Ancient Egyptian culture fascinates people all over the world. When we think about Egypt’s history, the monuments, culture and art of this civilisation come to mind, represented by iconic symbols of pharaohs, hieroglyphs, and pyramids.
During the relentless pandemic of 2020, I had the opportunity to visit the Egyptian & Rosicrucian Museum, located in Curitiba-PR, Brazil. Following all the security protocols, two of the museum’s experts - Emanuelle Spack and Vivian Tedardi* - kindly took me on an incredible voyage through the Egyptian world by showing me around the exhibition ‘AKHET – The Horizon of Gods’. This long-standing exhibition introduces visitors to the symbols of both gods and mortals; ‘AKHET’ meaning ‘horizon’ and representing the sunrise and sunset as well as the passage between life and eternity.
The museum is set in an imposing yet elegant building which reminds me of a templar edifice. On entering the space, it is possible to hear the echo of my own voice and there is in the air a fragrance of herbs, which along with the ambient sound, leads me into the ancient world. It is a marvellous sensation.
The Egyptian & Rosicrucian Museum was established on 17 October 1990, when replicas were donated and designed by talented plastics artists. In 1995 the museum received a further donation of Tothmea, a 2,700 year old mummy found in Egypt. Tothmea provides much curiosity to visitors, and also makes this museum exceptional in Brazil since few similar places in the country have such a unique artefact.
The indoor collections are divided into six rooms, each designed to showcase difference aspects of ancient Egyptian symbology and art, as well as explaining how the objects displayed contain information to help us understand their historical context. The disposition and curation of the pieces inside the rooms make the tour comfortable and enjoyable.
In the first room, a replica of The Rosetta Stone can be found; an important Egyptian document from the Ptolemaic Period which helped with the deciphering of hieroglyphics.
The second room is dedicated to the iconic pyramids, which were built for Pharaohs as early as the third dynasty around 4,500 years ago. Moving to room three, Egyptian temples and their symbology are shown, with room four contemplating funerary complexes. The assortment of details and the sophistication of the objects are enchanting, and it is astonishing to see the elaborate painting of the tombs. It is truly riveting.
Rooms number five and six belong to Tothmea, the mummy, and are designed to be her eternal home as a tribute to her life beyond the grave. On the walls, the lovely paintings are rich in design and colour, with a charming use of gold making for a mesmerising scene. But the highlight is Tothmea herself, as it is impossible not be excited to see the mummy. Observing this sacred body full of stories is undoubtedly a distinct experience.
After leaving the main building, there is an open-air museum with a flowery wood inviting a delightful stroll by the Thutmose III Obelisk and the Roman Atrium. Through the Avenue of the Sphinxes and within the woodland is the smell of beautiful flowers and the elegance of papyrus trees. This evocative planting brings a delicious sensation of being in a real Egyptian garden, which to many people may include a feeling of spiritual peace and positivity. Definitely, this is a place worth visiting!
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Location: Nicaragua street, 2620, Bacacheri neighbourhood, Curitiba-PR, Brazil
Admission: R$ 10,00 (concession rates for children, seniors, students, Rosicrucians and groups are available)
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 5.30pm. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, 10am to 5pm
Photo credits: all photos, Marco Antonio A. Ferreira
Covid-specific information: with the volatile changes Covid can bring about, it is best to check the most current details of opening times, admission fees, and contact details on the Egyptian & Rosicrucian Museum website before visiting.
*Many thanks to Emanuelle Spack, journalist and press officer of The Rosicrucian Order – AMORC, and Vivian Tedardi, historian and coordinator of the Cultural Centre of the AMORC.
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Ana studied Law and Philosophy and currently works as a translator. She lives in Curitiba-PR, south of Brazil, and has a passion for museums and heritage with a keen interest in Polar Exploration and Antarctic History. Another passion in her life is English language and she tries to practice it every day. Ana can be found on Twitter @AnaMoretto4.