National Museum, Bahrain
The National Museum is a very well laid out and thoughful look at the history of Bahrain from the time of Dilmun up to the present day. I spent about 3 hours there going from exhibit to exhibit. It has a fascinating exhibit showing reassembled burial mounds from the A'ali burial mound complex. You get a lot more out of seeing their version than by traipsing around in the burial mound areas.
The museum is open form 08:00 - 20:00 every day and the cost is 500 Fils ($1.32 USD) and free for children under 13 years of age.
Since it opened its doors in 1988, this modern structure has been a showcase of 6000 years of civilisation on this tiny Arabian Gulf island. Much of the museum is dominated by the ancient Dilmun civilisation which had ties with Mesopotamia. The rest of the museum focuses on Bahrain since the arrival of Islam and until the discovery of oil. Although many of the items on display in the museum are quite intriguing and admirable, the section on local Bahraini culture completely freaked me out. This was mainly due to the funny-looking human figures used in the displays (see attached photos).
Bahrain National Museum is a very nice & well maintained museum. It showcases Arab's / Bahraini's traditonal way of life. They have life size dioramas that features the normal / daily life of the people.
They have exhibits of different paintings, artifacts and other archeological pieces.
They also have one section in the museum where they feature the different burial mounds with real bones and skeletons.
If you are a visitor to Bahrain, or even a resident who would like to know a little more about what makes Bahrain tick, then a trip to the National Museum is essential. Situated on the intersection of the Muharraq Causeway and King Faisal Highway, it houses a wonderful collection of exhibits, from contemporary Bahraini paintings, sculptures and ceramics to scenes depicting life in the Dilmun civilization of 6000 years ago and even a reconstructed burial mound, complete with skeleton! A section on Arabic calligraphy, including a beautiful display of illuminated Korans and other religious documents, is breathtaking, and of course no visit would be complete without a closer look traditional trades and crafts which been cleverly displayed in a reconstruction of a typical soukh of the 1930s. There are also photographs and models of pearling exhibitions and artefacts to represent the former source of Bahrain wealth before the advent of oil.Many, many more exhibits add up to a memorable experience, and a deeper understanding of the fascinating history of the island.
Entrance fee is 500 fils.
Visiting the Bahrain National Museum will give you a great introduction to the rich history of this small cluster of islands. Work on the building itself started in 1984 and it was officially opened by the Amir Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in December 1988. The building is close to the sea front in what I believe is reclaimed land.
The museum is split into a number of sections showing the Dilumn civilization, the more modern pre-oil days (days of pearl diving), Bahraini wild life and also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions.
The museum will give an insight of some of the rich archeological sites around Bahrain that you can then decide on which you want to visit if your time is limited.
If it is your first visit to Bahrain, you can't go without visiting this museum. it is the best way to get an overview of the history and culture of the country. The Museum is divided in separate rooms each with it's own theme (history, archeology, culture, modern art,...). Leave around 2 hours to walk round leisurly, a bit more if you want to read all the signs.
The National Museum recognizes that it holds its collections in trust for the people of Bahrain. The National Museum recognizes its responsibility to ensure planned and coherent growth, development, care and use of the National Museum's collections.
H.H. Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Amir of the Kingdom of Bahrain , presided at the official inauguration ceremony of the Bahrain National Museum, 6th Jumada Al Uola 1409/ 15th December 1988. Also present were the Prime Minister, H.H. Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, and the Crown Prince, H.H. Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. H.E. Tariq Abdulrahman Al-Moayyed, the Minister of Information, guided H.H. the Amir through the different halls of the Museum.
Work on the new National Museum started in 1984 on the unique 123,000 square metre sea-front site situated between the cities of Manama and Muharraq. It compromises nine separate exhibition halls, each having a floor area of 625 square metres. A large foyer of 1450 square metres connects the halls which is used for temporary exhibitions. In addition, the Museum has administrative offices, conservation laboratories, storage facilities, workshops, photo labs, as well as a library, restaurant, lagoon, and car parks.
This museum has a wonderful exhibit featuring the archeological work in the area. Bahrain has been inhabited for at least 5000 years, and has a treasure of history buried underneath the now modern cities.
This is certainly the best laid-out historical/ethnographic museum in the region. The building is architecturally outstanding: a beautiful mostly white marble structure that sits shimmering on the coast near the harbor.
I really like museums using models. It makes you feel like you can really imagine what it was like in that particular time.
Not only you can learn Bahraini History at this museum, there are also some modern paintings to look at. Quite interesting indeed. Almost felt like I entered a gallery in France or something!