Thursday, June 11, 2020

Virtual Tours of the World's Museums

Beijing's Palace Museum is the world's most popular museum. It is visited by around 15 million people every year. The museum is located in the Forbidden City, which for nearly 500 years was the home of the Chinese Emperor and his household.

The Palace Museum has created a number of virtual tours which allow you to explore some of the museum's galleries and also some of the amazing buildings of the Forbidden City.

Among my favorites of the museum's current 15 virtual tours is a custom Street View tour of the Palace of Longevity and Health. The Palace of Longevity and Health was the home to the widowed consorts of emperors who had died. The widowed wives of late emperors lived in this separate area of the Inner Court of the Forbidden Palace. Being a wife of an Emperor may have come with a whole host of complications but you did get to live surrounded by beautiful opulence.

If you want to explore more of the Forbidden Palace then you might also enjoy the virtual tour of the Garden of Compassion and Tranquility. The Garden of Compassion and Tranquility is one of four gardens in the Forbidden Palace. The Palace of Compassion and Tranquility was another area devoted to empress dowagers (widows of an Emperor).

You can also explore virtual tours on the websites of many other art galleries and museums around the world.

The U.S. National Gallery of Art is temporarily closed but you can still explore some of the gallery's collections and exhibitions of paintings by visiting its virtual exhibitions. Currently the gallery has three virtual exhibitions: Degas at the Opéra Virtual Tour, True to Nature Virtual Tour (European landscapes of the 18th & 19th Centuries) and Raphael and His Circle Virtual Tour.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art - includes a number of virtual exhibitions
The National Gallery - London's National Gallery has a number of virtual tours
The Rijksmuseum Masterpieces Up Close - a virtual tour of the museum's Gallery of Honour
The Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour - explore the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's astonishing ceiling
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Museum - has created a number of virtual tours
The Stonehenge Virtual Tour - places you in the center of this mysterious pre-historic monument

Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles can be explored in this Google Arts and Culture tour.

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