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The British Museum: A London Visitor’s Guide

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The British Museum is one of the most iconic and popular tourist attractions in London. It is a world-renowned institution that houses a vast collection of treasures and artifacts from around the globe. The museum is located in the heart of the city, in the Bloomsbury area, and is easily accessible by public transport.

History

The British Museum was founded in 1753 and was the first national museum in the world. Its original purpose was to house the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and naturalist who had amassed a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and natural history specimens during his lifetime. The museum has since grown to become one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world, with over 8 million objects in its collection.

Top Ten Things to See and Do at the British Museum

  1. The Rosetta Stone: This ancient Egyptian artifact is one of the museum’s most famous exhibits. It is a decree written in three scripts – hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Ancient Greek – which helped scholars decipher hieroglyphs for the first time.
  2. The Parthenon Sculptures: Also known as the Elgin Marbles, these sculptures were once part of the Parthenon temple in Athens. They were controversially removed by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and brought to London, where they have been on display ever since.
  3. The Egyptian Mummies: The museum has one of the largest collections of Egyptian mummies and artifacts outside of Egypt, including the mummy of Ramses II.
  4. The Sutton Hoo Treasure: This collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts was discovered in 1939 and includes a magnificent helmet, a sword, and a gold belt buckle.
  5. The Lewis Chessmen: These 12th-century chess pieces were discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland in 1831 and are one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.
  6. The Great Court: This stunning glass-roofed courtyard is the centerpiece of the museum and houses a restaurant and a gift shop.
  7. The Reading Room: This magnificent circular room was once the heart of the British Library and is now a reading room for the museum’s collection of books and manuscripts.
  8. The British Museum Shop: The museum shop is a great place to pick up souvenirs, gifts, and books about the museum’s collection.
  9. The temporary exhibitions: The museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art.
  10. The museum’s cafes and restaurants: The museum has several cafes and restaurants, including the Great Court Restaurant, which offers views of the museum’s stunning architecture.

Visiting Information and How to Get There

The British Museum is open every day of the week, from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Admission is free, although some temporary exhibitions may have a charge. The museum is located in Bloomsbury, in central London, and is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest underground station is Tottenham Court Road, which is served by the Central and Northern Lines. The museum is also a short walk from several bus stops and is within walking distance of many other popular London attractions.

Conclusion

The British Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting London. Its vast collection of artifacts and treasures from around the world makes it one of the most comprehensive museums in the world. From the Rosetta Stone to the Parthenon Sculptures, there is something for everyone at the British Museum. So why not plan a visit today and discover the wonders of this world-renowned institution for yourself?

What’s your favorite thing to see and do at the British Museum? Let us know in the comments!

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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