The National Museum is known not only for its distinct architecture, but also for the rich culture it holds within.
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Many visitors coming into Kuala Lumpur often catch a glimpse of the National Museum, an impressive and intriguing building, on their way to the city centre. Overlooking Jalan Damansara, the National Museum is a stately Malay palace structure built in the local Minangkabau style, known for its distinct roof. The museum is a three-storey building with a main hall and two wings, stretching to a total length of 109.7 metres.
The building's main facade is dominated by two large murals that flank the central hall. Made of Italian glass mosaic, the murals depict prominent scenes of Malaysian history and remain one of the museum's most impressive and memorable displays. The museum acts as the custodian of Malaysia's rich cultural and historical heritage, and houses a large collection of the country's artefacts and relics.
Although several large exhibits, including the impressive steam locomotive at the museum gates, are placed strategically along the museum grounds, the main collections are housed within the museum building itself. The extensive collections on exhibit are displayed in four galleries, two in each wing. These four galleries correspond to four important time periods that come together to form the history of Malaysia. The first floor is dedicated to the Prehistory Gallery and the Malay Kingdoms Gallery, while the second floor is dominated by the Colonial Era Gallery and the Malaysia Today Gallery.
Guided tours of the museum by volunteers trace the evolution of the Malay Peninsula and provide a narrative into the events that ultimately lead to the founding of Malaysia. Important artefacts, such as the remains of the oldest human ever found in the region, dubbed the Perak Man, are highlighted throughout the course of these tours. The museum's interactive displays complement the tours by providing imagery to match the guide's narrative. The tours offered during mornings of the week, except for Fridays and are also available in several languages upon prior request.
The National Museum is located along Jalan Damansara, at the edge of the Lake Gardens region. It is accesible by road.
The National Museum is a stop on the intracity bus route.
By Train and Light Rail Transit
The National Museum is within walking distance from Kuala Lumpur's main train station, KL Sentral. There is a clearly marked pedestrian path leading from the station to the museum.