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A place of a significant interest, because of the cultural goods and its importance for preserving history, in which the touristic services are performed. Its main aim is to observe and record historical processes, although they are constantly changing due to the development of science and technology. Museums have evaluated in their form and function since the opening of the first establishment. Those places are adjusted to the needs of mass tourism by making available guidance services, preparing touristic routes, making descriptions of museum pieces especially for the tourists needs, introducing entrance fees. Museums are places thanks to which people can improve their knowledge about the surrounding word, enhance esthetical and emotional reactions. Some of them are made to witness the development of sciences and technology. A museum is an institution where compilations of pieces of art and collections are gathered, stored and made available for the public.


The first museums in the world were located in ancient Greece (Pinacotheca and Museum of Alexander the Great). First European museums were established around 1600 AD. It was private collections, amassed by the good will of their owners. The collections had roots in so called ‘Grand Tours’, which were done by young heirs of ancestral wealth and included such destinations as France, Greece and Italy. Exhibits included: books, coins, weapon, costumes, stuffed animals, plants, minerals and the like. Over time, the collections were made due to requests of kings, scientists, travellers and exploreres. At first, the compilations of museum pieces were neither rich nor sophisticated, nevertheless the market for antics were established at the end of XVI century. Originally, an access to exhibits were reduced mainly to scientists and artists. To enter a museum a person needed to have a written permission and had to handle a special application form to a ward. Time of visiting an exhibition was limited, additionally, the visitors were supervised when admiring exhibits. Museum as a public institution was established in 1753 with the opening of the British Museum. Another major change was due to the changes regarding the Louvre forty years after, in 1793. It included making the museum available for the wider public, even for people that did not belong to the upper class. Another breakthrough in the history of museology was done with the implementation of modern pieces of art to the museums in Berlin: Bode Museum and Nationalgalerie, as well as the Museum of Modern Art (New York 1928), Centre Pompidou (Paris 1977) and Tate Modern (London 2000).

Types of museums

There are several kinds of museums, such as:

  • large and famous galleries and art museums, ex. The British Museum, the National Gallery, the Prado, the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, the Hermitage,
  • monuments of history- palaces and castles, ex. Forum Romanum, the Pyramids in Egypt, the Acropol, Angkorr Watt, the Windsor, the Wawel Castle,
  • famous sacral buildings, Sistine Chapel in Vatican, gothic cathedrals in France, Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence,
  • place commemorating the modern history, ex. Places of martyrology, the Shipyard of Gdańsk, the headquarters of the United Nations Organisation in New York,
  • open-air museums, heritage parks, museums of folk art, archaeological places, ex. Maihaugen in Norway, the Museum of oil and gas industry in Bóbrka,
  • museums of science and technology, ex. The Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw.


Author: Klaudia Majka