Exhibitions at The National Museum span more than 10,000 years of history, with exhibits, stories and impressions from a wide range of world cultures. It’s a large museum, the history of which began with the royal Kunstkammer in the 1600s. At the time many European kings had their own collections of curiosities, including art, weapons, antiques and ethnographica. Today the museum has more than a million artefacts, and even though only a fraction of them can be displayed in the museum’s exhibitions there’s plenty to explore. Many of the exhibits on display are unique – some are the only surviving examples of their kind in the world.
The First Humans
The exhibition 'Prehistoric Denmark' follows in the tracks of the first humans in Denmark 115,000 years ago. Using archaeological discoveries, the exhibition guides visitors through the lives of the reindeer hunters of the Ice Age, through the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, up to Denmark during the Viking Age.
The Advent of Danish Christianity
The Middle Ages in Denmark began with the official introduction of Christianity, after which the church came to play a major role in Danish society. The exhibition 'The Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance' therefore houses numerous religious artefacts. As well as ecclesiastical art, weapons and handicrafts the exhibition also includes clothing. The National Museum houses the largest collection of everyday clothing from the Middle Ages in the world. These costumes come from the Northmen of Greenland, who were buried wearing everyday clothing.
Stories of Denmark
The past 350 years of Denmark and Danes’ history is told in the exhibition ’Stories of Denmark: 1660-2000’. Stories of everyday life and special occasions, the Danish state and nation and different ways of life are told using exhibits as varied as royal portraits and rifles, mangling boards and milk cans, books and bras, and jewels and jukeboxes.
Money Makes the World Go Round
There is also an exhibition of coins and medals at The National Museum. One of the most recent medals shows the Great Belt Bridge linking the islands of Zealand and Funen.
The Big Wide World
In 'Peoples of the World' visitors embark on a trip around the world, passing a totem pole from North America, masks from Africa, Hindu idols, an Indonesian model ship built from cloves, an Imperial costume from China and walrus-tusk tupilak figures from Greenland en route.
In 'Ethnographical Treasures' visitors can see the museum's extensive ethnographic study collections, as well as giving their sense of smell a museum experience in a small sensory exhibition on China and Japan.
Hieroglyphs, Mummies and Ceramics
In the exhibition 'Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities' visitors can see idols, mummies, ceramics and artefacts from the realms of sport, theatre and music. They all tell stories of everyday life and celebrations, politics, religion and life, love and death in the ancient world of antiquity.
Just for Kids!
Unique to The National Museum is an entire area dedicated to our youngest visitors. In 'The Children’s Museum' children and adults can touch and use replicas of everyday artefacts from different eras and cultures. They can, for example, visit granny and granddad’s school, or dress up in clothes from their wardrobe. They can also travel as a ship’s apprentice, and maybe imagine landing in Pakistan where they can buy spices and other goods in the bazaar. The youngest visitors can also travel further back in time and visit a castle from the Middle Ages, or dream that they’re part of an expedition on a copy of a small ship from the Viking Age.
The National Museum is an old palace originally built in the 1700s. Some of the rooms are still in their original state, including the banqueting hall, one of Denmark’s finest and best-preserved rococo rooms.
From the museum there are also guided tours to the Klunkehjemmet - a unique Victorian Apartment from 1890.
For those who need to take a break or have a bite to eat the museum has both a café and a restaurant. There is also a museum shop selling books and copies of selected museum exhibits.
The museum on google maps: