I wanted to make a wishlist of some History museums or destinations with historical value from all over the world. I'm all for scenic views, food trips, and cutural experiences. But if there's one thing that really piques my interest, it's history. I guess I have my history teachers to thank. Every school year, I lucked out with teachers who had a distinct love for history (and teaching), that they've not only taught me, but they've also inspired me to keeping digging and learning. It explains why I'm such a big fan of Lin- Manuel Miranda's musical, Hamilton. It explains my thirst to keep returning to Intramuros, Manila. To be honest, what else are you supposed to do in a foreign country than learn their history? I sincerely don't know the answer.
Athens, Greece • Wishlist •
About 300 meters from Acropolis, and right across the Parthenon, stands the Acropolis Museum. Underneath it is an excavation site. This museum has a lot of to offer, from objects from ancient Athens, and archeological finds from other sanctuaries surronding Acropolis. The exacavation dig underneath the museum is a ancient Athenian neighborhood that tourists can walk through with guides. This neighborhood was discovered while the museum was being constructed. Above the dig, the following floors of the museum have their own showcases: the first floor exhibits the more recent finds like vases, votive offerings for the gods, and clay statues of the god Nike. In the next floor you'll find "kore" statues of women in clothing and elborate braids that were believed to be offerings to the goddess Athena. You can also find bronze sculptures pre-dating the Parthenon, like one of Hercules defeating the Hydra. The museum's crowning glory is located at their top floor where they exhibit a 160m-long frieze. At eye level, patrons can walk around and follow the frieze design of a Panathenaic Procession. The Acropolis Museum offers an alternative way for tourists to discover ancient Greece in the comfort of museum walls. Not only is it informative, but it's also interactive as the museum offers "Family Backpacks". Each of which contains activities and trails for families with young children to follow through the museum.
15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, Athens, Greece
Διονυσίου Αρεοπαγίτου 15, Αθήνα 117 42
Weinan, China • Wishlist •
Discovered by farmers in the 1970s, Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum is still the biggest archeological find in contemporary history, that up to this day, scholars are still making discoveries and running researches. The main attraction is the 7000 individually sculpted soldiers arranged to look like they're ready for battle, protecting the Emperor's mausoleum. What's the most striking with this statue infantry is the life they seem to carry. Divided into 3 pits, each soldier ranges in their own height, face, and even military ranking. Other pits exhibit more terracotta figurines including acrobats, musicians, and strongmen. It's a chilling peak into ancient China's history, monarchy, and craftsmanship. The 226 hectar- long park was only open to the public in 2010. While Emperor Qin's underground palace and his exact resting place are still restricted from the public. Needless to say, this is could just be the beginning to what more secrets these frozen warriors hold. Discoveries can be made everyday.
Lintong, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Cairo, Egypt • Wishlist •
The history of ancient Egypt is arguably the richest, deepest, and most interesting of all ancient civilizations. Conveniently placed in the national capital, Cairo-- the same city where Egypt's international airport is, The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities allows tourists to delve into just the tip of this iceberg even if they're only in the country for a layover. It's no Giza or Sphinx, but it's a great exposure to the Egyptian history's rabbit hole. The museum holds the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts. In one visit, tourists will be exposed to burial rituals, learn about the first Egyptian King Narmer, discover the controversial life and death of Queen Hatshepsut, see the treasures of the famous King Tut, and, for those looking for a more thrilling adventure, visit the Mummy exhibit at night (don't worry, it's also open in the morning). Walking through the front door already feels like an journey on it's own when you see the ancient king guards out front, and step into a realm that you've only read in books or seen from Brendan Fraser films. Tourists can come back as much as they can, and they always notice and learn something different. A whole new experience awaits for every turn.
Tahrir Square rd Tahrir Square، Ismailia, Qasr El Nil, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Tychy, Poland • Wishlist •
The objective of history is to learn from them. We learn history so we don't make the same mistakes and we move forward instead of backward. The Holocaust could be the grimmest and most barbaric point in human history. The Auschwitz Concentration Camp stands tall to this day as a heart breaking reminder of the evils humanity is capable of, and what racial hate can tragically lead to. Auschwitz is definitely the most dreadful on this list. The tour around the camp itself may not suitable for those soft of heart. It's not an insult. The walk through leaves no detail unsaid, no story untold. Tourists are exposed to the remnants of the millions of the deaths that took place within its fences. Exhibited are what the victims left behind: shoes, hair, clothes, even items that belonged to children. The infamous gas chamber will give you chills not only be it's purpose by the (believed) claw marks on the walls. Stories of human experimentation, torture, stories from the Death Wall-- harrowing as they are, they are told as a reminder that this is what hate can do. No one leaves this museum without a heavy heart and tears in their eyes.
Więźniów Oświęcimia 20, 32-603 Oświęcim, Poland
Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico • Wishlist •
The history of Mexico isn't as openly discussed in comparison to Greece, Egypt, America, and Europe, which is unfortunate. Their history is pretty deep, mixed with Aztec and Mayan cultures and mythology, their own share of colonialism, religion, and politics. There is so much left to be said that the Mexico's National Museum of Anthropology is so vast that a tour can take you 2.5 hours. Inside the exhibit artifacts found in both the Mayan and Aztec civilization including the infamous Mayan Calendar and the Aztec Sunstone. They also have small replicas of the pyramids. Dioramas of mexican culture of the past and today are also on dislpay. They also have cultural exhibits of Iran, Greece, China, Egypt, Russia, and Spain.
Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Siem Reap, Cambodia • Wishlist •
Made mainstream famous by Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider, Angkor Wat was built to be the earthly representation of Mt. Meru, the Mt. Olympus of Hindu faith. To this day, it is the world's biggest religious building. It also stands the tallest in Cambodia as it's been made illegal to construct a building taller than it's highest tower. Other than being dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu, it is believed that Angkor Wat was constructed as both a temple, and a mausoleum due to the fact that it stands in the west, and the west is believed to be the direction of death. Aside from large majesty, visitors are also struck by the intricate detailing on the walls, stretching 800m long. Each carving depicts rituals, historical events, and stories from their mythology. As this is a temple, Monks actively use these towers as a place of worship. Proper etiquette and dress code are to be observed by tourists, and certain areas are prohibited. But given the size, tourists have more than enough places to look around the beautifully preserved avenues.
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Claimed to pop culture fame by the film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Petra is an ancient city lost in time. Hidden in the red- sandstone mountains of Jordan, between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, after a long trek deep into a gorge, you'll find the place that Nabataeans used to call home. Their main district for commerce and livelihood, buildings were carved into the rock face. Greek and Egyptian influences can be seen through the temples, homes, and tombs, along with their depictions of the gods of mountains, rain, sun and fertility. The carving in itself is unbelievable. Creating buildings out of a mountain is one thing. But to be so precise in detail with the pillars and motifs is another. Another testament to human innovation. Petra was taken over by the Romans in 106 CE, and later by the Byzantines. The City of Petra faded entirely after an earthquake shrouded the city from the map. It wasn't until 1812 when it was rediscovered by Swiss explorer, Johann Burckhardt.
Wadi Musa, Jordan