Some travelers avoid museums because they seem stuffy and boring, with uninteresting exhibits encased in glass and small plates detailing the history of some obscure place or object. Well, if you ever felt like that but you still hate to miss out on a cultural experience, here’s a (literally) livelier alternative: living museums, probably the only kind of museums where the exhibits actually move around and go about their business. Living museums are places where historical events or a regular day from the past are re-enacted. You see how the people of the past lived their life, and you get a taste of a culture of period in history – it’s often almost like time travel! Here are some of the most exciting living museums in the world that will probably change forever the way you look at a museum.
Blists Hill Victorian Town, Madely, Shropshire, UK
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in Victorian England, you can take a tour of the wonderful Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire, which will take you back in time to the 19th century. Original and relocated Victorian buildings make up a charming small town where even the sounds and smells are authentically Victorian. Each building has its own costumed inhabitants who go about their business: you will see people working at printshops, banks, sweet shops and public houses, while tour guides explain what is happening before your eyes.
Conner Prairie, Fishers, Indiana, USA
Conner Prairies Living History Museum is a time capsule that transports you to the Indiana of various times in history. The museum is divided into four different timelines. One section recreates the life of the Lenape people who lived in the area before the settlers arrived, and another section shows the town as it was in 1836. A balloon from 1959 takes you on an airborne journey over the town, while the Civil War Journey documents Monrgan’s Raid, one of the most important civil war events in Indiana.
Baigongfang Handicrafts Museum, Beijing, China
Baigongfang Handicrafts Museum is less a museum and more a center f or the protection of traditional Chinese crafts. Thanks to a renewed interest in ancient Chinese handicrafts, Baigongfang is a flourishing living museum that showcases the richness of traditional Chinese crafts. Over a hundred artisans work at Beigongfang, and visitors are welcome to observe their work, and even buy their crafts.
Lofotr Viking Museum, Lofoten, Norway
Discover the ways of the Vikings in this recently excavated Viking village that has been restored and turned into a living museum. The Chieftain’s house is the largest excavated Viking building in Norway, and there are many other smaller log houses that survived the passage of time. You’ll see a blacksmith’s forge, boathouses and homes, and reenactments that reveal how the Vikings of old lived.