Monday, 27 October 2008

A cultural morning

This morning the kids were back at school and we took the opportunity to go and explore a couple of places here in Brunei they probably wouldn't be so interested in: the Brunei Museum and the Royal Regalia building.

The Brunei Museum, located along Jln Kota Batu:

Again, I got a pleasant surprise, as I hadn't expected much - but we spent over 2 hours in the Brunei museum, wandering around browsing the different exhibitions.
It displayed a huge gallery of Islamic art, a history of the oil and gas industry in Brunei, with little models and everything; and an ancient ceramic collection from a shipwreck, which sank 500 years ago.
Furthermore it had a Natural History gallery, that showcased the fauna of Brunei in an exciting style. For example I got to know a bit more about all the different snakes we have here, not that I needed to know some of those things...
There was also a gallery with Traditional Brunei Culture and at the moment they are having a special exhibition about the Omar Ali Saifudden Mosque, due to it's 50th anniversary.

Unfortunately you weren't allowed to take any pictures inside the museum, but on the other hand entrance was free - so that was positive!
Same thing at the Royal Regalia Building, no entrance fee, no cameras - and no shoes here!

This palace/museum was most impressive! We spent just over an hour there, but could probably have stayed longer if it wasn't because we started to get hungry at this stage...
The Royal Regalia building was built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Sultan's accession to the throne in 1992.
This museum is home to a huge collection of Royal regalia; including to mention just a few things the amazing Royal chariots, tons of gold and silver ceremonial armory, the jewel encrusted crowns used during the coronation and a replica of the throne, which is used by the Sultan on state occasions.
We also spotted the baby blue 'Order of Seraphim', given to the Sultan by our Swedish King Carl Gustaf during his visit here in 1994. (It's an order of chivalry, the foremost order of Sweden, only awarded to foreign heads of state etc.)

There was also an exhibition which fully documented the history of the constitution of Brunei, although we skimmed through that part pretty quickly.
But I must say, I wont hesitate coming back here for more with any other guests arriving, it was most exciting!

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