, a unique souvenir to take with you as a remembrance of your contact with the wonderful world of mushrooms.
The images are copyrighted from the Official Facebook Page of the Natural History and Mushroom Museum of Meteora.