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London Museums and Art Galleries

The best London Museums and Art Galleries are in the West End.

The British Museum in Russel Square comprises the Na­tional Museum of Archeology and Ethnography, the richest collection of prints and drawings and the National Library.

It was founded in 1753 and opened to the public on the 15th of January, 1759.

The Library of the British Museum is one of the largest collection of books and manuscripts (pyкописи) in the world.

It also comprises national museum of archeology and ethnography which together with the library originated in 1753 when the art collection and library of Sir Hans Sloane was aquired by the government. The museum has among its holdings collections of ancient and medieval artifacts and art.

The Natural History Museum in Cromwell Road is the home of the national collections of animals (животные) and plants, and of the minerals and rocks from which the earth is built up. It has a twofold function to increase man's know­ledge of the animal, plant and mineral Kingdoms as an in­stitution for scientific research, and to spread knowledge of natural history as widely as possible.

The Tower of London was once a fortress (кpenocть). Kings of England, when the battle turned against them, often found safety in the Tower.

From Norman days the Tower has been a state prison: ithas been a place of torture and of execution.

Continuously from the 11th century the Tower hasheld a military garrison. Arms and armour have always been stored there and today it contains the National Collections of them. Today the Tower is a museum visited by tourists.

As it was the strongest fortress in the land, the safe custody ' of the Crown jewels has been entrusted to it since the time of Henry III.

The National Gallery offers a wonderful range of pictures.

Everyone can find some kind of picture to enjoy. It was opened to the public on the 10th of May, 1824. And in 1836 after series of troubles the collection of pictures of the National Gallery was established at Trafalgar Square. Old masters in the newly-built building both British and foreign are being kept there.

The Tate Gallery from the very beginning was intended as a collection of contemporary (coвременный) British painting only. It became the national collection of British painting of all periods, and in addition to this the national collection of modem foreign painting and of modern sculpture, both British and foreign.

The Science Museum exhibits machinery, scientific instruments and apparatuses for scientific research and for educational purposes.

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