The mapparium, truly an amazing mapparium, is a three-story, stained-glass globe. It’s one of the key attractions at the Mary Baker Eddy Library. The bronze framework holds over 600 concave glass panels that are illuminated by 300 lights placed outside and to top that off there are electric clocks placed around the equator to show the time of different cities.
Visitors enter the mapparium from the elevated bridge that goes through the Indian Ocean and exit through the South Pacific Ocean. Once you enter, the acoustics allow people whispering near Australia to be heard distinctly in Greenland. While you’re in the mapparium you can enjoy a view of our planet without any of the area distortions on a flat map.
Keeping up with the changes, in 2002, the mapparium reopened to the public after four years of renovation. The glass sphere was augmented with a computer-controlled light show and sophisticated sound system. Now, visitors are treated to a 6-minute audiovisual presentation while they stand on the bridge crossing through the mapparium. Given that skilled craftsmen who fled Nazi Germany built it in 1935, it still represents the pre-World War II countries and borders.
The mapparium was designed by Chester Lindsay Churchill, a Boston architect of the Christian Science Publishing Society building, as a symbol for global outreach of The Christian Science Monitor. In addition to being a spectacle the library which houses the mapparium showcases documents related to the construction, history, and significance of this magnificent architectural and artistic feat. A complementary exhibit, “The Mapparium: An Inside View,” features letters, documents and artifacts, which recently became available for public consumption.
If you’re still scratching your head and thinking why should you visit the mapparium? Then reconsider because:
- An important site for anyone interested in influential women and religion in New England in American History.
- Interactive map of the world with information, dialogues of famous people and interesting acoustics.
So what are you waiting for? The mapparium is a great place for a trip with family or friends and a particularly fascinating place for kids!