Member Rating 5 out of 5 by zabelle on November 26, 2007

Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of Christian Science. I have to admit I know nothing what so ever about it and I had never heard of the Maparium. This was one of Irene’s choices and I am very glad she brought it to my attention.

The Maparium is a stained glass globe, three stories high that was built in 1935. It is done to a scale of 1 inch equaling 22 miles. One of the most amazing things about it is that it is a snapshot of the world as it existed in 1935. This was a time when Africa in particular was stilled ruled by its European Colonial conquerors. It is almost indistinguishable from the Africa that exists in 2007. It is, however, a lot like the Africa I knew in the early 1960s.

I am going to interject a warning here. If you are claustrophobic this is not the place for you unless your tour group is very small. You are guided through a door onto a glass walkway and we were basically crammed in like sardines. Part of the enjoyment is to be able to stand under the center and be able to hear your voice in surround sound and also to send your friend to the opposite end and be able to hear them as they whisper to you. This becomes almost impossible with the number of people we had on our tour.

You are greeted by a welcome in many languages and there is a video screen that I had my back to and wasn’t aware of until late in our visit. There is a lot of information coming at you while you are in here trying to take it all in. I felt a bit rushed and would have liked to have had longer. We were standing on the platform near New Zealand so it wasn’t easy with the number of people to see the southern part of the western hemisphere.

You buy your timed ticket as you enter the building and then you meet at the appointed time in the Hall of Ideas. While you are waiting you can read the displays telling about the construction of the Maparium and also marvel at The Fountain in the center of the hall.

There is a lot more than we had time to visit at the Mary Eddy Baker Library. You can go to the Quest Gallery and also the Christian Science Monitor Gallery. We were on the 3:15 tour and they close at 4pm on Saturday so keep that in mind if you want to get the most from your visit.

You can get off the Trolley at stop number 10 the Back Bay Hilton and easily walk to the Mary Baker Eddy Center. You can also take the green line T and get off at the Symphony stop.

I really enjoyed this and would like to do it again, on a smaller tour so that I could easily see everything.
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