Museums and Art

Institute of Biology of the South Seas, Ukraine, Sevastopol

Institute of Biology of the South Seas, Ukraine, Sevastopol

Sevastopol Museum of Biology of the South Seas It was founded in 1897, when the Sevastopol Biostation existed. This building currently serves as a haven for the Sevastopol Aquarium-Museum of the South Seas.

The Sevastopol Museum is located in a beautiful snow-white building, next to the monument, sunken ships. The building was built with funds from the Imperial Academy of Sciences of the nineteenth century.

The first head of the biostation, academician A.O. Kovalevsky, initiated the construction of the Aquarium. It was an amazing person. He managed to obtain permission to build a special building for a biostation, where the Aquarium could be freely put into operation. The territory of the Sevastopol Bay just disposed to such a construction. For a complete study and visual inspection of biological stations abroad, Kovalsky repeatedly traveled to Naples, Arkarona, Villafranca.

Monitor lizardUnusual fish

At the beginning of the work of the Aquarium, the demonstration was conducted only by the inhabitants of the Black Sea, while at that time only one showroom functioned. The location of the hall occupied the northwestern part of the building of the biostation, it looked like a quadrangular terrace. The Aquarium building had a swimming pool, occupying the central part of the room, with a displacement of 24 m3, wall aquariums with a displacement of 18 m3 were located along the walls. The pools were filled with ichthyofauna of the Black Sea. The visit at first was free, the visit time was limited to three days a week. For the purpose of more complete informative information, scientists of the biological station conducted lecture speeches in front of visitors to the aquarium.

The further formation of the museum activities of the Sevastopol Aquarium is associated with academician Zernov S.A., who headed the biostation since 1901. In those days, the biostation experienced a strong material need to preserve the life of the station and the aquarium. Zernov was forced to enter a fee for entering the Aquarium, but the fee was made only three days a week, the rest of the days the visit remained free. Such measures allowed to keep the station afloat. The museum fund of the station eventually replenished with new collections of biomaterials from the Black and Marmara Seas. Due to lack of space, it was necessary to increase the territory of the biostation. The left wing of the building was given over to the museum.

From the time of the First World War and ending with the Civil War, the station experienced serious difficulties, but managed to keep working capacity and property.

During the Soviet era (1920-1930), the biostation continued its activities. Also there were visits to the Aquarium, viewing the exhibits of the museum.

In the 34-35 years of the last century, the building of the biostation expanded again, an extension was made on the south side of the building, and a fourth floor of the central part was built. During the Patriotic War, the building of the biostation and the aquarium survived, although there were minor damage, but judging by the rest of the destroyed buildings of Sevastopol, this was considered a trifle.

Since 1960, the biostation has received a new status - Institute of Biology of the South Seas. After that, work on the restoration and expansion of the building began in full swing.

Today, there you can see more than 45 species of various inhabitants of the Black Sea, admire the expositions of “fauna and flora”, as well as the exposition “Fauna of tropical seas”.


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