This blog has already featured several extraordinary museums from around the world. Melly Lifshitz takes his love for travel and art seriously that he became a museum enthusiast that shares his passion not only with his friends but also here online.
The previous entries of this blog featured the world’s most famous museums – those ones which are often visited by tourists. But, while reading the title of this post, you should have known by now what is the name of the world’s oldest heritage center.
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford is hailed by The Guinness Book of Records as the oldest museum in the World opened to the public. It opened its doors to the public in 1683. It is also the world’s first university museum.
Below is an excerpt of the museum’s history.
“The collection began modestly in the 1620s with a handful of portraits and curiosities displayed in a small room on the upper floor. In 1636 and 1657, Archbishop Laud and Ralph Freke added notable collections of coins and medals, later installed in a strong room of their own and now incorporated into the Ashmolean coin collection. The objects of curiosity included Guy Fawkes’ lantern and a sword said to have been given by the pope to Henry VIII, both now in the Ashmolean, as well as a number of more exotic items, including Jacob’s Coat of Many Colours, long since lost. However, as there was a museum for curiosities of this kind in the University Anatomy Theatre, objects like this tended to go there or to the Ashmolean, after it opened in 1683, leaving the Bodleian gallery to develop as a museum of art.”