Museums are a proof of discoveries, traditional practices, human creativity and our evolution. The buildings and forts have stories of wars and politics, dance and music, art and culture. They inspire generation after generations through their rich collections. Museums are generally classified into five types, namely, general, national history and natural science, science and technology, history, and art. These groups further have subgroups. Initially, museums served as a private gallery for the wealthy and creamy layer of the society. A public exhibition was hardly allowed. In 1793, Louvre in Paris allowed fully public access. Even though people were allowed to enter the museums prior to that, there were various restrictions. According to the survey carried by ICOM (The International Council of Museums), there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. Right from Art museums and Science museums to Chocolate museums and Video game museums. An institution meant for educating people of all strata of the society, it is a storehouse of inventions and discoveries. Here is the list of top 10 museums in the World.
MUSEUMS IN THE WORLD
1. SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, D.C
One cannot talk about museums by overlooking Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Better known as “The Castle”, it is the world’s largest research and museum complex. Smithsonian’s collection includes 19 museums and galleries, 9 research centres and the National Zoological Park. Hope diamond in the Gem hall of the National Museum of Natural History, The Wright brothers’ 1903 flyer in the National Air and Space Museum and the dresses of first ladies and Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in the National Museum of American History are the major attractions. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only National museum that is entirely dedicated to the African American lifestyle and relationship. The Smithsonian Institution has 140 million objects, so you must plan your visit properly.
2. STATE HERMITAGE, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Set up in the year 1764, State Hermitage is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It was built to keep the private collection of Empress Catherine the great but since the year 1852, Hermitage has been open for public display. Presently in emerald, white and gold, the palace has been painted several times in past. The museum has more than 3 million items and it is considered as an extremely important art museum. It has paintings by various artists like Da Vinci, Picasso, Rubens, Goya etcetera. The major attractions in the museum are the golden masterpieces from Eurasia, among all others. The State Hermitage includes the Winter Palace and six buildings, along with River Neva.
3. THE LOUVRE, PARIS, FRANCE
The Louvre in the heart of Paris is the world’s largest art museum. Once a royal fortress, it became a museum in end of the 18th century. The 21-metre tall pyramid made up of metal and glass welcomes the visitors. It is also the most visited museum in the world. The museum has a huge collection of more than 380,000 objects and 35000 artworks, ranging from 6th century BC to that of the 21st century. It has countless pieces of sculptures, paintings, drawings etcetera. But the main attraction of The Louvre is the world-famous painting of Mona Lisa. Apart from that, Veronese’s ‘The wedding feast at Cana’ captures the eye of visitors. Tourists are also guided through the former palace, thus giving them an idea to imagine the life of the French men.
4. THE BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
One of the oldest museums in the world, The British Museum is the largest museum in England. It has more than 8 million objects. The museum was built in 1751 and is dedicated to human history and culture. Various departments of the museum belong to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Roman, Middle East, America, Europe, Asia and etcetera. One interesting fact about the museum is it has the world’s second vast collection of Egyptian treasure outside Egypt.
5. THE ACROPOLIS MUSEUM, ATHENS, GREECE
A fine example of engineering marvel, the new Acropolis Museum is a replica of the rich history of Greece. Though it is built in the 21st century, the treasures in it date back to decades. The glass flooring allows the visitors to wonder at the ruins of the ancient Athenian neighbourhood. As the visitors ascend the slopes, they discover the civilisation of ancient Greece. Structures of Parthenon are the main attraction of the museum. The rectangular gallery has the structures in the same way to that of the cellar of the temple. In the first floor, the sculptures free-stand so that one gets a clear and unmatched idea. The sunlight strikes the gallery to further illuminate the beauty.
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6. UFFIZI GALLERY, FLORENCE, ITALY
Once the house of administrative and legal offices of Florence in 1560, Uffizi Gallery is one of the finest art museums in the world. It was built between 1560 and 1580. And the building itself is a sheer architectural masterpiece. The museum honours paintings, sculptures, drawings etcetera from various eras. The most prominent being from the Renaissance period. Few among many major attractions of the Uffizi Gallery are ‘The birth of Venus’ by Sandro Botticelli, ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ by Fra Angelico, ‘Portrait of Pope Leo X with two cardinal’ by Raphael.
7. THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
The largest museum in the Western hemisphere, The metropolitan museum of Art is a kingdom of knowledge and discovering true art. It has more than two million items, right from pre-historic era to the 21st century. The museum has been divided into different sections featuring the Medieval Art, Greek and Roman Art, The American Wing, Asian Art etcetera. The most marvellous artworks in the museum are ‘The tomb of Perneb’ in the Egyptian Collection and ‘Adam and Eve’ engraving by Albrecht Durer. It is also one of the best tourist attractions in New York City.
8. THE VATICAN MUSEUMS, VATICAN CITY, ITALY
The Vatican City might be the smallest city in the world, but it is filled with majestic beauty. Home to the Pope, it has iconic monuments. The Vatican Museums is also known as the Museum of Museums. There are twenty-two separate spaces. Raphael’s Room, Pius Christian Museum, Niccoline Chapel, Profane Museum, Borgia Apartment being few of them. Sistine Chapel’s room is only one of the major attractions among many in the Vatican Museums.
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9. RIJKSMUSEUM, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
The Dutch National Museum is the largest art museum in The Netherlands. The building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and consists of two squares. The museum has 1 million objects. The most attractive being the works from the Dutch Golden Age. Other major attraction is ‘The night watch’ by Rembrandt, among other artworks of Frans Hals, Ruysdael, and etcetera. Rijksmuseum’s library is the biggest public art history library in The Netherlands.
10. THE PRADO, MADRID, SPAIN
Madrid’s key attraction and that of the world too, The Prado has one of the World’s largest collection of European art. Basically meant for the king and queen’s personal asset, it has been open to public since 1819. The museum is house to work of famous writers like Goya, Titian, and Rubens etcetera.
These are the museums in the world. Do post your comments.