The National Museum Of Alexandria is located in the Horeya Street and is the former the residence of a prominent timber trading businessman, Asa’ad Basily. He constructed his villa in the Italian style.and it stretches over an area of 3,480 meters. The palace was a popular gathering place for many of high-level people in the past century, particularly in the 1930s and 1940s.
Basily lived in this house until 1953 and then he sold it to the American embassy for 53,000 Egyptian pounds. In 1996 Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities bought it for 13 million pounds and converted it into a museum by the beginning of the 2000s.
Opening Of The Museum
The museum was first opened to the public in September of 2002 and displays more than 1,800 items from different eras including the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic (which flourished greatly in Alexandria), Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic.
The first floor of the museum contains the Pharaonic items including a lot of statues of different ancient Egyptian rulers and gods and very interesting portraits of Menkaure, Ikhnaton, and Hatshepsut.
There are also some replicates of the tombs that were discovered in the Valley of the Kings. These tombs include Canopic jars and many other interesting items.
The middle floor of the museum contains the antiquities of the Greco-Roman period. There are various statues of Greek ladies and an amazing statue of the god Serapis, as well as a granite statue of Caracalla. There are also some scientific studies that were made in the Greco-Roman period concerning the human body.
The last floor of the museum displays items belonging to the Coptic and Islamic civilizations which reflect how prosperous these two periods were. The collection includes 162 Islamic coins, candle holders, and various other items.
The Coptic section includes a lot of everyday life items made out of bronze, copper, and silver. There are also some interesting icons that demonstrate religious scenes of Christ and the Last Supper. This is in addition to a lot of cotton and textile products .
There are also some displays from the intermediate Pharaonic period that reflects how the arts of this period became more realistic. Afterward, there is the section of the family of Mohamed Ali that includes a lot of jewelry made out of silver and gold that belonged to the royal family.
The most interesting section in the Alexandria National Museum is the section that displays antiquities that were found under the sea in Alexandria. The museum also displays live pictures of how these items were pulled out of the sea. This section includes a black bronze statue of Isis, some portraits, and statues of Greek gods which includes an interesting statue of the head of Alexander the Great and another for Venus, the goddess of love.
The museum gives a total comprehensive picture of not only Alexandrian history but the history of Egypt as a whole. A visit to the National Museum of Alexandria is a must for anyone who is interested in Egyptian antiquities and history
The museum is open from 9 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon
Please note that cameras are not allowed inside!