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The Science Museum of the University of Coimbra (Museu da Ciência da Universidade de Coimbra)
gathers the historical scientific collections of several units of the University of Coimbra
, in Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...
. It includes the collection of scientific instruments from the 18th and 19th century of the Physics Museum, the collections of botanics, zoology, anthropology and mineralogy of the Natural History Museum, and the collections of the Astronomical Observatory and the Geophysical Institute of the University of Coimbra.
Formerly there were several museums in the university, including a museum of physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...
, a museum of zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...
, a museum of natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...
, and a museum of mineralogy
Mineralogy is the study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.-History:Early writing...
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...
, which were managed by different university departments. They merged together in 2006/2007 to form the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra.
Most of these collections date back to the reform of the University promoted by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772, where the teaching of the sciences took major importance, and are lodged in the contemporary buildings of the 18th century. This constitutes the most important science collection in Portugal and one of the most important ones in Europe.