Friday, October 20, 2006

Natural History Museum - London

Natural History Museum in London

This photo of the Natural History Museum in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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The Natural History Museum in London is one of my favorite buildings. It is a fantastic example of Romanesque architecture, in patterns made of yellow and blue bricks. Almost every pillar around the front entrance is different. The collection within the Natural History Museum is as imposing as the building itself containing some 70 million items from the natural world. It began in the 17C as a bequest to the nation on the death of Sir Hans Sloane. The collection then contained some 70,000 items of various fields of study. It continued to grow and was later split, some is now housed by the British Museum, being of archeological nature.

As you enter through the arches of the front door you are met by the iconic cast of a Diplodocus skeleton filling much of the front hall. Nowadays if you wonder down the wrong gallery you are likely to find yourself face to face with active moving dinosaurs, brought to life through very clever animatronics.

Recently, in February 2006 the museum also came into possession of a giant squid, nearly 9m long. This is the only whole example of this deep sea animal in the world and now lies preserved in a tank in the Darwin Centre. You can book to go on a tour and see it, just visit any information desk on arrival at the Museum or call 020 7942 5011.

But if the giant squid is not to your fancy then there is plenty more in the Natural History Museum to keep any visitor of any age happy. Most of the museum is free, though there are special temporary exhibitions almost all the time bringing together new items. And if the is not enough here to satisfy your curiosity then you can always visit the Earth Science galleries and find out about the origins of the earth, watch a volcano erupt and stand in an earthquake. Just up the road is the Science Museum and nearby is the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Getting to the Nat Hist Museum (as it is often called) is very easy, the nearest tube is South Kensington, and a tunnel runs under all the busy roads to pop up just outside the museum itself. In recent years the courtyard in front of the Natural History Museum has been converted into an ice ring, which is proving very popular with both Londoners
and visitors alike.

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The image here shows part of the front of the Natural History Museum. The full panoramic image can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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