London is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and home to many of the world’s top museums. We thought it would be fun to highlight a few of the most popular museums in London.
The British Museum
Imagine back to 1759 if you can. That is when the British Museum opened. It was the first national museum to be open to the public anywhere in the world. It has always been free of charge. Its goal was to provide “studious and curious persons” the ability to pass through its doors and look at all of the interesting and strange objects it was collected from around the globe.
The museum allows visitors to connect with cultures from around the world, both ancient and contemporary. Exhibits include significant finds made by British explorers at home and abroad. It remains today, of the most popular attractions in the world with over six million visitors each year!
The Natural History Museum
London’s Natural History Museum, located in the Romanesque palazzo on the Cromwell Road, was built in 1881. It has grown over the years which includes the incredible Darwin Centre extension which houses over 22 million insect and plant specimens. The specimens alone take up nearly 17 miles of shelving.
The Natural History Museum is actually both a research institution and a fabulous museum. There are so many things to see and experience, one can truly get lost inside this “mammoth” museum!
The Tower of London Museum
The Tower of London is a 900-year old castle and fortress in central London that is notable for housing the crown jewels as well as holding many famous (and infamous) prisoners.
Throughout its history, the tower served many purposes including the Royal Mint (ending in the early 19th century). Until 1835, it was home to a menagerie. It also was a records office, and armory and barracks for troops as well, and until the 17th century, it was a royal residence.
While there were many other “interesting” (to say the least) uses for the tower over the years, today, the crown jewels are the most popular attraction. The jewels include the crowns work by the monarch at coronation and at the opening of Parliament. The tower also contains an impressive collection of armor.
Today, the Tower of London is one of the most famous castles in the world and is now a World Heritage Site attracting more than 2 million visitors a year.