The Egyptian Museum in Cairo
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, situated in Tahrir Square, is a unique structure that houses the world's oldest collection of Pharaonic art and monuments, including the treasure of King Tut. The museum spans an area of 13,600 square meters and boasts over 100 exhibition halls. It was established in the late 19th century and was initially located in a building in Bulaq before being moved to the palace of Ismail Pasha in Giza.
The Egyptian Museum Location
The museum is located in Downtown Tahrir Square, the vibrant heart of Cairo known as "Wust al-Balad," making it easily accessible to visitors from all parts of the city. This area is bustling with life and cultural activities and is often referred to as "the city that never sleeps."
It is striking with its characteristic pink color. Upon entering, visitors are transported back in time by the museum's unique architecture and furnishings, as well as the fascinating finds it contains. The museum, which has been open since 1902, is a must-see for anyone visiting Cairo.
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History of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
This Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo is the Middle East's first purpose-built museum, dedicated to housing a large collection of ancient Egyptian history. The Egyptian government held a competition in 1895 to design a museum for the collection, with French architect Marcel Dourgnon winning. The Italian architects Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani began construction in April 1897 and finished it in October 1897.
That museum houses a comprehensive collection of Pharaonic antiquities, including the personal belongings of the renowned pharaoh Tutankhamun. This makes it the largest of its kind in the world, with an unparalleled collection of artifacts.
It was founded in 1858 by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette and was originally housed in a different location. Khedive Abbas Helmy II founded it in 1902 and moved it to its current location in Tahrir Square.
The museum's collection spans from the Predynastic Period to the Greco-Roman Era, offering a comprehensive presentation of the whole history of Egyptian civilization. It is home to over 120,000 items, with a representative number on display and the rest stored in storerooms.
The architect responsible for designing the museum's building was Marcel Dourgnon, a renowned French professional in his field. The museum itself is a grand display of Neoclassical architecture, spanning an impressive 15,000 square meters.
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Inside Egyptian Museum Cairo
Inside, visitors can explore two floors filled with a diverse range of ancient Egyptian works, both large and small, from different periods throughout history.
One of the most famous sections of the museum is the collection of artifacts from the tomb of King Tutankhamun (Tutankhamun). Among the treasures on display is the gold mask that was used to cover the pharaoh's mummy, which has become one of the most recognizable symbols of ancient Egyptian culture.
The Egyptian Museum is home to several noteworthy artifacts, including the complete burials of Yuya and Thuya, Psusennes I and the treasures of Tanis, and the Narmer Palette, which commemorates the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under one king. The museum also contains statues of the great kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, who constructed the pyramids on the Giza plateau. Additionally, the museum houses an extensive collection of papyri, sarcophagi, jewelry, and other intriguing objects that visitors can appreciate.
It's important to note that the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is in the process of being superseded by the newly constructed Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza. Some of the museum's artifacts, including those from the tomb of Tutankhamun, have been transferred to the larger facility. However, the Egyptian Museum still remains a significant cultural institution and offers a glimpse into the rich and ancient history of Egypt.
Please note that the museum has certain rules and regulations in place for visitors, such as not touching exhibits or showcases, refraining from using flash photography, and following all posted signs and visitor instructions. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times to ensure the safety of both the children and the exhibits.
Visiting the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is a must for anyone interested in the history and culture of ancient Egypt. It offers a unique opportunity to see some of the world's most famous archaeological discoveries up close and to gain a deeper understanding of this ancient civilization.
You can visit the Egyptian Museum by booking one of our Cairo excursions.