The Museum of Belize is dedicated to the promotion, documentation, exhibition and understanding of Belize’s cultural heritage and history.
For more than 150 years, this elegant brick structure in downtown Belize City was used as a prison by the British colonial authorities. Following Belize’s independence in 1981, the prison was closed. But the new government decided to convert the facility into the museum in 2002, and today the Belize Museum pays tribute to the country’s rich history.
With exhibitions that tell the story of the ancient Maya that built enormous pyramids and impressive palaces throughout Belize, the Belize Museum has a rich assortment of artifacts, ritual objects, and elaborately carved objects such as the Buena vista Vase that shows the godlike Hero Twins dancing as they celebrate their victory over the Lords of the Underworld.
The Belize Museum also contains letters, photographs, and objects from the colonial period, including an 1837 postage stamp depicting Queen Victoria. Visitors can also enter into an original jail cell to get a taste of what life was like during the British colonial period. Visitors can also see where prisoners were hanged in the main corridor.
More modern exhibits showcase the contributions of Belize’s melting pot society, including the Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, Mennonite, and other cultures.