The oldest museums

How can you get into the past, because time machines have not come up with? The surest way is to visit the museum. Another option is reading books where visual pictures will replace the flight of fantasy. But it is in museums that you can see with your own eyes things that have been preserved for centuries and millennia. In addition to archaeological finds, it will be possible to get acquainted with the creations of artists or sculptors who had a significant impact on world culture. Visiting museums can be an excellent alternative to the boring study of history within the walls of an educational institution.

The very word museum has a Greek origin and means “the house of the Muses”. The first Museidon was created before our era in Alexandria and was an educational institution. At the beginning of the second millennium, collections of works of art began to be collected in the temples of India and China, in Europe this tradition appeared in the Middle Ages and was also associated with churches. Over time, museums have become an integral part of the cultural and social life of society. Now they are already mastering virtual worlds. But there are museums that are no longer one hundred years old. The story is about the oldest of them. Capitoline Museums, Rome, Italy.

The oldest museums

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 presented to Rome a collection of antique bronze, which until that time was under the walls of Lateran. Those artifacts were placed on the Capitol Hill of the city. And in 1536 the great Michelangelo Buonarroti designed a whole complex, where a beautiful square stretched between the three palaces. Now the buildings are given to unique museums, the collection of which has been replenished for 400 years. Here, on the Capitol, the eyes will be the art of the Middle Ages in the Renaissance, the statues of ancient Rome, jewelry and coins of ancient times. And on the square there is an exact replica of the sole statue of Marcus Aurelius, still preserved since ancient times. Museums of the Vatican, Vatican City.

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. Originally, the collection of exhibits was in the Apartments of Borgia, which were the personal apartments of Pope Alexander VI. But after a while the church authorities ordered to build other buildings, exclusively for placing exhibits there. Today, the Vatican Museums include several institutions at once. Thus, the Gregorian Museum is dedicated to the life of the Etruscans, the Vatican Library contains the largest collection of ancient manuscripts, the Kjaramonti Museum is dedicated to ancient sculpture, there is a museum of arts, the history of the Vatican, modern art and others. Cabinet Amerbach, Basel, Switzerland.

Under this name is known the Basel Art Museum. This is the largest collection of art objects in the country. At the heart of the museum is a private collection of the local collector Basilius Amerbach. Seventy years after his death, in 1661, the city acquired this assembly in its ownership. In 10 years the museum opened to the general public. Today it is part of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the city. The museum is considered a true Mecca for all connoisseurs of art. The exhibits are located on two floors. The first was given to the works of the old master of the XV-XIX centuries, including Rubens and Rembrandt. Impressionists are represented by Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. The second floor is dedicated to sculpture and painting of the XX century. The museum is famous for its collection of Cubists – Picasso, Braque and Gris. Royal Armory Chamber, London, UK.

The oldest museums


Among the oldest museums in the world, it is worth noting the most respectable museum in the UK. Here is collected the world’s largest collection of weapons and armor. Collect it began even from the time of the Tower in the XI century. But only in 1660 the collection was shown to the public.Previously, it could only see high-ranking people, guests of the king. When Charles II returned to the throne, he opened the ward for inspection. Among the most famous collections here are the Collection of Firearms, the Artillery Collection, the National Collection of Arms and Armor. There are here also horse sculptures of English monarchs and even cannon Spanish tools of torture. They were, according to legend, captured after the Great Armada crash. When the British Empire experienced a period of growth, the museum was constantly replenished with a collection of captured captured weapons. At the end of the XIX century, the collection’s themes changed. Now the museum did not try to amaze the spectators with curiosities, it reflected a historical retrospective. The huge collection eventually could not accommodate in the Tower. In 1988, the artillery exposition moved to Fort Nelson, and in 1996 the new museum building opened in Leeds.

The oldest museums

Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology, Besançon, France.

But in France the oldest museum is not in Paris, but in the provincial Besançon. Founded this museum in 1694, a century before the founding of the museum in the Louvre. Originally this was a kind of library. The abbot Jean-Baptiste Boiseau bequeathed his numerous manuscripts on the condition that the Order of the Benedictians should enable all those who wish to become acquainted with them. In 1819, Pierre Paris, a local architect and artist, left his museums with 38 paintings and 183 drawings. And at the end of the XIX century Jean Zhigu bequeathed to museums his truly amazing collection of paintings. Now here there are three main collections – archaeological, fine arts and graphic. In the museum there are also antique pieces of furniture (only French cabinets there are more than 5 thousand), artifacts and even Egyptian mummies. Painting has halls of Italian art (Titian, Tintoretto), Spanish (Goya, Zurbaran), French and Flemish. Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, Oxford, UK.

This museum is the oldest of the public in England and the oldest university in the world. It is located in Oxford, being one of four museum institutions at the venerable university. And he opened in 1683 in a small building, designed specifically to store the rarities bequeathed to the school by Elias Esmol. For 150 years this place was the center of research in the field of natural sciences. As a result, the whole overgrown collection was divided into four Oxford museums, the building itself was given to the Museum of the History of Science. And directly the Ashmol Museum was concentrated on archeology and art. The collection of ancient Egyptian art and Renaissance graphics brought him special glory. There are both biblical manuscripts, as well as paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt. Among the rarities are the Stradivarius violin, Paros marble, Laurence Arabian costume, a collection of ancient rings.

The oldest museums

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 Britons – physician and naturalist Hans Sloan, Earl of Robert Harley and the antiquary Robert Cotton. The creation of the museum was approved by a special act of Parliament. Collections were constantly replenished, as the British around the world bought up unique rarities and drove home. Today the museum has more than 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 Imprints. Department of coins and medals. One of the main treasuries is the library, the largest in the country. Karl Marx and Lenin once worked here.Among the rarities is the famous Rosetta stone, and the graphic collections include the works of Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Durer and other geniuses of the past. The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

The oldest museums

An ancient 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 in itself is an architectural monument. The museum itself is considered one of the most important in European fine arts. The history of the museum dates back to 1575. In the building of Ufizzi, where the management of the cities was originally planned, a museum was formed on the basis of the Medici family collection. The main courtyard of the palace is narrow and long, ending with the Arno river. At that time such a design was considered unique. Historians of architecture believe that the Uffizi became the first urban landscape in Europe. And the collection of the museum with the decline of the Medici continued to replenish. Now here are samples of antique, Spanish, Flemish, German and French art. The gallery features works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Titian, Giotto and other geniuses. Gallery Belvedere, Vienna, Austria.

Translated from the Italian name of the museum translates as “a beautiful view.” This is a whole palace complex with gardens, located in the Austrian capital. For the museum in Belvedere exhibits began to collect more members of the imperial family. Belvedere was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, and after his death in the palaces opened a museum open to all. The first exhibits were paintings provided by the Habsburg dynasty. The Imperial Gallery was opened earlier, but as a result it was transported to Belvedere. The museum was opened in 1781. Today, the collection contains many canvases, beginning with Baroque and Middle Ages and ending with modern art. Particularly distinguished are the meetings of Klimt and Munch, although at the time, not all of these pictures have come here by legal means.

The oldest museums

Louvre, France, Paris.

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

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