As some of the best tourist attractions, museums in Europe offer the finest settings for those who are interested in learning, not only the culture of the city visiting but also of the world. In most cases, museums in Europe do charge an entry fee but there are still few of the most significant institutions that believe in the availability of art for all. Frequently we are witnesses to free evenings at the museum, free workshops, or free lectures which aim to bring art production not only to the professionals but to the youngest generation as well.
Regardless of the fact that we are living in the globalized digitalized and technology obsessed world, there are still a number of us out there that enjoy the guided tour of the museum. Even though there is much debate about the significance of museums, and their specific role in the art world, the major museums in Europe are still considered important.
Apart from their permanent collections, shifts between various exhibitions, and to an extent authenticity, the following European museums of art are the ones which provide free entry to their public, and as such are worth a look.
Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Located in the historically important building, the museum occupies the space of the Palais de Tokyo which was built in 1937 for the International exhibition. Inaugurated in 1961, the museum is a home to a vast collection of most famous works. The gems of major 20th-century periods, such as Fauvism, Cubism, Abstraction, Conceptual Art, and more, help to illustrate art history and its breaking movements. Through regular shifts between the temporary exhibitions, and programs which deal with the current developments in the national and international scene, the museum tells the tale of the passing time and is in keeping with the major trends of today’s creativity.
Featured image: Museum d’ Art Moderne de la-Ville, Paris. Image via stunningplaces.net
Located in the stunning building, decorated with patterns and tiles inside, the Amsterdam Stadsarchief or the Archive of Amsterdam, stores the relevant documents of the history of the city. Home to a historic-topographic collection with millions of maps, drawings, and prints, a library, and extensive sound, movie, and photo archives, the Archive is the best place to visit if one desires to find out more about the city’s story.
Featured image: Inside the Amsterdam Stadsarchief. Image via amsterdamology.com
Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial is the central memorial site of German division, located in the middle of the capital. Stretching along 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip, the memorial contains the last piece of the Berlin wall with preserved grounds behind it. Offering films and books about the wall, alongside the viewing platform overlooking the site, the memorial makes the history of Germany’s division comprehensible to its visitors.
Featured image: Berlin Wall Memorial. Image via andbrlin.com
National Museum, Copenhagen
The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is the country’s largest museum of cultural history. Comprising the history of Danish and foreign cultures alike, the museum is a proud and comprehensive collection which charts the history of the Danes since prehistoric times. Particularly interesting is the Stories of Denmark exhibition, which uses thousands of everyday objects to help illustrate how life has changed in the country since 1660. Alongside the research into the history of the country, various exhibits from around the world, from Greenland to South America, are featured.
Featured image: National Museum Copenhagen. Image via alamy.com
Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon
As an impressive addition to Lisbon’s list of cultural attractions, the Berardo Museum opened its collection of modern and contemporary art to the public in 2007. Alongside the masters such as Picasso, Baco, and Dali are some of the most hitting pop artists, such as Pollock, Warhol, and Lichtenstein, which help to comprise the impressive permanent Museum collection. Next to this, a vast array of temporal exhibitions by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, help to illustrate the art history of the last century. With a broad range of activities for all ages, the museum in an original and education way bring the magic of art to a wide audience.
Featured image:Berardo Museum. Image via styleat30.com
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nice
The impressive building, a former mansion of a Ukrainian princess, presently is the home of a wonderful collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Spanning realism, romanticism, and symbolism, some of the most important artists of the French history, such as Monet and Rodin are displayed within its lavish rooms. Especially significant for the understanding of the complete panorama of the French painting is the Raoul Dufy’s extensive collection, a gift, and legacy of Madame Dufy.
Featured image: Museum des Beaux Arts, Nice. Image via flickr.com
Museo del Prado, Madrid
As one of Madrid’s most popular attractions, The Prado is one of the largest museums in Europe. With a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, portraits, and murals, spanning the entire history of art, it is simply amazing that entry to see such treasures is free every evening. If we were asked to name just a few of the highlights of The Prado, for sure we would need to mention The Annunciation, a lavish gold altarpiece crafted by Fra Angelico in the 15th-century, and Peter Paul Rubens’ The Three Graces.
Featured image:Exterior view, Museum del Prado. Image via wallpaper.com
Florence Nightingale Museum, Istanbul
Located in the Selimiye Barracks, the Florence Florence Nightingale Museum in Üsküdar is not your ordinary museum. Located inside a military ground, one needs to arrange an appointment by fax at least 48 hours in advance, in order to learn more about the Crimean War and the story of the lady with the lamp. The setting is in, fact, a space of the historical military hospital where Nightingale and her students developed the nursing technique that saw her go down in medical history. Inside the museum, one can explore through her personal living quarters, see her original desk, as well as the room which served as an operating theater. Adding to the experience, which differs from the usual museum fare, is the fact that the guides are usually young soldiers on their military service.
Featured image: Florence Nightingale Museum, Istanbul. Image via panoramio.com
Museo Storico della Liberazione, Rome
Once an infamous site of terror, the building of the Museo Storico della Liberazione at Via Tasso 145-155, was used as a headquarters and a base for the German security forces. The rooms that once were cells are now transformed into a museum dedicated to the memory of those who were detained. The history of political prisoners, a collection of relics, documents, photographs, artifacts, and works of art, alongside a rich collection of the underground press, and posters, are just a few of the reasons once should visit this historically important building in Rome.
Featured image:Museo Storico della Liberazione, Rome. Image via articolo21.org
Reykjavik Museum of Photography
The museum, located in the downtown Reykjavik, is a home to about five million photographs by both professionals and amateurs, from about 1870 to the present century. Aiming to reach the goal of awakening the widest possible interest in the cultural role of photography, the collection features an array of subject matter. From studio portraits, and industrial, advertising, press, landscape, and family photographs, the museum also displays objects related to the art of photography and features images by the most celebrated contemporary Icelandic photographers.