The Oriental Institute of Chicago
Chicago is a city known for its museums; you could spend an entire lifetime here and still not uncover all of the magnificent artifacts, displays, and exhibits that the city’s many museums have to offer. During your stay with The Best Western Plus Hyde Park, you would be remiss to not dedicate at least a little bit of time exploring some of Chicago’s famed exhibits. While perhaps overshadowed by the likes of the world-famous Field Museum or Museum of Science and Industry, the less-visited Oriental Institute of Chicago should not be overlooked. Conveniently located in an on-campus building in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago La Quinta Inn and Suites, the Oriental Institute of Chicago is the perfect place to spend an educational and exploratory afternoon in The Windy City.
The Oriental Institute serves as the University of Chicago’s Near Eastern studies interdisciplinary research center and archaeology museum. Founded by professor James Henry Breasted in 1919, and largely funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., this institute is not only an incredible research headquarters for students and professors but also an excellent place to visit for both academics and curious observers alike.
This collection and gallery houses everything from historical artifacts and art to examples of ancient archaeology – representing geographical areas and time periods from across the Near East. On permanent display in The Oriental Institute Museum are galleries showcasing the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and Megiddo. Further, the institute is always playing host to new and exciting rotating exhibitions as well. Each exhibit hosts one-of-a-kind relics and paints a beautiful and informative picture of what life was like so many years ago, halfway across the planet. Of particular interest are ancient pieces from Egypt, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran – including artifacts from the ancient Persian capital Persepolis, a forty-ton winged bull with a human head from the capital of Assyria in present-day Iraq, and countless other treasures from the Near East.
The Oriental Institute of Chicago is located a short five-minute drive from The Best Western Plus Hyde Park, making for the perfect afternoon activity just down the road from your Windy City accommodation. Included with your stay is a free shuttle to the University of Chicago at varying intervals throughout the day. Whether you are drawn to The Oriental Institute of Chicago itself or just want to see what campus life is like at the University of Chicago, check-in with the front desk for our shuttle schedule and enjoy a day of academia in The Windy City.