As the capital of Canada, Ottawa has become one of the country’s main tourist destinations. Many people enjoy visiting this wonderful city, because it offers something for everyone. If you visit Ottawa, you will discover that it is a charming city with abundant natural spaces and a peaceful atmosphere, ideal for an unforgettable holiday.
Below, I will tell you about three museums that you can’t miss if you go to the Canadian capital.
National Gallery of Canada:
The museum that has to top our list, must be the National Museum of Canada. This magnificent institution was founded in 1880 by the Governor General, John Douglas Sutherland Campbell. Before moving to its current location, the Museum was located in various places, such as the Supreme Court building, the building where the Canadian Museum of Nature is now located and even an office building for a few years. It wasn’t until 1988 that the National Gallery of Canada was relocated to its current location.
Its exhibition rooms house a large and varied collection of different manifestations of art, such as paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs, mainly the work of Canadian artists. Although the gallery’s original purpose was to provide a space to keep national works of art, over time the gallery began to acquire important works from Europe and other American countries. This means that if you decide to visit the museum, you will find a wide collection, mainly from countries like Great Britain, France and Italy.
The museum is known by many because of the impressive spider-shaped sculpture that is housed there. ¨Maman¨ is the name of this magnificent work of art created by the artist, Louise Bourgeois, and made of bronze, stainless steel and marble. This sculpture has been the subject of many tourists’ photos, fascinated by its huge dimensions.
The museum’s facilities include a bar, restaurant and coffee shop, where you can try out the local dishes. It is also easily accessible for people with reduced mobility. The opening hours vary depending on the time of year. From October to April, you can visit from Tuesday to Sunday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. From May to September, you can visit from Monday to Sunday between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open until 8:00 pm.
Canadian Museum of Nature:
The second place that I suggest you visit is the Canadian Museum of Nature. The origin of this museum is closely linked to the Geological Survey of Canada, formed in 1842. Since its early days, important research work has been undertaken here, enriching the natural history of the country every day.
The building where the museum is located was originally called the ¨Victoria Memorial Museum¨, in honour of the English queen and it is popularly known as “the castle”, due to its similarity to a medieval fort.
The museum houses interesting collections of animals, fossils, plants and minerals, all Canadian indigenous species, and many of them are presented in an interactive manner, attracting public of all ages.
As well as the exhibition rooms, this institute has study rooms and libraries, encouraging the interest of children in natural science. The museum also presents projects for anyone interested in delving into this interesting world.
The normal opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. In winter, the museum opens every day between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, with the exception of Thursdays, when it stays open until 8:00 pm.
Canadian War Museum:
If you love history and you are visiting the city of Ottawa, don’t miss the chance to take the interesting journey in time offered by this magnificent museum.
Although the museum is located in quite a modern building, inaugurated in 2005, its rooms present the history of Canada’s participation in the various wars over the years, both in Canada and abroad.
You can begin your visit in the gallery dedicated to the first Canadian wars, moving on to those presenting the Canadian involvement in the First and Second World Wars, as well the chance to visit the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour. This last exhibition reflects on the damage caused by war and remembers the fallen soldiers. Each hall has an extensive collection of objects from each era and displays a detailed explanation of their origin.
As well as offering a broad overview of Canadian military history, the museum is associated with educational projects helping teachers to perfect their teaching of history to students.
The museum’s opening hours are from Friday to Wednesday between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm and Thursdays from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.
There is no doubt that these museums are a magnificent way of combining learning and fun.