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Terra Mineralia: a visit to the mineral world

“The collection is considered as one of the most complete and beautiful mineral exhibition in the world, and trust on me, every specimen is unique and breathtaking. Totally worth visiting”, an impression that most of us perceived at one of the largest minerals collection museum.

Hello dear readers,

Here is Tamara (ESR 8) from TU Clausthal, Germany. Today, I would like to tell you about a fantastic mineral museum that all of the ESRs from SULTAN project had the pleasure to visit during our 2nd Network-Wide Event in Freiberg, Germany, last September. The collection is  considered as one of the most complete and beautiful mineral exhibition in the world, and trust on me, every specimen is unique and breathtaking. Totally worth visiting.

A night at the museum

After a whole hard working day at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology – as you may know from our previous post blog – SULTAN team was awarded a visit to the Terra Mineralia Museum. The museum has over 3.500 minerals, gemstones and meteorites from five continents presented in the historical setting of the Freudenstein Castle.

The SULTAN team was divided into small groups for a guided tour of the museum. The tour was guided by a lovely gentleman who guided us through the museum floors, while telling us the stories and curiosities of this huge mineral collection.

As mentioned before, there are over 3.500 minerals, gemstones and meteorites on display at the permanent exhibition in Terra Mineralia and all of them came from a personal collection! Dr. Erika Pohl-Ströher was a mineral lover who collected samples for more than sixty years from all over the world! Besides her professional carrier with a PhD in Biology, her main interesting was to collect crystals that stood out for their different shapes and colors. So, if you are a scientist reading this blog be aware that you will not find any “normal” mineral in this collection, but only the brightest, the most remarkable, as well as the largest ones!

For over the years, Dr. Pohl-Ströher was able to collect more than 90,000 samples from every continent in the world. In 2004, she decided to donate her unique collection to the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg and since 2008 the collection is a permanent exhibition of the University, which is responsible for the museum. The samples that are not on show at Terra Mineralia Museum are stored in a depository for research purposes.

The minerals are displayed on three floors and divided into continents: Asia, America, Africa, Australia and Europe. Each room represents a continent where the samples were collected and they are identified by their scientific names and exact sampling places. The doors of the rooms have a drawing of the continent which the exhibition is representing (Figure 5).

The collection is extraordinary! The whole group was delighted by the exhibition. Even if you are not an appreciator of minerals yet, you will get fascinated by this. And you can easily spend hours admiring each floor.

Visiting this museum is not only a pleasant experience but also a great opportunity to learn more about our fascinating world. Did you know that there are fluorescent minerals? The answer is YES, there are! And you can appreciate them in this astonishing museum (Figure 7).

Have I convinced you to stop by Freiberg?

The museum is opened every working day from 10 am to 5 pm and also during the weekends and public holidays from 10 am to 6 pm. The prices and information about tour visits for schools and families you may find in the official website: https://www.terra-mineralia.de/english/startpage.

Thanks for reading!

See you smiley


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