Bahrain National Museum
The Bahrain National Museum is the crowning achievement of the Kingdom of Bahrain's ongoing efforts to preserve the nation's heritage and history. Efforts which began in 1957 when the first exhibition of the artefacts discovered by the Danish archaeological expedition was held at Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifiya in Muharraq.
The museum was inaugurated in 1988 by the late Emir Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in a grand ceremony attended by His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, and then Crown Prince His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to become one of the first museums in the Arab Gulf.
The site itself which is built on the edge of the sea in a central location between Manama and Muharraq, is a tremendous attraction, adding to its contemporary ambience which is influenced by the white travertine façade and dramatic courtyard decorated with contemporary sculptures.
Bahrain National Museum houses 9 main halls, and classifies the accumulated heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain into 6 different sections. Visitors to the museum will be taken on a 4000 year journey through time as they pass through its halls, from the traditional handicrafts hall, to the customs and traditions hall, burial mounds hall, ancient documents and manuscripts hall, Tylos hall, and Islamic period hall. The halls showcase a rich collection of artefacts uncovered in the numerous archaeological sites in Bahrain and underpinning the longstanding history of the island.
The museum seeks not only to enhance understand and knowledge of Bahrain's history amongst locals only, but also play a role as an institution which promotes global culture within the community, as evidenced by the numerous international culture and art exhibitions it has hosted over the years.
In addition to the archaeological exhibits, two halls are dedicated to local customs and traditions, featuring clothing, housing, rituals and traditional crafts. Moreover, the art hall features a permanent collection of works by some of Bahrain's leading artists as well as regularly hosting temporary exhibitions.
Adjacent to the National Museum can be seen the Art Center and Cultural Hall, both of which host temporary exhibitions and concerts throughout the year. A new addition to this cultural compound is the recently inaugurated Arab Regional Center for World Heritage.