After a three-year £17.2 million renovation, the Ulster Museum is one of Belfast’s top attractions and best of all, it’s free! Home to a rich collection of art, ancient relics, and interactive exhibits on natural sciences, it’s easy to spend several hours or even the whole day exploring the depths of the museum’s many galleries.
One of the museum’s most popular exhibits and what some visitors call ‘Belfast’s oldest bleached blonde’ due to her bleached hair is the 2,500 year-old Egyptian mummy of Princess Takabuti. Takabuti, a wealthy mistress of an important house near Thebes, was unwrapped in Belfast in 1835 and was the first mummy ever to be displayed outside Egypt.
For the treasure hunters in your group, check out the Armada gallery’s impressive exhibit of artefacts and jewellery recovered from the wreck of the Girona and other Spanish vessels. In 1588, 130 Spanish ships set out to invade England and over 20 of them were wrecked off the North and West coasts of Ireland. The Ulster Museum owns the excavated remains of three of these ships, which include a 16th-century ruby-encrusted golden salamander pendant, bronze cannons, and personal belongings of the officers and crew.
The Ulster Museum also offers free one-hour Welcome Tours of all five floors of the museum for groups of 10 and under. Tours operate on a first-come-first- served basis so be sure to call on the morning of your visit to check availability.
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