Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five, very different Museums

The Albertina, Vienna, Austria
The Albertina was once the Hapsburg palace of Duke Albert of Sachsen-Teschen and his wife Archduchess Marie-Christina. Today it houses one of the world's finest collections of graphics including works by da Vinci, Michelangelo, Durer, Rubens, and Manet. It is also home to the Sammlung Batliner, a collection of paintings under the motto "Monet to Picasso". As you can imagine the Albertina is very popular so to avoid the queues try and book your tickets or buy them the previous day.

Albertina, Vienna

Blasket Centre, Dunquin, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland 
If while visiting Ireland, you make it down as far as Dunquin, be sure and visit the Blasket Centre (also signposted as Ionad an Bhlascaoid). Within sight of the islands themselves on a headland, this centre was established to highlight the history and culture of the Blasket islands. It more than succeeds, even if you've never heard of the Blaskets before, you will leave impressed. You'll also learn about Peig Sayers, an Irish woman who lived both in Dunquin and on the Great Blasket Island after marrying a fisherman who lived there. Her autobiography was for many years (and may still be) on the curriculum for secondary school students in Ireland. She has been described as "one of the greatest woman storytellers of recent times". I'll leave you to form your own opinion either by reading the book, Peig, or by asking for the opinion of some of the people you meet whilst travelling in Ireland.

Blasket Centre, Dunquin

Palau Nacional/Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
The Palau Nacional, or Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya is a must to visit during your stay in Barcelona. In 1990 the Catalan Museums Law reunited the collections of the old Museu d'Art de Catalunya and the Museu d'Art Modern under one roof, and declared it a national museum. The museum is easy to get to as it is one of the city tour bus stops. Entrance fee is just €10 with many discounts for families, students etc as well as with your tour bus ticket. For more information you'll find the museums website listed under our favourites.

Palau Nacional, Barcelona

Art Deco Museum, Salamanca, Spain
The museum has 19 collections of decorative art dating from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. It contains almost 2,500 pieces, including glass, porcelain figures, gold and ivory statues, enamels, bronze items, paintings, ivory pieces, furniture, jewels, toys, a Faberge egg....It also has a major pictorial exhibition with 19th century works and pieces by painters from Salamanca, such as Celso Lagar and Mateo Hernandez. Highly recommended is a break in the lovely cafe where the pasteries are delicious.

Art Deco Museum, Salamanca

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
As the website will tell you, its not "the Heineken Museum", its the "Heineken Experience". Why is this? Because four levels of interactive experiences in the former brewery will plunge you into the world of Heineken. See it, hear it, smell it and finally taste it. Enjoy the experience, we did!

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam
To see more about the cities where these museums are, simple click on one of the following links; Vienna; Dingle; Barcelona; Salamanca and Amsterdam