The Phyletisches Museum, founded by Ernst Haeckel, is a unique institution in the world. From the very beginning, it has not only been a natural history museum, but above all a place where the development of life is to be brought closer to general understanding. The presentation of phylogenesis and the theory of evolution, together with the encounter between art and nature, is still the main concern of our museum today. The Art Nouveau building, itself a cultural monument, bears in its gable field the terms "phylogeny" and "ontogeny" coined by Haeckel in Jena. The Phyletisches Museum was built with foundation money, the foundation stone was laid on Goethe's birthday in 1907 and on 30 July 1908 Haeckel donated the building to the university on the occasion of its 350th anniversary. Today the museum is part of the Institute for Special Zoology and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Jena. It houses extensive zoological-palaeontological collections with over 500,000 pieces. The history of the collection goes back to the 18th century. Original pieces from the time when Goethe was head of the anatomical-zoological collection can still be found today. The Phyletisches Museum has over 300 school classes and 20,000 visitors every year. Thanks to the support of many sponsors, nineteen special exhibitions have been presented since 1995.