If you were to anyone which part of the world has the richest history in the world, we’d bet money on it that most of the people who you spoke to would say Western Europe.
From Napoleon to Hitler and Mussolini and everyone in between, these people have shaped what Western Europe looks like today. This great history is stored in many magnificent museums across the continent and, in this article, we’ll have a look at some of them.
Number one of the list of must-see museums in Western Europe is the Louvre in Paris. Built soon after 1190 by King Philippe Auguste as a defensive fortress the Louvre is situated in the heart of Paris’ snail-shaped design, the museum was once an occasional royal palace and is home to 30 000 pieces ranging from paintings, sculptures and jewellery that was worn by the French royal family.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Again in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay is situated on the banks of the River Seine in a former Beaux-Arts railway station. Its claim to fame is that this museum holds the largest collection of impressionist pieces in the world and works by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Degas graces its walls.
The Musée d’Orsay mainly exhibits French works of art which were done from 1848 to 1915. The collection includes paintings, furniture, photographs as well as sculptures.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Heading north to the Netherlands, we find the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Fans of the Dutch artist’s work will find this museum a treat as it is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world.
The museum’s permanent collection contains about 200 of Van Gogh’s paintings as well as 600 drawings with some of this most notable works being The Potato Easters and Sunflowers.
Opened in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum is recorded as the most visited museum in the world.
Staying in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum is committed to preserving the culture and heritage of the Netherlands.
From the time that it was founded in 1800, this museum has acquired more than one million objects with 8 000 of them being currently on display. Most must-see highlights in the Rijksmuseum are pieces from Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt.
Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich
The Münchner Stadtmuseum – or the Munich City Museum – was formed by Ernst von Destouches who was a city archivist. It is housed in the historic Zeughaus. Unfortunately, the original structure was destroyed in the First World War, but luckily the collections were saved.
After the Second World War, the Münchner Stadtmuseum developed into a space that was interested in cultural history. It is the largest city museum in Germany and brings together diverse collections, from a detailed history of the rise of Hitler to musical instruments and puppet theatre.
There are indeed many more countless museums in Western Europe which chronicle her rich history. So when you visit, make sure that you include a visit to one of these museums as they will give you a whole new perspective on the city, country and continent that you’re visiting!