The National Museum of Scotland is an iconic institution in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the country’s most visited museum and holds an impressive collection of artefacts, from dinosaur fossils to royal regalia. The museum is home to an array of fascinating facts about Scotland and its history, making it an essential visit for any tourist or history buff. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the National Museum of Scotland.
The Origins of the Museum
The National Museum of Scotland opened in 1861 as the industrial museum of Scotland. It was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Sir Patrick Geddes and was originally intended to showcase Scotland’s industrial and technological achievements. The museum has since grown and evolved, and now holds a wide variety of artefacts from all periods of Scotland’s history.
The National Museum of Scotland is home to an impressive collection of artefacts, from prehistoric fossils to modern art. Some of the most notable items in the museum’s collection include:
- The Monymusk Reliquary – a 14th century reliquary containing relics of St. Columba
- The Lewis Chessmen – a set of 12th century chess pieces carved from walrus ivory
- The Rosetta Stone – a slab of black basalt inscribed with a decree from Ptolemy V in 196 BC
- The Darnley Portrait – a 16th century portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots
- The Honours of Scotland – the Scottish crown jewels
The National Museum of Scotland is home to a number of popular exhibitions, such as:
- The Celts: Art and Identity – an exhibition exploring the art and culture of the ancient Celts
- The Vikings – an exhibition exploring the culture, technology and beliefs of the Vikings
- The Age of Empire – an exhibition exploring the British Empire and its legacy
- The Story of Scotland – an interactive exhibition exploring Scotland’s history from prehistoric times to the present day
- The Natural World – an exhibition exploring the natural world, from the deep sea to outer space
The National Museum of Scotland is home to a number of artefacts associated with notable people from Scotland’s past. These include:
- Robert the Bruce – a 14th century king of Scotland
- Mary, Queen of Scots – a 16th century queen of Scotland
- Robert Burns – an 18th century poet and national bard of Scotland
- James Watt – an 18th century inventor and engineer
- William Wallace – a 13th century Scottish patriot and freedom fighter
The National Museum of Scotland offers a range of educational resources, from school trips to educational workshops. These resources are designed to help students learn about Scotland’s history and culture, and to foster an appreciation of the museum’s collections.
The National Museum of Scotland offers guided tours of the museum, led by knowledgeable guides. The tours provide an in-depth look at the museum’s collections and exhibitions, as well as an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Scotland’s history and culture.
The National Museum of Scotland also offers a range of online resources, including virtual tours, interactive activities and educational resources. These are designed to help visitors learn more about the museum and its collections, even if they can’t make it to the museum in person.
The National Museum of Scotland is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Scotland’s history and culture. With its impressive collection of artefacts, popular exhibitions and educational resources, the museum is a great place to learn about Scotland’s past and present.