Lebanon’s museums give testimony to the rich history and culture of a country that has been the cradle of many passing civilizations. Since the 6th edition of “La Nuit des Musees” is coming up soon (Saturday April 6, 2019), here are the top 10 museums you should consider visiting during your tour!
National Museum of Beirut
Chronologically showcasing the numerous civilizations that Lebanon has been home for, the National Museum of Beirut displays thousands of timeless pieces, including statues, mosaics, and sarcophagi, covering the eras from the 3rd millennium BC till the Byzantine period.
http://www.beirutnationalmuseum.com , T: 01 426703
Nicolas Sursock Museum
Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock’s former residence, built in 1912, the Sursock Museum is a modern art museum in Lebanon that aims at colleting, preserving, and exhibiting local and international art. In addition to Nicolas Sursock’s private collection of furniture and objects, the museum is home to the permanent collections of Fouad Debbene as well as contemporary Lebanese artists, not to mention ongoing contemporary art exhibitions.
https://sursock.museum, T: 01 202 001.
MIM Mineral Museum
This mineral museum in Université Saint-Joseph Campus de L’innovation et du Sport (CIS), Beirut, is home to one of the most significant private collections of minerals in the world, with more than 2000 minerals representing 450 different species.
MACAM (Modern and Contemporary Art Museum)
Located in Alita, Jbeil, this museum, once a factory, has a unique mission of creating a space of art, creativity, and culture for all generations in Lebanon, through a sculpture hall, an installation art hall, an activities hall for events, workshops, and thematic exhibitions, and a café/children corner.
http://www.macamlebanon.org, T: 03 271 500
Saida Soap Museum
Learn all about soap-making traditions at the Sidon Soap Museum (Khan el Saboun) located in the old town of Sidon, from the history of this craft to its manufacturing techniques.
T: 07 733 353
Museum of Lebanese Prehistory
The first museum of prehistory in the Middle East launched in 2000, the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory houses a remarkable collection of rare ancient items that pay tribute to the undiscovered national prehistoric heritage.
T: 01 421 860
Debbane Palace Saida
A family house renovated after the civil war and transformed into a museum, The Debbane Palace was opened to the public in 2000 as one of the most manifest examples of the Ottoman influence in Lebanon. Preserving the architectural style of the Ottoman period, the palace is a sublime voyage back in time.
http://www.museumsaida.org, T: 01 489 124
Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut
After Cairo and Constantinople, the AUB Archaeological Museum is the third oldest archaeological museum in the region. Its collections display the chronological evolution of archaeology from prehistory till the Islamic era. The museum also hosts talks, children’s programs, and special exhibitions.
T: 01 759 665
Villa Audi Mosaic Museum
Located on Charles Malek street and surrounded by a beautiful garden, the tow-storey Villa Audi houses an exceptional collection of mosaics from around the world.
T: 01 219 943 / 01 331 600
The newest museum in Lebanon built on the Northern coast of Heri, the Nabu Museum, named after the Mesopotamian patron god of literacy, combines imposing steel architecture with a peaceful setting and tranquil interior spaces. The museum’s displays offer an exceptional permanent collection covering the Bronze and Iron Age eras, including rare manuscripts and ethnographic material, as well local and regional contemporary art works.
Although some of these museums charge a small entrance fee, all of them will be open for free to the public on La Nuit des Musees, from 5 to 11pm, on April 6, 2019. Add to the list:
“Musee Aram Bezikian des Orphelins du Genocide”,
“Musee de la Banque du Liban”,
“Musee du Catholicossat De Cilicie”, and
“Musee Etnographique Balamand”.
Free shuttles will secure transport for the museums outside Beirut. Contact Virgin Ticket Box Office to book your seat.
Fore more info, follow La Nuit des Musees Libanais’ page on facebook
*The pictures used in this post are not taken by Notes of a Traveler. They belong to unknown authors found online.