London is certainly a cultural capital of the world,
and one of the reasons is the great number of worthy museums
dotting their city maps. Along with the Tate properties,
the immense British Museum and spectacular National
Gallery, the National History Museum London is another
laudable addition to this list.
Sitting on Exhibition Road, (also home to two other
London museums: the Science Museum and Victoria and Albert
Museum), the National History Museum is housed in a wondrous
example of Victorian architecture, just a glance into
the main hall is worth a trip to its South Kensington
location – there’s a reason it’s called
a “Cathedral of Nature.” Like all London museums, this one is free, and a welcome part of any tour
of London’s important historical and cultural sites.
The National History Museum London is separated into five main collections: Botany, Zoology, Mineralogy, Entomology and Paleontology. While the first four sections are great enough, including the mammoth blue whale skeleton in the Large Mammals hall, or a 25 foot long frozen squid named “Archie,” the museum is famed for its compilation of dinosaur skeletons. The center of the National History Museum London revolves around the establishment’s most famous display – a 105 foot long Diplodocus replica skeleton. The iconic symbol of the museum, even bestowed with the nickname of Dippie, the replica was unveiled in 1905, and remains one of the most famous London attractions. Scrambling children remain enraptured by the beast’s immense length, but Dippie is far from the only replica on location – the National History Museum is a glorious location for any dinosaur enthusiast, and the museum takes special care to stay up-to-date with the ever changing world of paleontology.
The National History Museum also takes great pains to educate the general public. There’s a long list of programs designed specifically so that visitors can meet and talk with the museum’s scientists and curators, and see exceptional specimens that are not available for public display.
Specimens collected by Darwin himself make up a significant part of the National History Museum, equally great in both scientific and historic significance. In fact, the famed scientist is such a central figure here, the newest addition to the museum is to be named after him.
So whether you are going to see the skeletons of creatures shrouded by sea or destroyed by time, the National History Museum is a loving look at the curious nature that makes up the world. And the dedication to preserving what remains of the dinosaurs it especially impressive, making this one of the most popular and well-loved of the London museums.