The Butterfly House – University of Copenhagen

Botanical Garden > Exhibitions > The Butterfly House

The Butterfly House

Inside the new Butterfly House in the Botanical Garden – a part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark – a fairytale setting has been created where the audience can experience the butterflies’ life and transformation up close.

- Butterflies are amazing. They are incredibly beautiful and inspire enthusiasm everywhere. Their lifecycle has fascinated artists, writers and scientists since Antiquity. They are textbook examples of millions of years of evolutionary history in interaction with plants and other animal species, where appearance and behavior are the result of constant adaptation to their surroundings. But they are more than that, says Peter C. Kjærgaard, director of the museum, and continues:

- As indicator species, the butterflies clearly show us how even tiny changes in life conditions, such as relatively small temperature fluctuations and lack of access to food, affect the population. Butterflies are very sensitive, and as a consequence they tell us directly if something is wrong with nature. And there is. In many parts of the world, butterfly populations decrease drastically, and we lose animal and plant species constantly and so rapidly that it compares only to the earlier great mass extinctions in the history of Earth, some 66 million years ago. Humans plays a crucial role in this context. Fortunately, we can still do something about it, and we must.

A lift in visitor experience

The new Butterfly House, as well as the transformation of the Palm House and adjacent greenhouses, signifies an updated visitor experience in the Botanical Garden, which also includes the Nordic Beer Garden that opened on June 8. 

- At the Natural History Museum of Denmark, we want to create a closer connection between people and nature. The Botanical Garden is the perfect place to use our living nature to convey knowledge, enthusiasm and understanding. With around 10,000 plant species, the Botanical Garden is a biodiversity hotspot, an open and vibrant laboratory. It needs to be used, and now everyone is invited to our updated visitor experience. The Butterfly House, together with the Nordic Beer Garden, are our first initiatives. But this is only the beginning, promises museum director Peter C. Kjærgaard.

The Butterfly House is supported by The Augustinus Foundation. The reason they choose to support the Butterfly House is:

- Copenhagen is rich in cultural experiences with art, cultural heritage, music and architecture. Here the Botanical Garden can do something special. It is a unique combination of a green oasis in the middle of the city and a high level of scientific knowledge. We hope that many will enjoy the butterflies up close, says Frank Rechendorff Møller, director of The Augustinus Foundation.