The most beautiful and impressive museums on our planet, – unusual architecture, restored buildings from the past, fusion of new and ancient objects.
The BBC Company carried out several surveys and created a list of the most impressive museums in the world.
Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France
This exquisite Paris museum is located on the banks of the River Seine. A reconstructed and re-decorated train station, and an eclectic “Beaux Arts” hotel, became the Musée d’Orsay. Some original parts of those buildings became the main features of the museum – a translucent rooftop brings a lot of sunlight inside, while galleries are located along a giant nave.
The Musée d’Orsay is used to exhibit a massive collection of impressionistic and postimpressionistic works. According to the creators of the museum, its main duty is to highlight and show the gap between the eras of the Louvre, with its antique collections, and the modern artworks of the Pompidou Centre.
Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, the Basque Country, Spain
The notion of this impressive museum of modern art in Bilbao was conceived during the 80’s when the Basque Country government was preparing to embark on urban and environmental regeneration. An unusual project designed by Frank Gehry took the first place in a competition, and this amazing building, covered with smooth titanium panels, appeared on the banks of Nervión River at the beginning of 1997. The building process was supported by the Guggenheim Foundation.
The Guggenheim Museum is considered to be the most impressive building built in the modern era. People compare it with a space ship, or even with a plant from a fantasy world.
Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, Brazil
This museum bears the name of Oscar Niemeyer, who was the architect and the creator of the museum. Oscar Niemeyer had already celebrated his 95th birthday by the time the museum was completed for opening. The museum was opened in 2003 and was called “an eye” because of its unusual shape. A total area of 600 square meters is used to exhibit art works from painters from all over the world, as well as masterpieces by Oscar Niemeyer himself.
British Museum in Bloomsbury, London, UK
Robert Smirke had been awestruck by the elegant temples of Ancient Greece. So in 1852, he decided to construct a groundbreaking museum with a unique fronton, and columns, in a neo-classical style. A new great hall appeared near the museum in 2000. This hall became the largest exhibition area with a glass roof in all of Europe.
Royal Ontario Museum, Canada
A symbol of a modernized Toronto for the 21st century, the Royal Ontario Museum is the biggest historical museum in the country. It is also used to exhibit various cultural objects and art works – more than 6 million objects and works in total.
An older building that had been built in the neo-romantic style was transformed, and received a new wing in the 30’s. The new entrance called “Michael Lee-Chin Crystal” was created from from metal and glass, and was also built in 2007 and funded by a patron of the arts.
Soumaya Museum in Mexico, Mexico
The new (second) part of the Soumaya Art Museum was built in 2001 and it is the more impressive one. Fernando Romero decided to use the form of a hyperboloid and decorate it with 16 000 aluminum panels. His idea was brought to life by Frank Gehry and Ove Arup.
Inside the building one can find the Cultural Institute and a private collection of art objects from Europe and Mexico. The most extensive collection of Rodin’s work outside France is located in this museum.
Hermitage Museum in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
The State Hermitage Museum in Saint-Petersburg has been astonishing people with its magnificence since 1764. An old palace, it contains more than 3 million art objects, and many of them are simply priceless.
The design of the historic palace was conceived by Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who was an enormous devotee of the baroque style and gold imitation.
The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
This unusual museum, in the form of a cube, contains five levels and was open in the harbor of Doha in 2008. The architect of this incredible museum is Ieoh Ming Pei from the USA. He travelled around the Middle East in order to find a source of inspiration for an appropriate museum for the location. The architect was 91 years old when the museum was finally opened.
A small yard connecting the two wings of the museum is located at the center. The museum is used to exhibit a collection of numerous objects from the Muslim world, spanning back over more than 1400 years of history and development.
Museums of Vatican
These museums were founded by Pope Julius II during the XVI century. The most well-known parts of this incredible complex are the Sistine Chapel, the Gallery of tapestries and the Gallery of maps. The walls of this complex are decorated and covered with the works of the Renaissance masters: Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino. The Vatican has an extensive collection of religious art objects. Works of Titian, Rafael and Caravaggio are also stored here.
Tokyo National Museum, Japan
In 2004, the Tokyo National Museum received a new building, which was designed by Cesar Pelli as a structure of steel, bamboo and cane appearing to be twisted by the wind. A curious feature worth mentioning is that the majority of the exhibition halls (apart from the entrance and the main hall) are all located under the ground. The collections in this museum include mainly post-war art objects.