Temporary Brit

My three months of adventures in London!

Museums and Monuments July 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — temporarybrit @ 1:04 PM

The one thing I most regretted not seeing when I was in London in 2009 was the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I didn’t have time to fit in everything,  and since I had taken geology right before my trip, I thought the Natural History Museum might be a bit more interesting.  Don’t get me wrong: some parts of it were very cool (the gemstone exhibit in particular was AMAZING).  Still…I DID end up wishing I’d gone to the V and A instead.  Today, that mistake was rectified.:)

First, a little background.  The V and A is a “decorative arts” museum.  That means lots of statues, furniture, some paintings, some articles of clothing, jewelry, and religious objects.  The museum features collections of all those things from around the world, with the main focuses being on Europe and Asia.  Also?  This place is HUGE.  I don’t think I saw everything today, so a return trip will definitely be in order at some point before I go home.  Of the things I DID see, however, my favorite collections were the medieval and renaissance Europe ones, and the one section of the cast courts that was NOT under construction.  The cast courts feature copies of famous statues, art, objects, and architecture from places outside of England; I guess that probably made it easy for people who didn’t want to travel, before travel was easy(ish).  No one actually had to go to Italy, for instance, to see the famous statue of David.  I wish BOTH sections of the cast courts had been open; I peeked into the other one (it’s visible from the floor above) and that looked just as cool as the one I did get to see.  I also loved the priests’ robes; some of them were hundreds of years old, and they;re in amazing condition.  Here are a few pictures from the museum:

There was some INCREDIBLE stained glass in the V and A; this is just one example.

 

The lighting on some of these statues was FANTASTIC....

 

This is part of a larger sculpture, but I thought this part was especially cool.

 

There are lots of faux versions of effigies(statues of dead people that decorated their tombs) in the cast courts. This one is either Isabelle of Angouleme or Eleanor of Acquitaine.

After the museum, I went to Hyde Park and found a nice tree to sit under while I ate my lunch.  That tree happened to be very close to the Albert Memorial, and across the street from the Royal Albert Hall.  The Memorial was bigger than I thought it would be from seeing it on tv, and it was incredibly detailed.  I guess the Royal Albert Hall is a memorial of sorts, too.  Clearly, Queen Victoria was rather fond of her husband. 🙂 Here’s a few more shots:

The Albert Memorial from a distance. Photos don't do it justice, though; you really have to see it up close to get the full effect.

The Royal Albert Hall...lots of concerts happen here.

After all that, I walked around Chelsea and Kensington for HOURS.  No pictures, since what I saw mostly consisted of people’s houses.  On the upside, I’ve now found where I plan to live, should I ever become a millionaire several times over. 😛  Last but not least: I DO have more pictures from today (and from the plane ride), and I’ll be doing full albums on Facebook later on.  For those of you who aren’t on Facebook….ummm….I’ll figure out something.  🙂

 

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4 Responses to “Museums and Monuments”

  1. Lovely, lovely lovely!! When I took my 2d year of law school in London, our classes were held at Imperial College – across the street from the V&A! If you can get into the Royal Albert for a concert – do it – with your student ID. Did you know about 1/2 price tickets at Leicester Sq. every morning for the theatre? Well worth it. I’m not sure if it’s still playing, but Agatha Christie’s “MouseTrap” has been playing since before WWII – See it – it’s cheap, a hoot & a very historical part of London’s Theatre District!! BTW-I know how you have felt about being homesick for London – I felt I belonged there years before I ever set foot on English soil. Samuel Johnson said, “When one is tired of London, one is tired of life!” Enjoy Emily!!!!

    • I do know about 1/2 price tickets, and I plan on making use of them. 🙂 Here’s the thing about student ID’s, though….they don’t really issue them to online students, and since I’ve never been to Pullman to get one, I don’t have one. No way to prove I’m a student and get discounts! 😦

  2. Emily Says:

    So amazing! Enjoy- I need to get back- love Hyde Park and all the squirrels that run around! So glad you’re doing a blog!


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