Museums have a long history, springing from what may be an innate human desire to collect, preserve and interpret the world around us. In many ways, museums are the repositories of the cultural and natural heritage of humankind. The very word museum is derived from the ancient Greek word, “mouseion” meaning “seat of the Muses.” The first known museum dates back to the Museum of Alexandria founded in Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter in the early 3rd century BC.
As time went on, museums in Europe were described as collections of curiosities that were maintained by private collectors such as the great museum of Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. The idea of a museum as an actual public institution emerged in the 1700s with the founding of the British Museum in 1753.
Today, we can visit museums in real time and virtually. In Second Life ©, Museum Island has recently reopened in a brand new location. Carlolello Zapatero has built this island that offers builds highlighting the ancient cultures and wonders of the world.
Upon rezzing into the sim head down the walkway to the helpful map that shows you all this fabulous island has to offer. The TP option makes it easy to get around from build to build.
If you like gardens don’t miss the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. Legend tells us that King Nebuchadnezzar II created the gardens for his homesick wife. As you wander through this opulent build you cannot help but wonder if the Queen was delighted with this fantastic gift or if she was still homesick for the green hills and mountains of her homeland.
Egyptophiles are in for a treat because you can explore the glorious temple built by Ramses II on the Egyptian – Nubian border called Abu Simbel. Visitors can also explore the adjacent tomb that Ramses built for his favorite wife, Queen Nefertari whose name means beautiful companion.
Next, wander through Halicarnassus, an ancient Greek city that is famous for the tomb of Mausolus, another wonder of the ancient world. Exploring this city of temples and buildings in gleaming marble whose centerpiece was the magnificent tomb of Hecatomnnus it is easy to see why it was considered a jewel among cities of the ancient world.
The crossroads city of Petra situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea has always inspired mystery because it is riddled with gorges, tunnels, and winding passages half carved into rock. Imagine caravans that stopped here for centuries as you explore this build that blends Eastern and Hellenistic architecture.
The little known sunken palace also known as the Istanbul Cistern built in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian is beautifully rendered on Museum Island. In RL this cathedral sized subterranean structure was an amazing technical achievement because it provided a water filtration system for the great palaces of Constantinople. In SL the build is amazing and well worth a visit. Keep an eye out for the artful columns and carved blocks that make this build authentic.
Another architectural masterpiece constructed here is the three-story bridge called Pont du Gard. You will marvel at this Roman aqueduct that was considered a technical masterpiece of its time and today stands as a work of art in both SL and RL.
A visit to Museum Island also includes a visit to the Colossus of Rhodes, the artistically rendered Ishtar Gate that was the colorful entrance to the inner city of Babylon; the evocative Sybil Antrum known as “hell on earth,” the ancient location of the oracular site of Sibyl of Cumae and the Pompeya House known as the sumptuous and elegant house, also referred to as the house of the tragic poet in the ancient city of Pompeii… be sure not to miss the “beware of the dog” sign!
Visit Museum Island at Museum Island (117, 215, 22)
Written and Photographs by Sita Writer