Part of discovering a city is getting to know its art. In fact, the artistic scene of any city is significant of how engaged its people are let alone its heritage. Museums tend to collect the most acclaimed artifacts into one place making it easier to study the cultural landscape of the city you’re visiting. Here are 5 museums from across the globe that you must visit whether for the museums’ architecture or the precious collections they host:
- The Louvre, Paris
The largest museum and historic monument, The Louvre used to be a medieval fortress serving as a palace for the kings of France. It opened as a museum in 1793 exhibiting a large number of objects from paintings to sculptures and everything in between. In 1989, a pyramid designed by architect I. M. Pei was unveiled to become the entrance of the museum. However the installation seemed incongruous at the beginning, it has become an essential part of the landmark and an attraction in and of itself. The Louvre hosts diverse collections from different schools such as Islamic art and Egyptian antiquities and prominent works including the “Mona Lisa” and “Winged Victory of Samothrace”.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Also known as “The Met,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is one of the most visited museums around the world. Its permanent collection consists of very diverse items: from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European maestros, and a wide selection of American and modern art. The rest of the exhibitions the museum hosts are as varied as its permanent collection may they be on Byzantine or Islamic art or on modern and contemporary art (to name a few). In its charter, the Met sums up its mission as follows: “The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.”
- The Prado, Madrid
Museo del Prado is Spain’s main national museum. The pieces it hosts were collected across the years by the successive Spanish royal families. The Prado exhibits works mainly by acclaimed Spanish artists the likes of Velázquez, Ribera and Goya who is the most present artist in the museum. Furthermore, it is the home of many non-Spanish artists such as Titian and Hieronymus Bosch. Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” and Rubens’ “The Three Graces” are of the remarkable objects displayed at the museum; they, alone, make the trip to The Prado worthwhile.
- The Acropolis Museum, Athens
Focused on displaying the findings of the Acropolis of Athens, the Acropolis Museum manages to be an extremely intriguing exhibit. Visiting the museum offers a unique experience especially with the glass floor that allows the visitor to witness the archaeological excavations below the monument. This is not to mention the Archaic Gallery that showcases the pieces in an open space allowing natural light to alter the pieces’ features enthralling the eyes and the senses. The Acropolis Museum’s greatness is in its demonstration of one of the oldest civilizations to have ever existed encompassing different artifacts of the forms of life back then.
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The Rijksmuseum has the largest collection of Dutch art and history. The main building used today was designed by Pierre Cuypers and was established in 1885. It hosts about 8,000 objects on display out of its total collection of 1 million objects dating from 1200 to 2000. The names whose works are exhibited at the museum are reason enough for Rijksmuseum to have a fixed spot on the world map of museums. Ruysdael, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, and Rembrandt are but a few of the European masters with paintings and other objects featured.