See History Brought to Life in 10 Amazing Open Air Museums

History isn't just written in books, it's found in sights, sounds, and… smells…

By Google Arts & Culture

Saltaire World Heritage Site (2011-02-08) by Christopher FurlongGetty Images

Open air museums can bring history to life in a way no other museum can. Click and drag to explore these 10 examples from around the world with Street View... 

Beamish Museum, England

Beamish, in County Durham, captures a slice of life in early 20th-century northern England. From the terraces and coal mines to the photographer's shop and bakery. The on-site farm even helps to preserve rare breed livestock.

Skye Museum of Island Life, Scotland

Fish oil lamps and peat fires - life in the highlands and islands of Scotland was tough by any standard. The Museum of Island Life on the Isle of Skye lets you step back in time to see exactly how simply crofting families lived barely a hundred years ago. 

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, The Philippines

This huge open-air museum in Bagac, Bataan, Philippines recreates a typical 18th-century Filipino-Spanish town. The buildings were originally collected by Jose Acuzar, and were dismantled brick-by-brick before being reconstructed on-site by traditional craftsmen.

Guédelon Castle, France

It may look like a ruin, but Guédelon Castle is actually under construction. Guédelon, found just south of Paris, is a decades-long experiment into faithfully building a medieval stone castle - no power tools! Construction started in 2000, and is expected to be finished soon.

Steamtown National Historic Site, Philadelphia, USA

Living history doesn't have to be slow. The Steamtown National Historic Site in Philadelphia harks back to the golden age of railways. The museum is built around a working yard and rail roundhouse, and offers a variety of demonstrations and tours on their working locomotives.

Black Creek Pioneer Village, Canada

The water mill's wheel still turns, and every now and then the blacksmiths anvil ringsat Toronto's Black Creek Pioneer Village. Over 40 19th-century buildings make up this living musem, together they tell the story of Canada in the 1850s.

Netherlands Open Air Museum, The Netherlands

The Netherlands Open Air Museum recent celebrated its 100th anniversary. Since 1918, this museum has taught people about the culture and way of life of the Netherlands. Take a tour on their tram, and learn about the work that went into making paper, linseed, and beer.

Weald and Downland Living Museum, England

At the other end of the country, the Weald and Downland Living Museum collects and preserves buildings dating back to the tenth century CE. Re-enactors bring the buildings to life, and demonstrate crafts such as weaving, brickmaking, joinery, and milling.

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, Japan

Japanese architecture is recognised around the world for its. The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum aims to present a cross section of society, from the homes of ordinary people to those of the powerful, such as Prime Minister Takahashi Korekiyo.

Sovereign Hill, Victoria, Australia

Sovereign Hill open-air museum depicts life as-it-was-lived in Ballarat, following the discovery of gold in 1851. The gold rush that followed brought people and materials from all around the world to this dusty station - even today, you can grab a shovel and go panning.

Osborne Garden (2009-05-14) by Antonio M. RosarioBrooklyn Botanic Garden

Want to keep exploring outside? Discover the Botanical Gardens of São Paulo

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