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Sir John Soane's Museum, London

13 Lincoln's Inn Fields
England WC2A 3BP
Tel: 44 207 405 2107
Tube: Holburn
view web site ›'s insider take:

A wonderful fun house designed and inhabited by Sir John Soane (1753–1837), Royal Academy professor and architect of the Bank of England, among other buildings. He designed it to suit himself and his incredible collections of art and antiquities, which fill every spare inch, and then some. Certain walls open out like Chinese boxes to reveal more pieces secreted beneath. In the basement is a sarcophagus from 1370 BC he was especially proud of—so much so that when he acquired it, he threw it a two-day party. Despite his dry job description, Sir John was a character—and could teach us a bunch about decor, too. The first Tuesday of each month is a great time to go, when parts of the museum are atmospherically lit by candles.

Tues–Sat 10–5, first Tuesday of the month until 9; free admission.

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