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Smithsonian Institution Museums

Listed under Museums in Washington D.C., United States.

  • Photo of Smithsonian Institution Museums
  • Photo of Smithsonian Institution Museums
  • Photo of Smithsonian Institution Museums
  • Photo of Smithsonian Institution Museums
  • Photo of Smithsonian Institution Museums
Photo of Smithsonian Institution Museums
Photo by flickr user Jeff Kubina
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The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum complex and research organization. It's divided into 17 museums and the National Zoo in the Washington DC metropolitan area; there are also two Smithsonian museums in New York City. It's a vast undertaking: the total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at more than 137 million; the Museum of Natural History alone holds well over a million specimens and artefacts.

Official Smithsonian Institution Website.

Written by  amoore.

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Smithsonian Institution Building ("The Castle")

Upon visiting the Smithsonian Institution Building, you will immediately realize why it is nicknamed “The Castle”. This beautiful and decorative building was completed in 1852. It contains a colorful plant garden on the outside of it's red Seneca sandstone walls. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. This building was the first Smithsonian building constructed and was brought to life by architect James Renwick, Jr. The Castle now houses the main visitors information center as well as all of the administrative offices of the Smithsonian. The building is closed on December 25 to the public.

A treasure trove of history.

Paris has the Louvre, London has the British Museum, and Washington D.C. has the Smithsonian. Composed of an impressive 19 museums, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy at this American institution. Whether you’re interested in prehistoric dinosaurs, fashion, outer space, or even television, you can find an exhibit that will pique your curiosity. Although one could make a valiant attempt at seeing it all, the vast archives of the Smithsonian ensure that it would take years to accomplish this feat. As a result, it recommended to research current exhibits on their website in order to get the most out of your time here.

The National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian is unfortunately not as exciting as the other museums within the Smithsonian Institute. It features numerous artifacts, mostly arts and crafts, and lacks interactive exhibits. Like all the museums within the Smithsonian, it's worth a visit, but it can be done with it within an hour or two.

The National Museum of American History

Although all of the Smithsonian Institution is worth a visit, one museum that should not be missed is the National Museum of American History. This museum offers an eclectic view of American history and offers something for everyone. Highlights include the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner," the hat that Abraham Lincoln wore when he was assassinated, the collection of dresses worn by the first ladies and the National Treasures of Popular Culture.

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