For tourists and locals who have only one day to look around Belize City, it may seem that the best bet is to explore what gastronomy the city has to offer. However, there is a charming national museum waiting for you to visit! Situated just a stone’s throw from the Belize Tourism Village, the Museum of Belize is safely tucked away on the compound of the Central Bank of Belize. Day tourists and locals alike are surprised to know that there is so much to see and learn behind the tall walls which guard both the museum and the city’s highest security location.
A walk around the Museum
The Museum of Belize is housed in a rigid historical building which was a prison called Her Majesty’s Prison from 1857 to 1993. The structure was restored and rebuilt into a national museum in 2002 and has withstood numerous hurricanes and tremors to date. Today the transformed museum provides visitors with a historical roadmap of the country’s vibrant past, including mementos of the building’s former residents. The Museum of Belize is dedicated to a historical tour through its photographs and fascinating artifacts, which documents over 300 years of its people and culture. On the second floor, visitors can find an exhibit of ancient Maya artifacts such as pottery, ornate stelae, a replica of the famous ‘Jade Head’ and elegant pieces of Maya jade and stone jewelry. Other sections of the museum include Belize’s past currency and models of insects that you can find throughout the country.
There’s so much to learn!
The Museum of Belize offers a clean, relaxing, air-conditioned ambiance in which there is no rush to explore the exhibits. All the exhibits are highly educational to patrons of all ages and even serve as teaching resources for educators at various levels. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and are willing to address any questions about the displays or the building. While you are there, a stop at The Museum Shop is essential if you want to take a little piece of Belize’s culture and history back home. All the products are locally handmade using natural organic materials.
The entrance fee is $10 US, and free for locals on Saturday. Drop-in on your next visit to Belize City!
Written by Carla Rosado