Museums: building > exhibits

I visited many museums last year, some history museums, art galleries, libraries and even a mausoleum. For some reason, I’m always more excited about the actual building than the exhibits themselves.

I understand the history of the items and how important they are for us to understand more about our past…but the pictures I take in museums always end up being of majestic domed ceilings, patterned mosaic floors or bold doors.

Mosaic floor at The National History Museum of Ireland
Mosaic floor at The National History Museum of Ireland

The history of buildings, inside and out, fascinates me as I wonder who the architect was and whether they were also the interior designer. Did they spend weeks, months or years planning each pillar and brick? How many hands spent how many days arranging all the little pieces to create something so beautiful as a ring of the zodiac signs, all perfectly aligned as below?

Mosaic floor at The National History Museum of Ireland
Mosaic floor at The National History Museum of Ireland

Doors are also good to look at in museums and similar buildings. You can find huge door knockers, letter boxes or old heavy wood engraved with local patterns. The door frames may also be decorated with various patterns or designs. Yesterday at the National History Museum of Ireland (Dublin) I found this guy on one of the door frames. I wonder if his is a disgusted face or one to warn people away or something else entirely.

Door decorations at The National History Museum of Ireland
Door decorations at The National History Museum of Ireland

Whilst in Dublin, I plan to visit more museums and galleries, the city is rich in history and architecture. It’s very different to the UK, the types of bricks used, the cobbled pavements, the grandness of the cathedrals and the colourful front doors with steps that lead up to them. No doubt I’ll be the one staring at the floor, looking for details that others may step on and never notice.

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