The Museum Of Belize
The Museum of Belize, located in Belize City, is one of the gems typically overlooked by visitors, who understandably choose to experience the country’s natural gifts and leave insufficient time for cultural exploration.
The Museum occupies the structure built by the British as a prison in 1857 with bricks, called “London Stocks,” that had been used as ballast in British ships. In 1885, additional cells were built, converting the Warden’s Quarters and a portion of the lower stores into 71 male and 6 female cells, including four solitary confinement units. In 1888-89, part of the upper story became the gallows or hanging room, the site of all executions until 1993.
The Museum offers much to visitors interested in the history of the former British Honduras.
Among the features of the Museum:
- A wonderful collection of photographs and data about the history of Belize, focusing primarily on Belize City.
- The will and historical information about Baron Bliss, a sailor who fell in love with Belize and became the greatest philanthropist of Belize. Visitors often notice the Bliss Memorial on Newtown Barracks Drive.
- A display about the devastating 1961 Hurricane Hattie.
- A huge stamp collection that reflects much of Belize’s colonial and modern history.
- An impressive collection of coins used in Belize.
- A display of artifacts and photographs that explain the highlights and uniqueness of various sites, such as Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, Lubaantum and Nimli Punit, home of the second longest stela in the Maya world.
- The significance of Logwood and Mahogany in Belize history.
- Bottles of Belize – It has been said that Belize City was founded upon mahogany chips and rum bottles. View the Museum of Belize collection of medicinal, ink and alcoholic beverage bottles dating from the 1670’s.
- Insects of Belize.
- Maya Masterpieces -This collection includes priceless pottery, obsidian, stucco and more. View the lovely Buenavista Vase that depicts the mythical Maya Hero Twins dancing in victory over the Lords of Xibalba.
- Jades of Belize – This unique exhibition displays many of the most exquisite jade pieces including funerary masks from Caracol, pendants from Lamanai, ear flares and pectorals from sites in Belize, and a replica of the Jade Mask discovered at Altun Ha.
- Belize City: A Historical Exhibition
The Museum of Belize can be visited independently, en route to or from the Belize Municipal Airport or either Water Taxi Terminal, or as part of our Belize City Tour. Price depends on circumstances. Open hours vary and should be checked prior to visit.