Geological Museum of Bejaia: Temple of Science and Tourism

Geological Museum of Bejaia: Temple of Science and Tourism

The museum staff is improving and improving the reception conditions, and is especially working on improving the peripheral spaces and relaxation places, because everything inside is about to delight tourists with their eyesight and souls. Located in the heart of the Goraya National Park, the building resembles a beautiful residence in an affluent neighbourhood, offering those who embark there an exciting and refreshing journey into earth sciences, which is also amplified by a scintillating scenography, designed and adapted by renowned artists including visual artist Jamal Bouali.

“It is a tremendous tool, both scientific, cultural and educational,” says Professor Jamil Aissani, president of the Bejaia Scientific Academy “Group for Studies of the History of Mathematics in Medieval Bougies” (GEHIMAB) and founder of the project. The project was completed in 2003 and was originally scheduled to be constructed in the Nantes region of France.

Through a happy meeting that brought together the honorary geologist from Nantes, from Bejaia, Professor Yves Baudry, Jamil Aissani, and the then Director of the Protection of Bejaia Forests, Ali Mahmoudi, who later became Director General of Forests, the project was completed and installed in the capital, Hammadia. What the three characters had in common was their love for Bejaia and its environs, their shared passion for history and their common interests in the local ecosystems (marine, lake and forest).

An exceptional collection of minerals, rocks and fossils

Thus, in addition to the building made available by the Forest Department, each of the three made his contribution to the project, facilitated by the presentation by Yves Baudry of an exceptional collection of mineral and rock specimens and fossils, collected during his tenure. Touring the world is the result of “40 years of work in this field,” said Mr. Aissani, and he is very proud to see this organization shine in all its glory. The building is distributed over two floors, a ground floor and a lower floor that is abundantly lit by daylight. The building consists of two exhibition areas, a specialized library, and a conference hall, in addition to an industrial version of a cave made of stalactites and stalagmites that connect the two ground levels. The museum has an appearance of a completely deceptive nature. The ground floor is dedicated to general geology. Visiting it allows you to get acquainted with the main areas of this specialty and get acquainted with the elementary concepts related to the intimate structure of matter.

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Tarpaulin murals adorn the walls and, in a scientific pictorial framework, tell the history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the caveman. The room, for its part, is full of display cabinets, containing collections of specimens, combining mineralogy and petrology (rock science) in all their diversity (volcanic, metamorphic, sedimentary and fossil).

The lower floor, for its part, is entirely devoted to the geology of Algeria in general, but of Bejaia and Jijel in particular, and endeavors to show their peculiarities, the great diversity of the national landscape and the great complexity of the geological forms found there.

In addition to the illustrations on display, many of the display cases provide vivid glimpses, and some of the samples will leave you wondering, to say the least. This is the case for the shark teeth found at the Haggar whose presence at the site reminds us of or even supports the hypothesis according to which the Haggar Ntakor was initially a sea before ending up, once dry, in the desert.

Mr. Aissani said that the Geological Museum in Bejaia provides the opportunity to learn about scientific historical mysteries and helps discovery, while developing a taste for observation and research methods among young people, making it a temple of science and tourism.

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