The Ghent City Museum (STAM) exposes the city history. With respect to the collection that is shown, the history of this museum goes back to 1833, the year in which the Oudheidkundig Museum van de Bijloke in Ghent was founded. In 1928 the museum was situated in the Bijloke abbey - this led to the name Bijlokemuseum.
With the Bijloke collection as base and the Bijloke abbey and Bijloke monastery as buildings, the STAM functions as a modern-day heritage forum. Parts from other collections were added to the Bijloke collection. In connection to the historical buildings a new entrance building was constructed, designed by Ghent's city architect Koen Van Nieuwenhuyse.
The main circuit of the Ghent City Museum serves as a museal and multimedial introduction to a visit to the city of Ghent. The past of the town is illustrated, but also today's life and the future are discussed. The temporary STAM collections describe the phenomenon of 'urbanity' by means of contemporary issues. STAM refers the visitor to the city itself and to Ghent's cultural heritage.
Eyecatching parts of the museum are the sky picture of Ghent (300 m² large) on which the visitors can walk around, and software with which Ghent can be viewed in detail and over the course of four centuries. In the Bijloke abbey that can be accessed through a passerelle in glass, the history of the city is told by means of three hundred objects. Views on Ghent is another multimedial application: a screen shows a city view from the year 1534, floor-plans from 1614 and 1912 and a sky picture from the present. There is also a room for temporary exhibitions.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.