Gabbie Fredrickson

Written by Gabbie Fredrickson

Modified & Updated: 17 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, located in Paris, France, is a captivating and historic landmark that has captured the imagination of visitors for centuries. Founded in 1794, it is the oldest zoological garden in the world and has a rich history filled with fascinating facts and enigmatic stories.

In this article, we will delve into 14 intriguing facts about the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, shedding light on its remarkable inhabitants, unique architectural features, and notable contributions to the field of zoology. From its humble beginnings as a royal garden to its role in scientific research and conservation efforts, the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes continues to be a remarkable attraction that offers a glimpse into the natural world and the importance of preserving our planet’s biodiversity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, a historic zoo in Paris with over 1,800 animals and a rich conservation legacy, inspiring visitors of all ages to appreciate and protect wildlife.
  • Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, where rare species, historical architecture, and educational programs come together to create a timeless and enchanting experience for families and animal lovers.
Table of Contents

A Rich History

The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes has a rich history dating back to its establishment in It started as a royal menagerie and eventually opened to the public in 1795.

Diverse Collection of Animals

With over 1,800 animals representing more than 190 different species, the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes boasts a diverse collection that never fails to amaze visitors.

Home to Rare and Endangered Species

The Menagerie is dedicated to conservation efforts and houses several rare and endangered species, including the Amur leopard, Sumatran tiger, and Asiatic lion.

Inspiring Famous Authors and Filmmakers

The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes has inspired renowned authors and filmmakers. It served as the setting for Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Misérables” and was featured in the film “Madagascar”.

A Hub for Scientific Research

The Menagerie promotes scientific research and contributes to conservation efforts through its close collaboration with various organizations and universities.

A Botanical Haven

Adjacent to the Menagerie is the Jardin des Plantes, a stunning botanical garden that provides a peaceful escape from the bustling city of Paris.

Conservation Breeding Programs

The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes plays a vital role in conservation breeding programs, helping to ensure the survival of endangered species through captive breeding initiatives.

Historical Architecture

The Menagerie’s buildings boast impressive historical architecture, including the Grand Rocher, an artificial rock structure that houses various reptiles.

Education and Outreach

The Menagerie offers educational programs and interactive exhibits to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

Impressive Aviary

Amongst its vast array of captivating animals, the Menagerie is home to a magnificent aviary, showcasing a variety of beautiful and exotic bird species.

A Haven for Big Cats

The Menagerie houses various big cat species, such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs, providing them with spacious habitats and promoting their overall well-being.

Nocturnal Exhibits

Visitors can immerse themselves in the enchanting world of nocturnal animals through the Menagerie’s special exhibits, where they can witness the behavior of creatures that thrive in the dark.

A Must-Visit for Families

The Menagerie is an ideal destination for families, offering a unique opportunity for children to learn about different animal species and develop a love for wildlife.

A Timeless Attraction

The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes continues to captivate visitors from all walks of life, serving as a perfect blend of history, nature, and wildlife.

There you have it – 14 enigmatic facts about the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes. So, if you find yourself in Paris, make sure to visit this iconic attraction and embark on a wondrous journey through the animal kingdom.


In conclusion, the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes is a fascinating and enigmatic place that holds a rich history and offers a unique experience for visitors. From its diverse collection of animals to its role as the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world, there are many intriguing facts to discover about this iconic landmark. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone looking for an unforgettable adventure, a visit to the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes is sure to leave you in awe.


1. How old is the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes?

The Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes was established in 1794, making it the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world.

2. What animals can be found in the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes?

The Menagerie houses a diverse collection of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, penguins, reptiles, birds, and many more.

3. Are there any special exhibitions or events held at the Menagerie?

Yes, the Menagerie regularly hosts special exhibitions and events throughout the year. These range from educational programs for children to temporary exhibits showcasing rare and endangered species.

4. Is the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the Menagerie is wheelchair accessible, and there are facilities available to accommodate visitors with disabilities.

5. Are there any guided tours available at the Menagerie?

Yes, the Menagerie offers guided tours led by knowledgeable staff members who provide valuable insights into the animals and the zoo’s history.

6. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the Menagerie?

Yes, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and drinks to enjoy at designated picnic areas within the Menagerie.

7. Is photography allowed inside the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes?

Yes, visitors are permitted to take photographs for personal use. However, commercial photography or the use of professional equipment requires prior authorization.

Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes offers a captivating glimpse into the world of wildlife, but there's more to explore! Embark on a journey through the enchanting Jardin des Plantes, where nature's beauty unfolds at every turn. For animal enthusiasts, zoos like Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium showcase extraordinary creatures from around the globe. If you're seeking a more intimate wildlife experience, animal sanctuaries such as Twycross Zoo provide a haven for rescued and endangered species. Whether you're a nature lover, an animal advocate, or simply looking for an unforgettable adventure, these destinations promise to delight and inspire.

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