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Ashmolean Museum

The world’s oldest public museum is home to a fascinating collection of global curios and priceless works of art.

The Ashmolean Museum is a distinguished collection of fascinating art and archeological relics. From Egyptian mummies to English silverware, the museum's pieces are wide in scope and include internationally important collections, such as the modern and contemporary Chinese art collection.  

The museum was established in the 17th century to hold the cabinet of curiosities of Elias Ashmole, a notable English antiquarian and politician. Since then, the collection has grown considerably, with many further donors adding to it.

Admire the majestic 19th-century structure that houses the museum. Note the façade’s classical design with four large pillars holding up a grand pediment above the entrance. The building is particularly striking at night, when it is bathed in golden light. The interior has been renovated many times, and its modern design is in stark contrast to the neoclassical exterior. Inside you’ll notice an extensive use of glass, which allows light into the exhibits.

Make your way to the archeological department to see the museum’s excellent array of Greek and Minoan pottery. View intriguing objects from Ancient Egypt as well as archeological finds from the Neolithic era.

The art collection includes paintings by Paul Cézanne, John Constable, Pablo Picasso and many other reputable artists. Peruse the excellent watercolors by Turner and examine art from across the globe, from modern Chinese works to Islamic pieces. Temporary exhibitions are held year-round and cover topics like photography of old Oxford.

Take a break and order refreshments, such as traditional cream tea, from the museum café. For a special dining experience, book a table at the museum’s rooftop restaurant. Stop by the shop to pick up souvenirs, stationery and gifts.

The Ashmolean Museum is part of the University of Oxford and located in the center of the city. The museum is open daily from morning until late afternoon and is free to enter. It is closed on Mondays, except when it is a bank holiday. Use local bus lines to get here or walk from the Oxford Railway Station, which is just 10 minutes away on foot. Nearby attractions include the Blackfriars building and The New Theatre.


Guide to Exploring Ashmolean Museum


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