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National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh is like an oasis that quench the thirst of all people wanting to learn more about the history of Saudi Arabia. The museum was established in 1999 taken place on an historical Murabba Palace designed by a Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama. National Museum of Saudi Arabia boast astounding collections of ancient artefacts from 8 major eras of Saudi Arabia, from prehistoric era to current modern era. The museum choose a rather different approach when it comes to displaying its collections, something that you usually don't find in other cultural museums.
Discover Chronicles of Arabian Eras in National Museum of Saudi Arabia
You can find the Hall of Man and the Universe in Section 1 on the Ground Floor. All items arranged in the hall tells the story that happened on Earth, and how the Earth's surfaces changing before the first human's life begun. It also explained how environmental changes will affect the way humans live. One of the main highlight in this exhibit is a large fragment of a meteorite found in the middle of Rub'al Khali desert, that also formed the famous Wabar craters. You'll also get to see giant skeletons of two prehistoric animals reigned over the Arabian peninsula billion years ago: Platybelodon and Ichthyosaur. The hall also provides an immersive interactive display of solar system, the geology, plate tectonics, and development of flora and fauna in the Peninsula.
On the same floor as Hall of Man and the Universe is Hall of the Arab Kingdoms. In this hall, you'll be presented with dioramas depicting 14 ancient pre-Islamic Arabian Kingdoms ruling the Peninsula started from 5 BC-700 AD. The ancient kingdoms are Obaid (5300 BC - 3600 BC), DIlmun (2400 BC - 1700 BC), Ad (4000 BC - 3500 BC), Thamud (3500 BC-3000 BC), Midian Kingdom (1700 BC-1050 BC), Qedar (10th Century BC), Edom (10th Century BC), Dedom (6th Century BC), Lihyan (5th Century BC), Mai'in (4 BC - 1 BC), Nabatean Kingdom of Kinda (3000 BC), Second Kingdom of Kinda (4 AD), Manadhera (400 AD-700 AD), and Ghassanid (400 AD-700 AD).
Located not far from Hall of the Arab Kingdoms is Hall of Pre-Islamic Era, also known as Jahilliyah Era. The hall displayed dioramas depicting Arabs' lifestyles before the arrival of Muhammad, the Islamic prophet who spread revelations of Islam across Arabian Peninsula. In the same exhibit, the ancient major trade routes of Arabian merchants and replicas of Arabic poetry are two from so many ancient artefacts displayed that enable the visitors to have more vivid imaginations of how pre-Islamic society lived before Islam entered the Peninsula.
To learn more about the most prominent figure in Islam, head to the first floor. The hall is spesifically made to display the life of Prophet Muhammad, starting from his early childhood to his migration journey from Mecca to Medina. Visitors will gain new knowledges by learning more about the prophet's family, lineage, and legacy. Other interesting artefacts put on display in this hall are manuscripts of the Holy Quran, a roadmap depicting the Prophet's journey all the way from Mecca to Medina, and some of the most artistic and intriguing paintings.
The fifth hall is Hall of Islam and the Arabian Peninsula, depicting Arabian Peninsula after Muhammad's arrival to Medina, it also including the First World War in which caused the Ottoman Empire to collapsed. Visitors will not only get to see the Islamic prophet's participation in three islamic major battles (Badr, Ohod, and Al Khandaq), they can also see ancient Muslim scholars' major distributions in various fields of knowledge, such as pottery (art), medical, astronomy, and science. There are also ancient artefacts taken from Abbasid period such as ancient coins, pottery, glass, and woodwork.
Hajj is one of five foundations of Islam, and visitors will learn more about its importance in this hall. Hall of Hajj and Two Holy Mosques not only displaying interesting narrations about Hajj, but it also included replicas of two holy mosques: Al Masjid Al Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabwi in Medina. It also explained the main role by King Abdul Azis Al-Saud in developing and maintaining the two iconic mosques.
How to Get Tickets?
You can purchase the admission ticket to National Museum of Saudi Arabia directly in the ticket booth, or you can also book the entrance ticket online. The admission price for the museum is 10 SAR per-person, children and students can enter the museum for free.
How To Get Around?
National Museum of Saudi Arabia's building is not that large so you can easily make your way from one exhibit to another on foot.
What Should I Wear?
While Saudi Arabia is slowly getting more progressive, you'll still have to be mindful about what you're wearing. During your visit to National Museum of Saudi Arabia, it is best to dress modestly by wearing long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Stay away from tight clothes that doesn't feel comfortable to wear in Riyadh's weather anyway.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Museum of Saudi Arabia is, at any days except Saturday as it closed for maintenance. Though it is best to come in weekdays, so that you can enjoy all exhibits at the fullest.
Will I Need a Guide?
A guide is not necessarily needed in National Museum of Saudi Arabia. They provide audio tours that will be useful to help you obtaining interesting informations and facts you need.
How To Get There?
National Museum of Saudi Arabia is located inside King Abdulazis Historical Center - Morabba' District, Riyadh. To conveniently reach the museum, you can take a taxi that will immediately takes you to your destination.