It’s All About the Details in St Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon


Jerónimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal One of most famous sites of Lisbon is the Jerónimos Monastery – a late Gothic “Manueline” style building that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It’s big.  It’s grand.  It’s odd. The monastery was built on a site occupied by a church dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém.  Its monks were members of the Order of Christ…

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National Artistic Treasures in Edinburgh


The Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland Every great capital city needs a great art gallery and so it makes sense that Edinburgh, which is a great city, has a great art gallery.  There is a formidable mix of Scottish and international paintings and sculptures, in a nicely ‘old-fashioned’ setting, and the quality and range of what’s on display can probably…

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The Museum of the Awesome Mr Gulbenkian: Part One – From Ancient Egypt to China


Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal While America is littered with museums built around the varied collections of their millionaire founders, this sort of thing is much rarer in Europe.  The Armenian Calouste Gulbenkian, who made his fortune from oil, put his money to good use and amassed an amazing little collection of objects from across the ages which…

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Ancient Worlds in Stockholm Part Three: Egypt


…continued from Part Two… The Mediterranean Museum has a very fine Egyptian collection.  It contains objects which were brought to Sweden in the 1700s by merchants and seamen who collected pottery, amulets and papyrus as souvenirs.  In the 1800s, scientists and explorers traveled along the Nile and often donated objects to the Royal collection, as did the Consul General of…

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The Ancient World in Stockholm Part Two: Cyprus


…continued from Part One… Stockholm houses one of the largest archaeological collections from Cyprus.  This is in large part thanks to the excavations undertaken in 1927-1931 by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition.  They dug in about twenty locations and discovered material from the Stone Age to the Roman era.  The team were also notable for their scholarship in that they not…

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Ancient Worlds in Stockholm Part One: Greece & Rome


The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden Clearly if a town has a museum dedicated to the ancient world, I’m there.  And I’ll probably be there for a long time.  And I was at the Mediterranean Museum for much longer than I expected –  and still didn’t see the entire collection.  I totally missed the Islamic section,…

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