Taking its origins from Ancient Greek (Mouseion) as a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, today's museums have become institutions dedicated to the conservation and study of cultural, artistic, and/or scientific items of significance. We have had the good fortune to have visited some of the most famous museums that the world has to offer; the Smithsonians Washington DC); Uffizi (Florence); Louvre (Paris); British Museum (London); Prada (Madrid). We can now add to that list, one of the largest museums in North America, The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Established in 1912, the ROM presents exhibits on world culture, art, and natural history. It's over six million specimens, within 40 galleries, includes the world's largest collection of fossils from Burgess Shale (over 150,000 items). We've never grown tired of visiting these great museums. Each is unique in its perspective on the world. The ROM's uniqueness starts with its public persona - the Michael Lee-Chin crystal-like facade catches your eye from a long distance. One day's visit may not do justice to this wonderful institution.
Michael Lee-Chin's crystal exterior of the Royal Ontario Museum.
The mosaic ceiling of the museum's rotunda is spectacular. The center square carries the message "That All Men May Know His Work."
One of four Nisga and Haida totem poles off of the main lobby of the ROM. These are so tall that they came within ten inches of the ceiling (tight fit).
1500 year old Chinese sculptures in the Mathews Family Court gallery.
Of course, no museum would be complete without a collection of dinosaurs.
Relief sculpture of a 5th century Persian Imperial guardsman.
This altar and tabernacle (circa 1780) is attributed to Phillippe Liebert, one of Canada's leading craftsman.
Dating back to 1491 (Ming Dynasty), these cast iron sculptures, known as "Hell's Judges", were originally part of a set of ten (The two judges and several attendants).
Dominating the entrance to the Asian gallery is this tomb mound (1656) of General Zu Dashou from Yongtai Village.
This tomb relief for a high Egyptian official, known as Metjetji, dates from around 2400 BC.
This 100 kilogram, million dollar gold coin is made of 99.9% pure gold. In 2007, the Guinness Book of World Records certified this as the world's largest gold coin.
In the "First Peoples" exhibit is this native freight canoe. Designed to be paddled by 8-10 individuals, this canoe could carry up to four tons of material.
One of the stars of the minerals exhibit is this beautiful quartz Amethyst from Brazil.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.