London || The British Museum

British Museum LondonLondon is a city of great diversity. Great culture. And, most especially, great history.

As a history lover (a trait I inherited from my history buff father), I love London most for its incredible past. And one of the best places to appreciate the past in London is in one of London’s many (mostly free!) museums.

So while my family and I were in London last September, we made sure to budget at least two days for visits to castles and museums.

Most especially the incredible British Museum.

And on the first crisp, rainy day (perfect museum day weather!) we headed over to slowly explore this magnificent museum.British Museum LondonAnd magnificent it truly is.
British Museum LondonFound in 1753 on the exact same site, the museum building itself is stunning juxtaposition of neoclassical architecture with a modernist dome windowed ceiling which allows ample nature light for viewing exhibitions with (and is a photographer’s dream!).
British Museum London I remember the first time I stepped into this inner atrium (known as the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court) in 2008, it took my breath away. It was only opened in 2000 but has already become one of the most recognizable indoor spaces in all of London.

And it’s not hard to see why.British Museum LondonThe amazing mixture of old and new is positively spectacular and such an innovative space in which to experience all the world wonders found in the museum.British Museum LondonWhen I first came in 2008 I only had a small point-and-shoot camera with me so I was incredibly grateful to return on our family trip with my professional camera to capture the domed ceiling in all it’s glory.

You can easily spend all day just in this atrium!British Museum LondonBut with over 8 million objects in their collection, don’t spend too much time admiring the ceiling because the treasures within are even more breath-taking.British Museum London First we stopped at the small café in the atrium for some coffee and…British Museum Londonsome nibbles to fuel up for our day of exploration! They we were off!British Museum LondonFirst stop? The most famous piece in the entire museum’s collection… the Rosetta Stone.

You can read a little of the history of this famous stone which in 1799 was instrumental in breaking the code to the previously untranslated hieroglyphic language here. Back in college I actually took a semester long class on hieroglyphics — I found the written language to be fascinating and it heavily fueled my passion for Ancient Egyptian culture. Hieroglyphs are very formulaic and religious in nature when translated — read a full translation of the Rosetta Stone here to get a sense for what I mean.

Seeing the stone in person is something everyone should have the opportunity to do in their lifetime (especially because it’s free!). It’s the reason we understand everything we know now about hieroglyphs. And since it’s been on display continuously in the British Museum SINCE 1802, it is the most-visited item in the entire British Museum collection.

And the perfect place to start your explorations!British Museum LondonBut don’t come just to see the famous Rosetta Stone because there is plenty more to explore!British Museum London Such as Greek statues of all kinds (some from the Parthenon)…British Museum London all of which are breath-taking.British Museum LondonAnd filled with so many stories from the ages.British Museum LondonThere are also Egyptian statues and all sorts of ancient wonders.British Museum LondonBritish Museum LondonBritish Museum LondonNot to mention ample displays of ancient jewels.British Museum LondonBritish Museum London And even real mummies! Though beware, these rooms are always PACKED with tourists.British Museum LondonBritish Museum LondonBritish Museum London British Museum LondonBritish Museum London You’ll also find plenty of medieval and renaissance treasures.British Museum LondonAs well as relics and pieces from the Ancient Americas as well.British Museum London British Museum London British Museum London British Museum London But my favorite collection has to be the British Museum’s superb display of hundreds of pocket watches of all shapes, sizes, and colors.British Museum LondonBritish Museum London British Museum London And larger clocks such as this Spanish Armada ship which is… of course… a clock!British Museum London See the clock dial?British Museum LondonBritish Museum London And finally one of the coolest pieces you can see at the British Museum? An actual Easter Island stone head, known as Moai!

The next time you find yourself in London don’t forgo this incredible treasure of a museum — each and every time I visit I see and learn so many new things!

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