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The Mapparium, Boston

4.2
#11 of 38 in Museums in Boston
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Landmark
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Experience the globe, frozen in time, through a stained-glass world map built in a concave shape around you at The Mapparium. Located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library, this exhibit showcases the world map during 1935 and gives you an understanding of geography and history at that time. Don't miss the whispering gallery--the globe's acoustics enable you to converse with someone on the other side of the bridge as if they were right next to you. Plan to visit The Mapparium and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Boston attractions using our Boston trip planning website.
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The Mapparium reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
918 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The 'map' is really interesting. I enjoyed that. Our tour guide John was creepy. At the end he made a very sexist joke about asking a college girl on a date. He was old enough to be her father. Not.....  more
    The 'map' is really interesting. I enjoyed that. Our tour guide John was creepy. At the end he made a very sexist joke about asking a college girl on a date. He was old enough to be her father. Not.....  more »
  • Beautiful exhibit showcasing global connectivity. A tour guide leads your into the room where the stained glass globe is. A recording then plays telling you where to look on the globe. It is very... 
    Beautiful exhibit showcasing global connectivity. A tour guide leads your into the room where the stained glass globe is. A recording then plays telling you where to look on the globe. It is very...  more »
  • Located in the Christian Science newspaper building, this is a walk-through glass globe that shows the world’s countries as they were in the 60s. Kinda colourful and somewhat interesting. You have to....  more
    Located in the Christian Science newspaper building, this is a walk-through glass globe that shows the world’s countries as they were in the 60s. Kinda colourful and somewhat interesting. You have to....  more »
Google
  • oOoOO, I'm not religious in any way, but the Mapparium at the Christian Science Mary Baker Eddy Library is impressive, inspiring, and dazzling. It's not preachy in the least. You enter across a glass bridge into the interior center of an enormous, illuminated stained glass globe of the Earth, with countries delineated and defined as they were back in 1937, when it was constructed. Upon entering the "room", you discover that your voice whispered on one side of the bridge can be heard clearly by someone on the opposite side, and words uttered in the center echo back to your ears in surround sound - a surreal and super cool experience! The stained glass covers every inch, and is lit from behind with many lights. The doors close, and you are treated to a 15-minute light show, with the lights behind the colors shifting and highlighting different areas of the globe, while the calming narration and environmental sounds of birds, water, children playing, etc., thrill your ears with the story of our species' progress in the area of human rights, environmental awareness, and triumphs of modernizations to help mitigate poverty, hunger, child labor, and other social ills. Again, all spoken in a very inspiring and encouraging tone, not at all proselytizing. Very well done, speaking to all humans. Admission was extremely reasonable - $5 or $6 for adults, and even cheaper for students - all students, not just college students. And the employees and docents here were all so friendly and cheerful - especially the gentleman who sold our tickets to us, and was soooo friendly and kind! This place is definitely worth a visit. The entire complex of church, library, reflecting pool, and library, together are such a tranquil and transcendent center. PS - BONUS! The bathroom seems to be designed by the same people who created the Overlook Hotel!
  • This is a wonderful place to visit regardless of your religion. Came for the mapparium but stayed for everything else. Firstly, the space has beautiful in architecture and design. No details were missed from the bathrooms to the door handles. Just beautiful. The new exhibit they set up is extremely well done. It uses some of the latest technology- including large computer tables and an AR mapping book - to tell a story. They clearly worked with a good company to do it as it is really well done. Even computer table cases are customized. As a person who manages an innovation center, I have full respect for the technology and design that went into these exhibits. The staff was incredibly helpful and answered all our questions. Regardless of your beliefs, Mary is a rare example of a women founding a religion, and the story of how she did that is interesting. Lastly, I would like to address the people who are worried that 'they are going to try to convert me'. This is nonsense. I have been to churches, temples, and mosques around the world. And anything that is open to tourists is not trying to convert you. But they do expect you to respect their story, so be nice. This library does a great job of telling a good story and sharing a universal message of global human progress. It's an open place that anyone can feel comfortable in. (Note: I am NOT a member of this chuch). So check his place out. It's worth a visit.
  • $6 per person. Tours are every 20 min and last about 20 min. The Mapparium itself is really awesome.. and the echoing of voices is really creepy! But having to walk through and read about their religion may not be for everyone. Also, can’t take any pictures :/
  • Came here just for the Mapparium exhibit. Online and at the site, it says that photography for your own personal use is permitted (non-flash). However, once inside, we were scolded and told absolutely no photography of any kind is allowed. This is false advertising. The map itself is completely outdated and reeks of colonialism (which is upsetting), and as some visitors have mentioned, some of their exhibits are a little tone deaf and one sided. Not worth coming and spending $6 to stand in a room for 15 mins and listen to a audio recording of an outdated map. Better off going to a natural history museum. Disappointing!
  • I was disappointed in my recent visit - almost all of the time within the Mapparium is spent listening to a recording. Visitors have to spend their time listening to the recording and then are allowed only a minute or two before the group is hustled out for the next group. The Mapparium used to allow more time for talking without forced listening. I won’t take my visitors there anymore.

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