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British Museum, London

The British Museum is a five-star museum in London dedicated to the history of human civilisation, arts and culture. The museum is home to a large collection of historical artefacts and antiquities gathered from various corners of the world. The British Museum is truly fascinating and one of the most popular in London, receiving around 7 million visitors each year. Entry to the museum is free.

The British Museum is in a huge and grand building featuring a neoclassical architecture with Greek facades. The design of the building draws inspiration from the temple of Athena Polias at Priene in Asia Minor (present day Turkey). The museum’s vast collection numbers around 8 million from past civilisations including ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, Byzantine, Assyria and Babylon. There are also collections from the Medieval and the Renaissance periods.

 British Museum by Txllxt TxllxT


Founded in 1753, the British Museum opened to the public in 1759 and located at its current location in Bloomsbury. Initial construction of the current building began in 1823-1828 and over the next two centuries extended several times to accommodate the museum’s increasing collections. Today, the museum comprises of many themed areas or galleries organised according to a specific period or location in history such as the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

Egyptian Sculpture Room at the British Museum by M.Chohan 

Ancient Egypt

The British Museum is home to the world's largest collection of Egyptian artefacts and antiquities after the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. Exhibits from ancient Egypt have been part of the museum’s collections since its founding in 1753 and span from the beginning of prehistoric Egypt (10,000 B.C.) to the Coptic Christian times (12th century). There are seven permanent galleries dedicated to ancient Egypt and the most sought after exhibits by visitors are the Egyptian mummies and coffins!

Ancient Greece & Rome

The British Museum also has one of the world's largest and most wide-ranging collections of artefacts from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Exhibits range from the early period of the Greek Bronze Age (3200 B.C.) to the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great who reigned from 306 to 337 A.D. Collections from the two civilisations include marble structures, segments of columns, sculptures, figurines, terracotta plaques, glass vessels, pottery, ancient jewellery and coins.

Elgin Marbles from Ancient Greece by Andrew Dunn

The Middle East

Collections from ancient Mesopotamia at the British Museum are the largest outside of Iraq. These include a comprehensive collection from the Assyrian, Babylonian and Sumerian civilisations. Although the exhibits centre on Mesopotamia, there are also collections from the adjacent regions including the Arabian Peninsula, Persia, Anatolia and Central Asia. The museum also has a large collection of art from the Islamic world including paintings, tiles, pottery, glass and inscriptions.

Islamic Gallery by Johnbod

Other Exhibits

Other exhibits at the British Museum include collections from the prehistoric era including the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. European collections include during the Roman rule of Britain (43 A.D. to 410 A.D.), Early Medieval (4th to 10th century), Medieval (11th to 15th century) and Renaissance to modern (16th century to present day). Collections from Asia include East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Other collections include from Africa, Oceania and the Americas.

Visiting the British Museum

Admission to the British Museum is free and opens daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Fridays when the museum closes at 8:30 p.m. Most visitors take 3-4 hours to tour and explore the museum but will take longer for those who a deep interest. The nearest London Underground stations are Tottenham Court Road Station (serving the Northern and Central Lines) and Holborn Station (serving the Central and Piccadilly Lines), which are less than 10 minutes walk from the museum.

The British Museum on the Map

Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, UK

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