In common parlance, museums are buildings or institutions that house important collections and objects of varying nature and interest. While all contain the most significant items related to a theme, place, person, or period, some have managed to come out more impressive than others. Travelers are naturally drawn to visit the most impressive ones considering that it is impossible to visit all.
The Acropolis Museum – Athens, Greece
The Acropolis Museum comes out as one of the most impressive, considering the fact that it literally affords a view of an actual archaeological site including the ruins of a part of early Roman and Byzantine Athens. The existing museum is a new one which opened its doors to visitors in 2009. The first museum which was built in 1874 on the Acropolis was closed after the Greek government decided that a bigger museum was needed to accommodate the increasing amount of artifacts uncovered from successive excavations. The collections of the museum are exhibited in three levels.
Smithsonian Institution – Washington, DC
The Smithsonian Institution is actually a group of museums and research centers administered by the US government. It has at least 137 Million items on record and its collection continue to grow in time. It is the largest museum in the world in terms of physical space. Visitors from around the world are allowed to view the collections free of charge as the institution’s funding comes from its own endowment in addition to contributions, membership dues, licensing revenues, and government support. The Smithsonian Constitution is a legacy from the British scientist, James Smithson, based on the given mandate ” for the increase and diffusion of knowledge”. The funds were eventually used to build this institution of science and learning.
Le Louvre – Paris, France
The Louvre Museum is a major landmark in Paris, France. It originally functioned as a fortress, the remnants of which are still visible in the basement of the museum. It was during the French Revolution that the National Assembly decided that the nation’s masterpieces will be housed in it. It opened in August 1793 exhibiting more than 500 paintings of royal or church property that were confiscated. The glass pyramid which stands on the entrance of its main court is at the center of the whole museum’s almost rectangular shape.