Even though the pandemic has slowed down any plans for travel, this has not stopped the construction and renovation work of three glorious museums in Egypt. If you’re already enthusiastic about planning a trip to Egypt and learning all about the amazing history it has to offer, now is the perfect time to book your trip because Egypt just opened the gates to three new amazing museums spread across the country.
The opening of Sharm El-Sheikh, Kafr El-Sheikh and Royal Carriages museums are exceptional events in the history of tourism and antiquities in Egypt. These three museums, which all opened in one day, handled a budget of almost 1 billion Egyptian pounds. Saturday the 31st October marked the historic day for the opening of the museums, which the President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated.
1. Sharm El-Sheikh Museum
The first antiquities museum built in Sinai, the idea was met in 1999 while construction work began in 2003. Afterwards, the 25th of Jan revolution caused work to be put on hold in 2011 and then was later resumed again in early 2018. The museum consumed a budget of 812 million Egyptian pounds. The museum consists of three display halls, an open theatre, celebration and event squares, in addition to a number of bazaars and crafts shops. The display halls put around 5,200 artifacts from prehistoric to modern times. Sharm El-Sheikh museum shows the role played by Egyptian civilization across different historical periods, and also the relationship between Egyptian people and their surrounding environment.
The design of the museum’s displays aimed to provide a “light cultural meal” for visitors and tourists who came to Sharm El-Sheikh to enjoy the beaches and the warm sun. Mahmoud Mabrouk also said that the artifacts on display have been carefully selected to reflect how ancient Egyptians lived thousands of years ago. You can also find many displays which portray how ancient Egyptians respected animals by capturing their nature, adopting them and integrating with them. A collection of hawks, cats, eagles, crocodiles and more are on display in the museum, mummified of course.
A Roman bath displayed in the museum shows when the Romans came to Egypt in the 1st century B.C.E., where they’d set up steam rooms and bathing areas. Another intriguing find is part of Princess Shewikar’s bedroom, a member of the former royal family of Egypt. It consists of green colors decorated with gold foliage motifs showcasing jewelry and cosmetics that once belonged to her. You can also check out ten items from Tutankhamun’s collection before they’re moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum, including the statue of KA.
All this and more can be found and viewed in the display halls found in Sharm El-Sheikh museum. Truly magnificent with every turn you take within these halls.
2. Kafr El-Sheikh Museum
The first museum of antiquities in the ancient governorate displays a collection of artifacts showing the diversity of Egyptian civilization through different ages. The construction work for this museum began in 2002, even though the idea was established way back in 10 years before that in 1992 after the governorate allocated 6,800 sqm of land inside Sana’a Park. The construction work in this museum was also put on hold in 2011 and later resumed in 2018. With hopes to establish a national museum documenting cultural heritage and spreading archaeological and cultural awareness, the Kafr El-Sheikh museum project cost 62 million Egyptian pounds.
You can find three exhibition halls which display many artifacts and antiquities discovered in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, including ones from Tel Al-Faraeen and Buto. You can discover a number of archaeological sites in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate dating back to ancient Egyptian, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.
Kafr El-Sheikh museum tells the story of ancient Gods; Isis and Osiris, as well as the conflict between Horus and Seth. Visitors can learn all there is to know about the history of ancient Egypt, with knowledge on medicine, engineering, astronomy, agriculture, hunting and more! Take your time browsing through the amazing exhibits and take a moment to appreciate all the museum has to offer.
3. Royal Carriages Museum
The Royal Carriages museum is considered to be one of the oldest quality museums worldwide and one of the most important vehicle museums in the world. It was at the end of the 19th century when a building was designated for Khedivial chariots and horses in Bulaq and was initially called ‘The Khedivial Stirrup Department’ and that’s where the idea for the museum came from. The building was then renamed to ‘The Administration of The Royal Stables’ before finally being converted into a historical museum after the revolution dating back to July, 1952.
Later in 2002, the museum was closed for a restoration and development project which was held in 2011 and was resumed again in 2018. The total cost for the Royal Carriages museum is 63 million Egyptian pounds, covering an area of 6,175 square meter. The restoration work did wonders to the museum which was in poor condition. Walls and foundations were consolidated, facades and decorative elements have been restored, as well as new lighting and security systems having been installed.
The museum displays a collection of royal carriages, as well as accessories and horse-guard uniforms. There are many halls to browse through all the different types of carriages. In one of the halls, you will find the carriage gifted to the Khedive Ismail by the French Empress Eugenie during the official opening of Suez Canal, while another hall shows ceremonial carriages once used by members of the former royal family. Make sure to also check out the hall which displays all the accessories used to decorate said carriages and horses.
All three museums cost about 937 million Egyptian pounds to re-open its doors once again to the public. Although each and every museum lies in a different governorate, it’s still wonderful and amazing how they all portrait different areas of history and in different timeframes, so they are all definitely worth your visit. Plan your next trip to this country exploding with history and remember to stay safe and have fun.
Sherif Khalil is Owner of Dunes & Beyond. Dunes & Beyond offers luxury tours, Nile cruises and desert safaris in Egypt.