Oldest museums


How can you get into the past, because time machines were never invented? The surest way is to visit the museum. Visiting museums can be a great alternative to the boring study of history within the walls of an educational institution.

The word “museum” itself is of Greek origin and means “house of the Muses”. The story will go about the oldest of them.

Capitoline Museums, Rome, Italy. This is a whole complex of museums, in which attention is paid not only to art, but also to archaeological finds. The creation of the museum was laid in 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated to Rome a collection of antique bronze, which until that time was located under the walls of Lateran. Those artifacts were placed on the city's Capitol Hill. And in 1536 the great Michelangelo Buonarroti designed a whole complex, where a beautiful square stretches between three palaces. Now the buildings are given to unique museums, the collection of which has been replenished over 400 years. Here, on the Capitol, you will see the art of the Middle Ages in the Renaissance, statues of Ancient Rome, jewelry and coins of ancient times. And on the square there is an exact copy of the only equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius that has survived from ancient times.

Vatican Museums, Vatican. The Vatican is not only a spiritual center, it is also a large museum complex. Its history dates back to the 16th century. The first exhibit for the museum was acquired by Pope Julius II in 1506. Initially, the collection of exhibits was located in the Borgia Apartments, which were the personal apartments of Pope Alexander VI. But after a while, the church authorities ordered the construction of other buildings, solely for placing exhibits there. Today the Vatican museums include several institutions at once. So, the Gregorian Museum is dedicated to the life of the Etruscans, the Vatican Library contains the largest collection of ancient manuscripts, the Chiaramonti Museum is dedicated to antique sculpture, there is a museum of arts, Vatican history, modern art and others.

Amerbach's office, Basel, Switzerland. This is the name of the Basel Art Museum. This is the largest collection of art objects in the country. The museum is based on the private collection of local collector Basilius Amerbach. 70 years after his death, in 1661, the city acquired this collection as its own. Within 10 years, the museum was opened to the general public. Today it is part of the city's rich historical and cultural heritage. The museum is considered a real Mecca for all art lovers. The exhibits are located on two floors here. The first was given to works by old masters of the 15th-19th centuries, including Rubens and Rembrandt. The Impressionists are represented by Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. The second floor is dedicated to sculpture and painting of the 20th century. The museum is famous for its collection of cubists - Picasso, Braque and Gris.

Royal Armories, London, UK. Among the oldest museums in the world, the most venerable museum in Great Britain is worth noting. It houses the world's largest collection of weapons and armor. They began to collect it since the time of the construction of the Tower in the XI century. But only in 1660 the collection was shown to the public. Previously, only high-ranking officials, guests of the king could contemplate it. When Charles II returned to the throne, he opened the chamber for examination. Among the most famous collections here are the Firearms Collection, the Artillery Collection, and the National Weapons and Armor Collection. There are also equestrian sculptures of English monarchs and even Spanish instruments of torture. According to legend, they were captured after the collapse of the Great Armada. As the British Empire was growing, the museum was constantly replenished with a collection of captured captured weapons. At the end of the 19th century, the theme of the collection changed. Now the museum did not try to amaze the viewer with curiosities; it was reflecting a historical retrospective. As a result, the huge collection could not fit in the Tower. In 1988, the artillery display moved to Fort Nelson, and in 1996 a new museum building opened in Leeds.

Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology, Besancon, France. But in France, the oldest museum is not at all in Paris, but in the provincial Besançon. This museum was founded in 1694, a century before the founding of the museum in the Louvre. Initially, this was a kind of library. Abbot Jean-Baptiste Boiseau bequeathed his numerous manuscripts on the condition that the Benedictine order would give everyone the opportunity to get acquainted with them. In 1819, Pierre Paris, a local architect and artist, left 38 paintings and 183 drawings in his will. And at the end of the 19th century, Jean Gigou bequeathed to museums his truly amazing collection of paintings. There are now three main collections - archaeological, fine arts and graphic. The museum also has antique pieces of furniture (there are more than 5 thousand French cabinets alone), artifacts and even Egyptian mummies. Painting has rooms of Italian art (Titian, Tintoretto), Spanish (Goya, Zurbaran), French and Flemish.

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, Oxford, UK. This museum is the oldest publicly accessible museum in England and the oldest university museum in the world. It is located in Oxford, being one of four museum institutions at the venerable university. It opened in 1683 in a small building designed specifically to store the rarities bequeathed to the institution by Elias Ashmole. For 150 years, this place has been a center of research in the field of natural sciences. As a result, the entire expanded collection was divided into four Oxford museums, the building itself was given to the Museum of the History of Science. And directly the Eshmolovsky Museum was concentrated on archeology and art. Collections of ancient Egyptian art and graphics from the Renaissance period brought him special fame. There are both biblical manuscripts and paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt. Among the rarities there are a Stradivarius violin, Parian marble, a ceremonial suit of Lawrence of Arabia, a collection of ancient rings.

British Museum, London, UK. This museum is the most important in the British Empire and one of the largest in the world. It was formed in 1753 on the basis of three collections of famous British people at once - the physician and naturalist Hans Sloan, the Earl Robert Harley and the antiquarian Robert Cotton. The creation of the museum was approved by a special act of parliament. The collections were constantly replenished, as the British bought up unique rarities all over the world and took them home. Today the museum has over 7 million exhibits. It itself consists of many departments. Among them, the most interesting are the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, the Department of the Middle East, the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquity, the Department of Asia, the Department of Paintings and Prints. Department of coins and medals. One of the main treasures is the library, the largest in the country. Karl Marx and Lenin worked here at one time. Among the rarities, the famous Rosetta Stone stands out, and the graphic collections include works by Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Durer and other geniuses of the past.

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. The old Italian museum is famous not only for its collections, but also for the building where it is located. This palace in Florence was built in 1560-1581 and is an architectural monument in itself. The museum itself is considered one of the most important in European art. The history of the museum dates back to 1575. In the Uffizi building, where it was originally planned to unite the city administration, a museum began to form on the basis of the Medici family collection. The main courtyard of the palace is narrow and long, with its end abutting the Arno River. At that time, this design was considered unique. Architectural historians believe that the Uffizi was the first urban landscape in Europe. And the museum collection itself continued to grow with the decline of the Medici. Now there are examples of antique, Spanish, Flemish, German and French art. The gallery exhibits works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Titian, Giotto and other geniuses.

Gallery Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Translated from Italian, the name of the museum is translated as "beautiful view". This is a whole palace complex with gardens located in the capital of Austria. For the museum in Belvedere, members of the imperial family began to collect exhibits. The Belvedere was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, and after his death, a museum was opened in the palaces, open to everyone. The first exhibits were paintings provided by the Habsburg dynasty. The Imperial Gallery was opened earlier, but in the end it was transferred to the Belvedere. The museum was opened in 1781. Today the collection contains many paintings, from the Baroque and the Middle Ages to contemporary art. The collections of Klimt and Munch stand out especially, although at one time not all of these paintings got here legally.

Louvre, France, Paris. You can talk a lot about this museum, because the Louvre is the most famous and most visited museum in the world. It is also not only one of the oldest, but also one of the largest. The building here was built back in 1190, serving as a fortress castle. In the Middle Ages, the Louvre became the seat of the French kings. But after the Revolution, the building was transferred to the museum, which opened in 1793. Then viewers were able to see 537 paintings, most of which were taken from churches throughout the country. Then the collection was replenished with Napoleon's war trophies, royal collections, and private gifts. Today, the museum has 35 thousand exhibits, among which there are truly legendary - Venus de Milo, "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci, works by Titian, Rembrandt and Raphael. The Louvre exhibits are divided into several compositions - the Ancient East, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Islamic art, sculptures, and fine arts.


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