Whilst many people come to Oxford thinking that the culture stems from the centuries of academic work and books that pour through the veins of this city, the museums of this venerable district offer much to those who pass through.
The Ashmolean Museum (pictured) on Beaumont Street, just across from the Randolph Hotel, is actually the world’s first university museum. Although initially first built in the 1670s, the present building dates from the 1840s and the building itself is an architectural gem – a classical styled building. Inside this beautiful museum, you can see paintings and antiquities, coins and musical instruments and a stunning Egyptian exhibit.
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History also has an impressive exterior, though one could almost confuse it for a college from the outside. Within it is housed The Pitt Rivers Museum, which is undoubtedly one of Oxford’s most popular attractions. It is renowned for its period atmosphere, and remarkable collections from cultures across the globe.
If you wander towards the centre of Oxford on Broad Street, you will see thirteen square pillars topped by oversized head-and-shoulder busts marking the front. These apparently represent the Sages of Antiquity, which guard the Museum of the History of Science. A must see for those wanting to view an unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments.
And even then, there is still the Modern Art Oxford Museum, the Oxford University Press Museum, the Museum of Oxford and many more! Oxford itself is a giant museum, and one cannot go through this City without soaking up the culture that is offered by its resident museums.
Photo by Remi Mathis (CC-BY-SA-3.0)