Lovely Cadiz

Lovely Cadiz
Cadiz - my favorite place so far in the trip to Southern Spain

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Un Altro Piccolo Bloggo: Museum of London - mostly pics

For years the Museum of London, in the Barbican Centre, has been open only in part, because of major improvements. The last few times I've been, including one with my brother Tom and his family in early summer 2007, I couldn't get farther than the great fire of London.

So last weekend - remember I have six-day weekends in London - I took myself to it and was treated to the entire museum, which now offers a varied, fascinating look at this fine city all the way through to -- today!

For those of you who haven't been, the walk through the museum (and through time) begins at the beginning, with a geological look at the area before cities existed, before history was written, before homo sapiens walked the earth.

The tour continues with the Roman period, one of my very favorite parts of the museum, when the city/fortress in this part of the Roman Empire was called Londinium.
One of the rooms in the Roman section, Museum of London
In this section there are a lot of recovered relics, including weapons, pottery, wall paintings and this very nice mosaic tiled floor:

One of my favorite parts of this section is the windows that look out on a portion of the London Wall that dates back to the Roman era -- bringing the outside in, allowing one to imagine the Roman city exactly where it stood.

From the Roman city we move into Medieval London - the movement from ancient London to London in the so called Middle Ages has always somewhat confused me in its details, so I appreciated very much the time-line on the wall:

During this period the name Londinium was called Lundenwic in the seventh century by its Anglo-Saxon residents, and Lundenburg in the late ninth when Alfred, the Saxon king, made a treaty with the Danish Vikings. In the 11th century the Normans under William the Conqueror invaded and took it over, and the rest, as some say, is history. There's a fine if gruesome film about the Black Death in this section, and a fine model of what the old St. Paul's Cathedral looked like:

Next we pass into Elizabethan and Stuart London. While all sorts of fascinating political and social machinations occurred during this period, its theatre is what most interests me, and in this as in any good city museum where theatre has prospered there is a section on Shakespeare & Co, featuring another fine model of the Rose Theatre:

By the way, if you haven't realized it yet, it's OK to snap photos in the Museum of London!

The Elizabethan/Stuart section takes us up to the great fire, where, as noted above, the museum basically stopped for several years. But downstairs the exhibition now continues into the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. One quick example: an early London taxi:

and one more for good measure: art deco London:

The rest you must see for yourself -- it's free after all!

As noted, this post is really an excuse for a few pics from a museum I love. I'm off to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo tomorrow, so I should have more posts up soon, a Dottore Gianni ventures into Scandinavia!

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