Top 7 Museums to Visit in Kigali

Top 7 Museums to Visit in Kigali Rwanda

Top 7 Museums to Visit in Kigali-Rwanda: Kigali is a thriving metropolis with a reputation for being one of Africa’s cleanest and safest capitals. Nonetheless, it is also associated with the horrific events of its history, including the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which claimed the lives of around one million people.

Many of Kigali’s museums and memorials exist to remember the victims of the genocide, and visiting them may be emotionally draining. After you’ve thoroughly experienced Rwanda’s dark time, head to Kigali’s lesser-known museums to learn about the country’s colonial past, rich cultural traditions, and lively contemporary art scene. Continue reading this article to know the top 7 museums to visit in kigali.

Most Rwandan museums are closed on the last Saturday of each month for Umuganda, a national holiday set aside for required community service, and on April 7, Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day. Below are the top 7 museums to visit in Kigali.

Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre.

Beginning on April 7, 1994, the Hutu government’s militias massacred about one million of their fellow Rwandans, the majority of whom were Tutsis, over a period of around 100 days. The Kigali Genocide Memorial, which contains three display rooms dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide and atrocities in Namibia, Armenia, Cambodia, and Europe, may be visited to learn more about the causes and repercussions of this catastrophe.

The museum’s mission is to honor the victims while educating visitors so that such tragedies do not occur again. It also serves as the ultimate resting place for around 250,000 genocide victims, who are buried in mass graves on the grounds. Pay your respects at the burial site and its associated wall of names after enjoying a guided tour of the museum. The monument is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

Campaign Against Genocide Museum

Kigali’s Parliamentary Building houses the Campaign Against Genocide Museum. When 600 Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) troops arrived in the city in December 1993 to assist execute the new interim unity government agreed upon in the Arusha Accords, they were lodged here. However, the genocide began before the government could be established, leaving the Tutsis with little defense after first-world governments mainly refused to intervene.

Its displays and sculptures honor the troops’ valour and the lives they saved by bringing the genocide to a stop in July 1994. The RPA was commanded by Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s current president, who dedicated the museum in their honor in 2017. The museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is 4,500 francs which is about $5.

Top 7 Museums to Visit in Kigali
Campaign Against Genocide Museum

Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial Centre.

The Belgian troops Memorial, also known as the Camp Kigali Belgian Memorial, marks the location where ten Belgian troops from the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) were slain on April 7, 1994, in one of the genocide’s early murders. The troops, who had been dispatched to Rwanda to assist in the implementation of the Arusha Accords, were slain while attempting to defend Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana from the rebels.

Uwilingiyimana, her husband, and all ten soldiers were eventually killed, prompting Belgium to withdraw its forces from UNAMIR on April 12. Visitors to the old military base may now see the bullet-riddled structure where the deaths occurred, as well as ten stone pillars, one for each of the dead peacekeepers. Entry to this site is free for all tourists in Kigali.

Kandt House Museum.

The Kandt House Museum is named for and located in the residence of Richard Kandt, Rwanda’s first colonial governor. With three unique displays packed with ancient images and artefacts, it provides insight into Rwandan history.

The first depicts the social, economic, and political aspects of Rwandan life prior to the colonial period. The second exhibit is dedicated to the events of the colonial era, first under Germany and subsequently under Belgium; this is particularly interesting since the display reveals how colonial rulers used ethnic distinctions to prolong their own authority, thereby planting the seeds for the later genocide.

The third portion discusses Kigali’s history, including its designation as Rwanda’s capital in 1962. The Kandt House Museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; admission is 14,000 francs (about $12 per person).

Ntarama Genocide Memorial Centre.

If you want to feel the effects of the genocide firsthand, drive 50 minutes south of Kigali to Ntarama Church. On April 15, 1994, 5,000 Tutsi parishioners took refuge in the church from their attackers, only to be killed mercilessly. Visitors can still see the bent window frames and missing brick wall portions where the Hutu militia pushed their way inside the church today. Human skulls and bones, as well as bloodstained clothing from the victims, adorn one wall. For many, the church still evokes terror and fear, and attending is a gruesome experience.

Nonetheless, the beautiful gardens offer a place to ponder, while a wall of names acts as a more personal monument for the few people who were recognized after the slaughter. The church is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyday.

Top 7 Museums to Visit in Kigali
Ntarama Genocide Memorial Centre.

Kigali Arts Museum.

The Rwanda Art Museum, which opened in 2018 and is located east of Kigali International Airport, is housed within the old Presidential Palace. It is largely a museum of contemporary art, featuring works ranging from paintings and sculptures to ceramics and mixed media.

The museum presents frequent temporary exhibits in addition to its permanent collection, which includes works by both Rwandan and foreign artists. It also features an Art Kids’ Studio where children may participate in hands-on creative activities.

The remnants of an airplane can be seen in the old palace’s lawn; this is all that remains of the presidential jet that was shot down above Kigali on April 6, 1994, killing then-President Juvénal Habyarimana and sparking the Rwandan Genocide. The museum is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is 14,000 francs.

Inema Arts Museum.

For those who don’t want to go to the outskirts of the capital to get your taste of modern art, head to the central Inema Arts Centre instead. This gallery, founded in 2012 by a pair of self-taught painters and brothers, serves as a focus for Rwandan talent.

It houses ten artists-in-residence who practice and present their work in a permanent exhibition that showcases new paintings and sculptures every day. This implies that members of the public may explore and buy items while also having the opportunity to chat with the makers.

The gallery promotes young talent by conducting monthly seminars and training sessions. As well as hold yoga sessions on Wednesday, happy hours on Thursdays and performances o Tuesdays, Thursdays as well as Sundays.

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