History

Our history

Papiliorama is a charitable non-profit organization, which aims at raising awareness about the fate of tropical forests and nature worldwide, by inviting its visitors in the heart of natural exhibits. A sister-foundation of the Papiliorama, the ITCF, protects in a very concrete way more than 23’500 hectares (235 km2) of pristine tropical nature in Belize, Central America.

Papiliorama is the fruit of the imagination of its founder, Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, a biologist from the Netherlands. Together with his wife Catheline, he founded the first Papiliorama in the canton of Neuchâtel in 1988. Papiliorama was destroyed by a major fire on January 1st 1995. Thanks to a huge national wave of solidarity, the tropical house was rebuilt in the same year. Since the Papiliorama could hardly develop further due to lack of space in Marin, the tropical house was relocated to Kerzers in the heart of the Dreiseenland in 2003. Since then, the institution has been under the direction of Caspar Bijleveld, the son of the founding couple.

Papiliorama and Nocturama in Kerzers were opened to the public in 2003. This was followed by the opening of the petting zoo, the playground and the Swiss butterfly garden (now Chlitierlizäut) outside. The third tropical dome, Jungle Trek, was completed in 2008. The complex is constantly being enriched with new smaller exhibitions.

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