British Museum (London)
The British Museum, in London, is one of the finest and best known museums in the world.
It is situated in Great Russell Street in Bloomsbury, just a few minutes walk from Tottenham Court Road underground station.
The museum was founded in 1753, based on the collection of the physician Sir Hans Sloane, who had amassed an astonishing 80,00 items.
In 1823, this was augmented by George III`s library.
The building itself was completed in 1838, the architect being Robert Smirke. His younger brother Sidney Smirke designed the famous Reading Room, boasting the second largest dome in the world (the largest is the Pantheon in Rome).
Later, the natural history exhibits were moved to the Natural History Museum in Kensington, and more recently in 1997 the library section has been moved to the new British Library near St. Pancras Station.
The items which can be seen in the British Museum are far too numerous to list here, but include the Elgin Marbles; the Portland Vase; the Flood Tablet; and the Rosetta Stone.
Two poets were inspired to write famous works by visits to the museum. Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote "Ozymandias", and John Keats wrote "Ode on a Grecian Urn".