This has got to be one of the most visited places in all of London. With it's free entry and vast and fruitful array of donations from antiquaries I had no surprise as to how busy this fantastic attraction was on a Saturday afternoon. Although having been to several of all the prestigious museums around London, unbelievably, I had never got round to visiting the British Museum until yesterday.
It had a really great atmosphere and captured the interest and imaginations of all ages. With Britain's massive colonial expansion in the 250 years following the museum's opening to the public in 1759, the variation and quantity of artifacts and information to absorb is somewhat boundless. From embracing the history of the earliest of civilisations to the more modern elements of human culture, this museum really did have a lot to teach me. My personal favourite had to be the the section dedicated to the 'Enlightenment' period (c. 17th and 18th century). Being taught about the chronicles of Captain James Cook and his advancement on geographically mapping the earth as well as Joseph Bank's development of botany gave me a new found interest in this area, leaving me with questions that I eagerly want to answer; did such extensive and significant work like this lay any foundation for Darwin's controversial theories to follow in the 19th century for example? I think this section really placed a sufficient emphasis on what was one of the significant developments in human thought and leaving with questions I think is the right thing to do.
|Botanist Sir. Joseph Banks|
|King George III's library where the Enlightenment gallery is located|
But this was section was merely a personal preference and I'd be lying if I was to say that I enjoyed all of the museum as much. Yet I never saw a lot of the museum (the place is huge!) and I hope I'm making a well founded assumption that most people would find something that really appeals to them amongst the museum's entirety. Irrespective of whoever you are, this inspirational place is definitely worth a visit...if not several - I know I'll be returning before long.
|Wenceslaus Hollar, ‘The Long View’ of London, c.1647.|
|A free event for visitors to collectively recreate Hollar's 'View of London'|
|Hoa Hakananai'a; one of the more famous features of the museum|