The British Museum, Monument to the Human Civilisation
The British Museum houses one of the biggest collection of art and antiquities in the world; over 2000 years of history can be found in one of the many rooms of the museum; there is basically at least one (in many cases hundreds) object representing each period of our history, a visit to the British Museum is a visit to one of the greatest sources of knowledge; there are ceramics, statues, painting, sculptures and representative items of the Roman Empire, the Viking domination period; the Egyptian culture and the Medieval era, just to name a few.
Credit: Daniel M RamirezThe façade of the museum is astonishing and as soon as you enter the building, you will notice the fantastic and spacious inner courtyard; considered nowadays as the largest covered public square in Europe and known as the Great Court; this great example of modern architecture was designed by Lord Foster and completed on 2000. The total area covered by the impressive glass roof is just over 8000 square meters.
The British Museum receives a very high number of visitors every day, and it is particular crowded during weekends so if you do not want to be disappointed, plan your visit in advance: weekdays and early mornings tend to be less busy. Once you are in the Great Court, take a few minutes to enjoy the magnificent design and familiarise with the building; the Information point should be your first point of contact as you need to plan your visit carefully (it will be impossible to cover the whole museum in just one visit as there are 8 million objects in the collection;) decide the galleries you want to visit and the objects you want to see, the multimedia guide is very useful to discover the secrets of the collections but you can also join one of the many free tours and talks, this is the best way to get the most of your visit.
The museum is divided into galleries, they are: Americas, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa. The most interesting objects in the museum are: The Rosetta Stone (key to the decipherment of hieroglyphs), the Assyrian Lion Hunt reliefs (an ancient king’s triumph over nature) and the Parthenon sculptures, an ancient king’s triumph over nature.Credit: Daniel M Ramirez
The British Museum is open everyday from 10am until 5:30pm and late of Fridays. No entry fee is required to enjoy of one of the greatest museum in the world; however a donation is always welcome; during the year there are several special expositions that do require an entry fee; however the quality, remarkable design and organisation and the knowledge you will gain from paying this small fee is worth it.
The museum is conveniently located in Great Russell Street, only a few minutes away from other great attractions and not far from Oxford Street. This guide is part of the Top 10 places to visit in London article.
I have also prepared other travel guides in England:
- The Cotswolds, "Outstanding Natural Beauty"
- Kew Gardens "Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew"
- Marwell Zoo Review
- Places to visit in England - Brighton
- Places to see in Manchester