Mapparium

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Both an engineering marvel and a beautiful historical landmark, the Mapparium is a beloved Boston icon and historical work of art. Since its completion in 1935, the Mapparium has seen an estimated 10 million visitors. The structure consists of a three—story sphere. The globe made of stained glass that can be seen through a 30—foot long bridge that runs through its interior.

The globe depicts Rand McNally Maps published the year before the bridge was finished. The maps of the time show now—defunct geographical labels such as Siam and Italian East Africa; while there was some debate in later decades over whether the maps should be updated, it was decided that they should remain in their original form to conserve their historical integrity.

Located in Boston’s Christian Science Plaza, the Mapparium was conceived by the Christian Science Church. Their publication, The Christian Science Monitor, was widely read in the 1930’s, and Church officials wanted a unique piece of interactive artwork for the new Christian Science Publishing Company headquarters in Boston. Built from 608 stained glass panels, the Mapparium was inspired by the iconic spinning globe in the New York Daily News Building.

Mapparium Features

  • Computer—controlled lighting and narration
  • Accurate geographical representation of countries
  • Interesting acoustic effects— you can whisper something, and someone standing at the other end of the bridge can hear you.
  • 3D perspective of the world in 1935.

Exhibit Admission Fees

  • General Admission — $6.00
  • Seniors (62 and over), Students (with ID), Youth (6—17) — $4.00
  • Children under 6 and Friends of the Library — Free
  • Youth, Student, and Senior Groups (15 or more) — $3.00/person
  • Tour Groups (15 or more) — $4.00/person

The Mapparium is a great place to take the family— the combination of interactive art and world history makes it a fun and educational excursion for everyone. The exhibition is located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library at 200 Massachusetts Avenue; it is open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday, and closed from Saturday to Monday, and on holidays.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

1. Purchase a ticket from the Mapparium when you get there.

2.   .

3. Purchase as part of a money saving package. Popular examples to the right.

4. Purchase a Tourist pass. Mapparium is available on the Go Boston Card.