In a recent interview conducted by the Birmingham Post, the new director of the Birmingham Museums Trust, Dr Ellen McAdam called for the people of this city to be more proud of what it has to offer.
“The people [in Birmingham] are very funny, but far too self-effacing. They should boast more about what a great city we’ve got,” she said.
Inspired by this message, Hotel La Tour is shouting out loud and clear about our favourite cultural attractions in Birmingham.
Given the Library of Birmingham is the largest public library in Europe, it would be quite impossible to talk modestly about this facility. The building is spread over ten levels, and includes a flexible studio that seats an impressive 300 people. There is an outdoor amphitheatre surrounded by flowers, and space allotted for performers of music, drama, poetry reading and storytelling.
There are also two outdoor garden terraces, entertainment areas for children and a viewing gallery where visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the city.
In terms of collections, the library houses Birmingham’s top-notch anthologies of archives, photography and rare books as well as a million printed volumes, of which over 400,000 are made available to the public.
At 31,000 square metres, the Library of Birmingham is a grand and impressive building much loved by the locals.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
This museum boasts the largest pre-Raphaelite article collection in the world. It is also famous for having the most highly valued store of Anglo-Saxon gold, the largest Indian bronze sculpture as well as an extensive collection of Egyptian mummies and coffins. Located in the heart of the city with over 40 galleries displaying collections of art, social histories and more, this is certainly the place to go to connect with the world’s past.
The Ikon is one of Europe’s leading contemporary art galleries, displaying both international and British art in changing exhibition programmes. The gallery also hosts workshops, seminars and special events.
Film buffs will love the array of films and cinemas available in Birmingham. Whether you are into Hollywood blockbusters, classics or the art house genres, you will find a cinema in this city that caters to your taste.
Cineworld and Odeon will appeal to those who are into mainstream films. The Midlands Art Centre on the other hand, is suitable if you have a taste for art house films. There is also an Asian cinema showing the best of Bollywood in the Piccadilly. The Light House in Wolverhampton is recommended for something more independent.
What we love is that Birmingham even has its own film festival – the Flatpack Festival, held every year to celebrate film culture.
Theatre – the Birmingham Hippodrome
Being the city’s main theatre, the Hippodrome is visited by around half a million people every year. In fact, it is said that more seats are sold at this theatre than any other British theatre, even the West End. The building itself is a work of art from every angle, and stages some of the best musicals, shows and pantos in the UK.