Exploring Denmark’s Glorious Past in the National Museum: Part Three – the Ancient World

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…continued from Part Two…

Near East

A small but interesting selection of objects from the Near East starts our exploration of the ancient world – with a brief detour to the 14th century for a cute bowl from Antioch.

Ancient Egypt

The museum has an unexpectedly fascinating collection of Egyptian objects – I could have spent longer looking, but it was at about this time that I realised that there was no way we were going to finish the museum, and we had to leave or we’d not make it to the Carlsberg Glypotek.

As it happens, the fact that these two museums were visited on the same day kind of went to demonstrate the difference between the collections: while the Glyptotek is full of ‘starry’ objects that are usually of exceptional quality, their neighbour down-the-road has more of the ‘everyday’ objects.  This applies, I feel, to the whole ancient world section of the National Museum of Denmark, and therefore in way visiting both museums’ ancient collections makes for rather a mutually complimentary experience.


Had time not been a factor, I could have spent quite a while looking at the vases that the museum had on show.  As it was, I had to nip through the gallery, scanning for highlights…

Etruria, the Hellenistic World and Magna Graecia


The Roman collection was more interesting than perhaps my selection of photos would indicate – I’ve shown some of the more unusual pieces, but actually it was a good, solid collection that gave a good overview of the kinds of objects that were used in everyday life.

So In Summary

Unsurprisingly, I adored the National Museum of Denmark.  In terms of the collections that I saw, I was fascinated by the variety and quality of objects.  On a superficial level, it’s a bit disappointing that the galleries on the Medieval art and the ancient world were a bit drab and ‘old-fashioned’ in their presentation in comparison to the lively galleries on Ancient Denmark – it doesn’t bother me, but I think it obviously has an impact on other visitors: the latter gallery was much busier than the former two.  I just think it’s a shame – the museum deserves lots of visitors because it has a fine collection that is genuinely educational, sometimes unexpected and often simply beautiful.

Further Information

There is an entry fee for the museum, but it’s free with the Copenhagen Card.

The museum has a good website, with all the information you might need for planning, available in English:  www.natmus.dk

How To Get There

The National Museum is centrally located in Copenhagen but for specific to/from information, the Danish transport site is available in English and is easy to navigate: www.rejseplanen.dk

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