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Studying Abroad: The British Museum and The Royal Pavilion

Updated: Aug 17, 2022


Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

This week went by pretty quickly since lectures and coursework started to pick up, though I still had time to visit a few museums in Brighton and London that are both worth a mention.


The Royal Pavilion in Brighton
The Royal Pavilion in Brighton

Early in the week, my British Culture class took a trip to The Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Although I've walked past the unique building many times, I had no idea what it was and had never been inside. From the outside, the palace reminded me of the Taj Mahal, with high domed roofs and intricately detailed designs. On the inside, the palace looks like a completely different building; the interior is decorated with Chinese-inspired colors and designs. The high ceilings featured enormous gold chandeliers, dragon sculptures, and wood painted to look like bamboo. The Royal Pavilion was built as a seaside haven for George IV in 1787 and brought development to Brighton as a resort town.


Walking through the palace, it was easy to get a sense of the culture and the extravagant life that the royals lived. One of my favorite rooms was the banquet hall, which contained a huge table that took up most of the large room. George IV held lavish banquets here, consisting of 50 or more different dishes, according to our tour guide. Unlike other royals, George preferred to sit at the center of the table surrounded by his guests, as opposed to sitting at the head of the table. The Royal Pavilion is seen as a distinct landmark in Brighton, and often when I walk by, I see students sitting in the palace garden reading books or talking with friends.

The British Museum in London
The British Museum in London

Over the weekend, I took a day trip to London so my friend could visit the British Museum which focuses on human history and culture. Human history is a pretty broad topic, so when we first arrived at the museum I wasn't sure what to expect. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the museum was that it seemed to have two different parts, a circular inner room with larger rooms surrounding it and making up the rest of the building. We started with the first outer room to the right of the entrance which was an expansive hallway filled with old British artifacts like minerals, old coins, and sculptures.

Sarcophagi on display in the British Museum
Sarcophagi on display in the British Museum

We spent an hour wandering in the room before going to the next which focused on different Asian cultures. We admired a wall of uniquely shaped jade stones and beautiful old sculptures.


The next room we wandered into focused on Ancient Egyptian culture. The walls were covered in faded hieroglyphics depicting animals and the daily life of ancient Egyptians. The center of the exhibition focused on the history of mummies and sarcophagi. Although it was fascinating to learn about the mummification process and the detailed decorations painted on a sarcophagus, my friend and I couldn't help but talk about the ethics of exhuming a body and displaying it to the world through thick glass.


After a few hours of wandering the museum, we headed back toward the exit. We stepped outside the building and we were confused by a loud chanting coming from the street. As we got to the gated street entrance, the chanting got louder and we realized we had walked into an Extinction Rebellion protest. Hundreds of people marched past us in the street with signs in one hand and umbrellas in the other. It took us over half an hour to walk the short two blocks through the protest and back to the tube station, but it was inspiring to see the passion of people chanting and marching for climate change.



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