The world’s largest museums play a key role in people’s culture and memory. After all, they are spaces that preserve history and function as a meeting point for all spheres of society, attracting and educating people with the most varied interests. Among biographies, sciences, and archeology, museums have diversified focuses, although everyone is dedicated to telling stories. Historical museums are characterized by the typological multiplicity of the collection and thematic coherence. They build a narrative about the past and make it available to society as a whole. Do you want to know what they are and know the best museums in the world for history lovers? Then read this article to the end!
1. Egyptian Museum – Cairo, Egypt
Have you ever imagined seeing up close the largest collection of objects in ancient Egypt? This magical experience is offered in Cairo, Egypt, which holds incredible secrets and stories to discover. Founded in 1902, it gathers artifacts, such as statues, paintings, reliefs, and funerary elements. It also contains impressive rooms, such as the mummies and the Tomb of Tutankhamen, where a boy pharaoh was buried in a tomb along with important objects. You will be impressed by the pieces of the royal mummies, the treasures of the pharaohs, and those of the ancient Empire.
2. Gold Museum – Bogota, Colombia
The Gold Museum in Bogotá, Colombia, is the most important collection of gold in the world and is one of the main museums in the city. It was founded in 1939 and had only 1400 pieces. Today, however, its collection has more than 54 thousand pieces. There are 5 permanent exhibition rooms, which are divided into a space of 13 thousand square meters. The museum tells the story of gold mining that was very present in the country, explores how gold was important for politics and religion, and brings discussions about mysticism, shamanism, and symbolism of metals. You will be impressed with the collection and with so much history that metal can have.
3. Musée d’Orsay – Paris, France
Located on the River Seine’s left bank, the museum has a collection that mainly comprises paintings and sculptures of Western art between 1848 and 1914. Among them, works by Van Gogh, Degas, Maurice Denis, Susana, and Odilon Redon. In addition, the institution also hosts temporary exhibitions. The building that currently houses it was originally a railway station, which was closed in 1939. Only in 1977, the French government decided to turn it into a museum.
4. The National Museum of China – Beijing, China
Created in 2003, when the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the Museum of the History of China came together, the National Museum of China is among the world’s main museums, despite its short existence. Quite popular, this cultural center features a vast collection of valuable relics. Thus, he tells the culture of his people through his pieces. Featuring rare objects, illustrations, and porcelain and bronze items, the National Museum of China enchants for its diversity and intimidates by its sumptuousness.
5. The National Museum of Anthropology – Mexico City, Mexico
With just over half a century, the museum is recognized as one of the most important places to safeguard Mexico’s indigenous art. The collection has archaeological collections from different eras. Among the works, there is the monumental sculpture by Coatlicue, the Pedra do Sol, the Pedra de Tízoc, and the head of a Xiuhcóatl (snake), symbols of the Aztecs civilization. In addition, the museum also has ethnographic collections, which tell the daily lives of contemporary Mexican indigenous peoples.
6. 9/11 Memorial Museum – New York, United States
The memorial built in honor of the 3,000 victims of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center also houses one of the most iconic museums in NYC. Named the National Museum on September 11, it is considered one of the leading institutions examining the implications of the terrorist attack in the United States. In addition, the museum also recounts the attack from multimedia displays, archives, narratives, and a collection of authentic artifacts.
7. The Acropolis Museum – Athens, Greece
The Acropolis Museum was built in 1863 on the Acropolis Athens, a sanctuary dedicated to Pandion. In the preparatory excavations for the institution’s construction, sculptures were found that are now part of the collection. In addition to the pieces, the museum also houses other archaeological finds found in excavations carried out in the 19th century, such as classical sculptures and objects dedicated to the cult of the goddess Athena.
8. The Vasa Museum – Stockholm, Sweden
The Vasa Museum receives the most visits in all of Scandinavia. Its name is inspired by a historic vessel, the only 7th-century warship in the world, which has 95% of the original hull preserved and is ornamented with hundreds of carved sculptures. In addition to the exhibition of the vessel, it is also possible to check out nine exhibitions at the museum, all related to the theme.
9. State Hermitage Museum – Saint Petersburg, Russia
Last, but not least, is the State Historical Museum. Located in Russia, this museum was opened to the public in 1852 with more than 3 million pieces from the most famous Renaissance painters to Russian artisans. With pieces by Picasso, Michelangelo, and Matisse, this museum has more than 1000 rooms and has 17 staircases full of sculptures and paintings. Rich in detail and with unparalleled beauty, The State Hermitage Museum is among the world’s largest museums.
10. Museum of Natural History – New York, United States
If you have seen the film “A Night at the Museum” you already know the Museum of Natural History in New York. But you didn’t have a complete spoiler: only part of the museum appears in the film. It was founded in 1869 and until today it’s one of the most popular attractions in the city. This is one of the New York museums with the largest fossil collections in the world. You will be amazed by the five themed pavilions, with pieces such as minerals, precious stones, meteorites, clothing, and accouterments of people from South America, dinosaur fossils, and much more! Why not create your own narrative about these spaces? With a cell phone and mobile Internet access in hand, you can easily locate yourself. Some museums even offer a unique experience using augmented reality through the cell phone.