What was on display?

After the end of the Great Exhibition, and the consequent relocation of the palace, it was decided that the displays should focus on the history of fine art. As such dozens of experts were hired to create a series of courts to provide a narrative, which included displays of Egyptian, Alhambra, Roman, Renaissance, Chinese, Pompeian, and Grecian art.

There was a 4,500-pipe Organ located in the central transept where an orchestra would have played regularly, as well as frequent concerts in the dedicated concert room, featuring successful Handel Festivals. It also once housed an entire circus, featuring world famous performers such as tightrope walker Charles Blondin.

Whole trees and working fountains were also incorporated under the roof of the Crystal Palace, which were designed to flaunt mans mastery of nature. Though nature must have still held some sway, as evidenced by the building holding the first major installation of indoor public toilets.