Sunday, May 13, 2007

London Museums and Other Attractions

It goes without saying there are many museums and other attractions in London.Unlike Japan many of the museums are free to enter or merely suggest you give a small donation.

Imperial War Museum
The first museum I visited was the Imperial War Museum.It is devoted to conflicts in the twentieth century from World War One to the present day.

From the battlefield to the homefront,from conscientious objectors to Holocaust victims the museum has a diverse number of displays.The IWM features a huge atrium displaying various tanks,missiles,guns and military hardware.Overhead WW1 and WW2 planes (such as a Camel and Spitfire) are suspended from the ceiling.
Various floors are devoted to different conflicts e.g WW1,WW2,Post 1945 and theaters of war e.g the Home Front and the Gulf War with lots of uniforms and medals on display.Theres a WW1 trench display you can walk through and a Holocaust Exhibition which is harrowing and disturbing to view.Apart from the archive film playing,the display of shoes taken from Concentration camp prisoners hit home.
The Museum also has an art gallery and temporary exhibits.Well worth a look and judging by the number of school groups and other visitors I saw in my two and a half hour visit a popular and educational institution.

The Natural History Museum

Like the IWM this was my second visit to this museum in South Kensington.Huge collections of dinosaur bones and skeletons,plants,stuffed animals,minerals, fossils and meteorites.There are cabinets literally crammed with specimens of birds and butterflies.The museums displays are separated into such sections as Human Biology and Creepy Crawlies.The Earth Galleries have displays explaining natural phenomenon as earthquakes and gravity.
Outside theres a garden divided into different habitats including a pond and hedgerow thriving with bugs and insects.

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