This museum hasnt really changed much in the last decade or so but its still interesting. They last time i was here was with an ex girlfriend who wanted to look at some "art"...i was like " boooooring"....we split up the following week...i dont think it was a coincidence. Anyway it is a nice place to waste a few hour and there is some interesting exhibitions that will tell you about the way we used to live in Northern Ireland...it isnt all potatoes and petrol bombs ya know. It is also very clean and well decored. It also has a well known Early Ireland Gallery which holds many treasures from the famous Spanish Armada.I think the best attraction in this place is the Egyptian mummy..it reminds me of my ex...:))
It seems that there is no shortage of money being thrown at public works around Belfast at the minute, despite the recessionary times. The City Hall has just been refurbished at a whopping £11 million, and an even greater sum (£17 million), has been spent on the Ulster Museum, recently re-opened and much improved.
I remember the Museum from my childhood. I attended school nearby and we spent many rainy lunchtimes drinking coffee in the cafe there and generally making a nuisance of ourselves as teenagers tend to do. I am sure the staff really loved us! In between caffeine intake and annoying the attendants, I actually managed to see a few exhibits and remember that my favourites were the Egyptian mummies and the artefacts from the Girona, a ship of the Spanish Armada which foundered off the North coast.
On my recent return, I must admit I didn't get a chance tosee everything due to time constraints, but I got a reasonable look round. The attached website will hopefully fill in my blanks for you.
My first impression, counter intuitive to usual childhood memories, is that theplace actually seemed larger. From the outside I could see it has not been extended but the use of space makes it seem so. Clever designing I suppose.
The foyer area offers a "taster" of what is on offer elsewhere and juxtaposes a medieaval cannon with a 2009 Alexander McQueen dress. I know I am a bit traditional in my views but I am not sure an exhibit one year old really qualifies for a Museum.
Carrying on, I was a little surprised to see a complete room dealing with "The Troubles", a euphemism for the bloody civil conflict that occurred between roughly 1968 and 1998. The reason for my surprise is that memories are long in this part of the world and many wounds have still not healed a mere few years after things allegedly quietened down. I did, however, find the exhibition to be balanced and interesting, particularly so, I would think, for visitors from overseas.
From very modern history, there is then a section with much older artefacts relating to the history of Ireland, including a stuffed Irish wolfhound of truly majestic proportions.
I am glad to see my childhood favourites have been retained, the Ancient Egyptian and Armada exhibitions and there are many others, including one about the famous Belleek pottery.
The new and better Ulster Museum really is a must see for any visitor to the City.
On a practical level, the Museum is now fully wheelchair accessible and has many other facilities for disabled people. It is open Tuesday to Sunday 1000 - 1700 and, like most British Museums, admission is free. There is a cafe on-site where you can refresh yourself after a long days walking around.
Almost hidden among the fir trees is this splendid Ulster Museum, once the municipal Art Gallery. Here you can find out a lot on Belfast's and the island's history and art.
Visit the art gallery with one of the best collections of Irish art from the 17th century onwards, don't miss Treasures of the Armada with spectacular items from the Spanish galleass Gerona, sunk off the north coast in 1588, or Princess Takabuti (known as Belfast's oldest bleached blonde due to her chemically discoloured hair), the 1st mummy to be displayed outside Egypt...
The museum also offers regular backpacks and trails for children, as well as lectures and musical evenings.
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 1-5pm, Sun 2-5pm
The Ulster Museum is adjacent to the Queen's University. This National museum is packed with history, science and culture of the peoples of the island, from neolithic tools to documentation of the Troubles. Beautiful pieces of Irish art, jewerly, furniture, costume. This is a great place to spend a few hours!
The Ulster Museum is one of the best places to begin unravelling the history of Belfast. It has collections of fine & decorative art, archaeology, history & natural sciences.
You can see the story of the rise of Belfast City, from the earliest stone age residents through to the Industrial Revolution and right up to the present day. What's more, the incredible treasures salvaged from the Armada Galleon Girona are on permanent display. It offers a wide range of displays, exhibitions, lectures, films, workshops & weekend activities. There's a shop & lecture theatre (full audio visual & ISDN 6 video conferencing facilities), and a cafe.
This museum has been revamped with some fabulous displays and best of all its free to visit. I started on the top floor in the Art Galleries and there was a display of fashion clothing through the years as well as modern, contempory and classic art.
The history zone has a section on the troubles in Belfast through the ages this was really interesting and possibly a good place to visit before your taxi tour. I also went to see Takabuti who was a fine lady and the mistress of a house in Thebes Egypt 2500 years ago, she is now a fine mummy. If you are a dinasour fan then check out the large skeleton of the Edmontosaurus a defenceless plant eater.
Photography is welcome except where specifically restricted. There is a cafe in the reception for a delicious cup of tea. Closed on Mondays otherwise open Tues to Sunday 10am - 5pm
Overall the displays here are set up pretty good and there is a fair amount to see. However! There is one serious drawback to how this museum was set up. All displays on "The Troubles" are completely one sided and totally ignore the Republicans, Catholics, and IRA. Hmmmm. That wouldn't be prejudice and racism in the midst of setting up those displays, now would it??
Situated in the Botanic Gardens, There are many collections including contemporary international art, Irish art, Irish furniture, glass, silver, ceramics, and costume, and a display of life in Ireland over 9,000 years. There's a section about animals which i spent most of my time at. Again, entrance is free!