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Art and Culture in Luxor

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Egypt
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Mummification Museum
Luxor Museum of Mummification is without question a real Must-See Luxor attraction that essentially showcases the ancient and fascinating art of mummification. The Luxor Museum of mummification is exactly what it says it is: a museum that is dedicated to the subject of mummification. Visitors arriving in Luxor can find the museum facing the Nile River on Luxor West Bank, just a short distance north of the infamous Luxor Temple. Many visitors to the city would agree that you haven’t really experienced ancient Egypt if you haven’t visited the remarkable and incredibly interesting Luxor museum of mummification. The museum occupies what was previously a modern visitor centre, and many visitors are surprised when they discover just how big the museum actually is. As it stands today, it covers an area of just over 2,000 square meters, and within that area, visitors will find the main artefacts room; a lecture hall, a video room and a cafeteria. The Luxor Museum of mummification has done a spectacular job at showcasing the ancient art of Egyptian mummification, and today visitors can see a large collection of mummification related items on display, along with several mummified animals and even the mummy of Masaherta that is believed to be more than three thousand years old.
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Luxor Museum
The Luxor Museum is nowhere near as big as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but it was never meant to be, choosing instead to display quality rather than quantity. The Museum of Luxor is located more or less right in the centre of Luxor, overlooking the Luxor west bank of the Nile River. Visitors who intend to visit the museum in shouldn’t expect to see anything along the lines of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo because the two places are quite literally worlds apart. While the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo is host to the world’s largest collection of Egyptian antiquities, Luxor Museum only has a relatively small collection, but it’s definitely worth visiting. When the museum was originally opened in 1975 there were no plans to house a massive collection of artefacts. Instead, the museum has a sort of “quality before quantity” policy.
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Sand City Hurghada
One and only Open air and Sand Sculptures Museum in Africa and Middle East, Sand City Hurghada, made of 42 sculptures and 17 relief by artist from different countries who left a peace of hart and soul in their work.
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Pyramid of Djoser
Built as a tomb for the pharaoh Djoser (or Zoser), the Djoser Pyramid was constructed between 2630 BC and 2611 BC in Saqqara, Egypt. Although it is considered the world’s oldest intact large-scale stone monument, the ancient structure is often overshadowed by Egypt’s most famous pyramids. The Djoser Pyramid stands 197 feet high and was built using 11.6 million cubic feet of stone and clay. Imhotep—a doctor, priest, and sculptor, among other titles and talents—is widely attributed as the pyramid’s architect. Initially, the structure was designed as a traditional, flat-roofed tomb called a mastaba, but Djoser wanted something bigger, something grander. The pyramid was part of a larger 40-acre complex containing a courtyard, temples, and chapels, all enclosed inside a 30-foot wall. The entrance to the complex, as well as 13 fake doors, is built into the wall. The complex also includes a number of building facades, all of which served ritual purposes. The pharaoh’s burial chambers are located deep within the pyramid, along with those of his 11 daughters. The burial chamber is part of the pyramid’s winding, maze-like series of tunnels, which researchers think may have been designed to prevent theft (although the pyramid was eventually looted).
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The Great Pyramids of Giza
There are three major pyramids in the pyramids necropolis in Giza. If you do not fear small spaces, take the opportunity to step inside the small cavity of the Great Pyramid (for a negotiable tip or fee) to experience the pyramid’s rather daunting descending staircase as well as the king’s and queen’s respective burial chambers. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is believed to have been built over a twenty-year period and completed around the year 2560 B.C. For centuries, the Pyramid held the record as the tallest man-made structure in the world. Besides the many theories and symbolism that it embodies, the Pyramid is one of the most breathtaking monuments of Ancient Egypt; take a trip to gaze at its peak and see for yourself. Although not as magnificently large as the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafra has a more complex interior and a large number of statues dedicated to Khafra, son of Khufu, including the Sphinx. The smallest of the three, the Pyramid of Menkara rarely gets the same attention as its two larger neighbours; as it lacks the size of Khufu and the Sphinx of Khafra. Menkara’s one advantage may be its material: the two predecessors used limestone, whereas Menkara used the more valuable and pricier granite in his burial chambers.
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St.Samaan Church
It’s become something of a cliché – a sad one at that – but we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there’s much more to Egypt than Ancient Egyptian antiquities. Granted, the Zabaleen area of Mokattam receives its fare share of attention for its sheer uniqueness, but one particular feature often goes unnoticed – St. Samaan Church. The church is named after Samaan Al Kharaz (Simon the Ranner), who, according to the tradition, performed a miracle in moving the mountain to help Abraam – Pope of the Egyptian Church – prove his faith to a Jewish grand vizier. The areas of the mountain around the church also feature a number of carvings. These carvings were done by a Polish artist in 1995 and was commissioned by the church’s founder, Samaan Ibrahim. In addition to the church itself – which can seat up to 1000 people – the monastery also include a library, children’s playground and a cafeteria.
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The Mosque of Muhammad Ali
Located on Rhoda Island in Cairo’s Manial district, the Prince Mohammed Ali Palace is unlike any historical site in the capital. Built by the uncle of King Farouk, Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik, between 1899 and 1929, what makes the palace stand out – even next to anything you’ll find in Old Cairo, which sits a stone’s throw away across a branch of the Nile – is its unique fusion of Ottoman, Persian, art nouveau and late baroque inspirations. Divided into five distinctly conceived and designed buildings which sit in the middle of a stunning Persian garden, the palace was as much a home to Mohammed Ali’s grand collection of art, furniture, clothing and medieval manuscripts as it was for him. Lending itself to a museum blueprint, the palace was handed over to the Supreme Council of Antiquities – a former branch of the Ministry of Culture – in 1955 and quickly became one of the most striking reminders of the Mohammed Ali dynasty. The palace is also home to one of the world’s most lavish collections of Oriental carpets and rugs, while the walls silk embroideries and portraits of royals.
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City of the Dead
Even Cairo, a bustling capital city of 21 million or so people, has its secrets and obscurities, not least the City of the Dead. Located below Mokattam Hills in the south east of the city, the area is essentially a necropolis; but over the centuries it has evolved into a living, breathing organism of its own that has managed to reach a certain degree of self-sufficiency. Though considered a slum – and it’d be hard to argue that – it also stands as one monument to Cairo’s colourful history. Running along the city from north to south, the strip is around 6.4km long. The City of the Dead dates back to the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 642 AD, when Amr Ibn Al ‘as established a family graveyard at the foot of Mokattam. Many of the residents are said to have moved there to be close to deceased relatives. It has been something of a touristic site for centuries, with the likes of Moroccan scholar, Ibn Batuta –widely considered to be one of the greatest travelers in history – having visited and written about it.
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Khan El Khalili
There’s absolutely nothing in Cairo like exploring the enormous shopping labyrinth of Khan El Khalili, the city’s largest souk that has preserved much of its original structure since its days as a famous medieval bazaar. Tourists and Egyptians alike arrive at this densely populated maze of streets and alleyways to find all sorts of gifts, including Egyptian antiques, fine handmade crafts, shishas and spices.
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The Egyptian Museum
It may not be the oldest museum exhibiting Egyptian antiquities, but the Egyptian Museum holds the most: over 150,000 pieces are on display, with an incredible 30,000 more stocked away. After an initial ID check at the Egyptian Museum’s entrance just off of Tahrir Square, there is a bag check at the main gates. Once you have acquired your ticket, there is yet another queue for ticket checks, before you enter through the museum doors, upon which you are subjected to another electronic sensor. Despite the museum’s website claims, you are not allowed to bring a camera in under any circumstances. Upon entering the museum, you will feel like a rogue archaeologist that has stumbled on a tomb of treasures. You are immediately confronted by three routes. Taking a left will start you off on the chronological route through Egyptian history. Once you’ve figured out the slightly confusing numbering, room fourteen is a secret little pleasure and a must-see. Guarded by statues on either side of its entrance, the room is built like a temple. Steles are used to cover the walls, as a huge, inscribed pillar seems to hold up the ceiling of the museum itself.
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Mada
Mada’en Saleh, also known as Al Hijr, is a series sandstone outcrop of various sizes and heights surrounded by a ring sand mountains. It is a pre-Islamic archaeological site located in the Al-Ula sector, within the Al Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia.
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The Israel Museum
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is Israel’s largest cultural institution and is ranked among the world’s leading art and archeology museums. Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem was extensively extended and refurbished reopening in 2010. The focus of the museum is on the art, Judaica and ancient artifacts of the Land of Israel and beyond, featuring the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. The museum has a collection of nearly 500,000 objects, representing a full scope of world material culture. While there is loads to see at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, there are a number of stand-out highlights. The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls which are some of the oldest Biblical scrolls ever found. Adjacent to this is an amazing model of Second Temple Era Jerusalem which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans in 66 CE.
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Tower of David Museum
The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem is located in the restored ancient Citadel of the Old City near the Jaffa Gate, the historic main entrance to the city. The museum tells the long and fascinating history of Jerusalem starting from the second millennium BCE and ending with the modern city you see today. The museum’s facade, The Citadel is itself, a fascinating archaeological site, and provides some of the best 360-degree views across the Old City and Modern City available, and comes to life at night with the Tower of David Night Spectacular. As well as its fascinating permanent displays, the museum regularly hosts changing exhibitions as well as lectures, special cultural events and educational programs. The Tower of David Night Spectacular is an incredible sound and light show, the only one of its kind in the world, in which the walls of The Citadel and Old City are brought to life using amazing audio-visual technologies to provide the story of Jerusalem in a unique experience.
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Musrara
Musrara is a unique neighborhood in Jerusalem, a fascinating microcosm of the city’s history and its various population groups. Walking through the streets, you’ll notice that every house is built differently, and houses have been joined, expanded, cut up and renewed throughout the years of its turbulent history. The municipality has tried to change the name of the neighborhood to Morasha, and you’ll see this name on official maps, but Jerusalem residents proudly continue to use its old name. In recent years, a number of artists have moved to the neighborhood, and three art schools have opened up: a religious film school called Maaleh; Musrara, an edgy photography, animation and sound school; and the School for Oriental Music, which occasionally has open concerts in the evenings, and is lovely to walk past as the musicians practice during the day. These last two are both on Ayin Het street, and there is another gallery next to them. An artists’ collective called Muslala has sprung up, and they engage in artwork in the public domain, involving longtime local residents and social activists from East and West Jerusalem.
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Rubin Museum
The Rubin Museum in Tel Aviv is located in the center of the city, in what once served as home and studio of world-renowned painter, Reuven Rubin. Reuven Rubin was the first Israeli painter to receive international acknowledgement and appreciation. Born in Romania, Rubin moved to Israel in 1912 to study painting at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art. He continued his studies in Paris before setting up his studio and officially immigrating to Israel in 1923. Over the course of his career, Rubin was named Chairman of the Association of Painters and Sculptors of Palestine, received the Dizengoff Prize and, in 1973 was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement in art. Rubin died in 1974, leaving his home and studio to his beloved city of Tel Aviv. On display at the museum are close to fifty of Rubin’s paintings created throughout his career in Israel. The museum features multimedia presentations about the artist’s life and work. The Rubin Museum in Tel Aviv also features paintings by contemporary Israeli artists, a shop with reproductions of the artist’s work, and a tour of Rubin’s studio.
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Habima Theater
The Habima Theater has been Israel’s National Theater since 1935. It was originally the conception of organizers Hannah Rubina and Aaron Baskin, who brought with them from Moscow to Tel Aviv the idea of promoting a unique Hebrew-language theatre and local actors. In keeping with its original purpose, the Habima Theater hosts live theatre, unique events and seminars. Plays chosen at the Habima Theater most often deal with issues important to the State of Israel and its diverse mixture of population. Recurring themes include tensions between Arab and Jewish Israelis, religious and secular Jews, new immigrants and native-born Israelis, and Holocaust memoirs, government corruption or the issue of foreign workers. In order to reach out to all audiences, the Habima Theater also features classic international plays and organizes acting workshops and activities for Israeli youth. Simultaneous translation is available for most live performances. Additionally, the Habima Theater is a member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe and is often invited to join in world tours as a result of this prestigious membership. The original Habima Theater building, which is located at the end of Rothschild Boulevard, has been renovated and was recently inaugurated in the art complex next to the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art and the Mann Auditorium, home of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.
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Tel-Aviv Museum of Art
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art houses one of the world’s largest collections of Israeli art. The collection represents the work of some of the leading Jewish artists of the first half of the 20th century and many of the major movements of modern art of this time. The modern and contemporary art museum is a part of the Golda Meir Cultural and Art Center complex, also featuring the Israeli Opera and Cameri Theater. The permanent and temporary exhibitions shown at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art display work by Israeli artists, as well as many infamous international painters. The museum is also home to an art library and archive serving art students and professionals throughout Israel. The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Art Education Center provides classes in a variety of fields to adults and children. The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art offers a space to showcase young Israeli talent. The Herta and Paul Amir Building houses an Israeli Architecture Archive and a new section of photography and visual arts. Over 500,000 guests visit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art each year, to enjoy its wide variety of painting, photography, video, sculpture, as well as to participate in the many events held within the museum building. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is open daily from 10 am. The museum closes at 4 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 8 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 2 pm on Friday. The museum is closed on Sunday. Museum admission is 42 shekels for adult visitors and free for children up to age 18.
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Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot
Beit Hatfutsot' - The Museum of the Jewish People (The Disapora House), the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, is located on the campus of Tel Aviv University. The Museum of the Jewish People tells the story of the Jewish People from its expulsion from the holy land 2,600 years ago to the present day. The Museum of the Jewish People exhibits the diverse histories of the many Jewish communities around the world. It connects visitors with their roots, offers reproductions of beautifully designed synagogues, pictures depicting the differing religious customs and cultural traditions of various communities, and describes the complex and ongoing journey of the Jewish people “Among the Nations.”
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Madatech National Science, Technology and Space Museum
The Madatech National Science, Technology and Space Museum in Haifa, is a large museum crammed with hands-on activities that will please both adults and children. Not far from the Bahai Gardens, in the Hadar neighbourhood of Haifa, the museum is housed in the large edifice which is the old Technion building. The Madatech building was built in the early 1910s, visited by Albert Einstein in 1923 and then made into a museum in 1984. Today the museum hosts some 200,000 visitors annually, many of them children on school trips. The Madatech National Science, Technology and Space Museum can be broken up into five parts for mapping out. The ground floor of the main building contains the front desk, a café, a children’s play area, a gift store and several exhibits such as the history of the printing press and The Road to Safety Exhibition. In the Road to Safety Exhibition children and adults can sit side-by-side on crash simulator, operated only by a museum guide, which proves the need for seatbelts while driving. Be prepared, the crash is quite a jolt! Continuing up a narrow staircase (elevators are also on-site), the first floor comes to view. On the first floor are exhibitions such as the Natural Science Room with over 100 stuffed animals and birds all found in the Haifa area including eagles, mongooses and jungle cats. Other exhibitions include Puzzles & Games, Green Energy and Acoustics & Waves, all going into depths with hands-on displays and tools for everybody to benefit from. In the Green Energy exhibition children can learn about combustion, solar power and light power, many of the displays featuring little lights that illuminate with the power generated at the display. Children can also race sailboats on a table with fans, mapping out wind currents with guided lines on the table. Also on the first floor is the Einstein Hall where an exhibition was made in honour of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first and only astronaut. Included in the exhibit are some of his personal belongings found at the crash site of the Columbia space shuttle that tragically crashed on descent over Texas.
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Haifa City Museum
The Haifa City Museum is located in the Haifa’s German Colony, at the foot of the famous Baha’i Gardens. Celebrating Haifa’s rich cinematic past, the museum was created within an old Templar Community House originally built in 1869 and recently restored in 2000. Within the museum’s old walls visitors can be taken back to the the age of the silver screen and the years that followed. The Haifa City Museum can be enjoyed by anyone, from film buffs to wide-eyed toddlers with no understanding of the cinematic legends such as Clark Gable, Alfred Hitchcock and Marilyn Monroe. With full blueprints of Haifa’s historical movie-houses, letters on official movie-house letterheads and even opening night invitations in “The Palaces of Haifa” exhibition, you too can be transported back to the time where glamour and fame cycled around the movie industry. A special curtained-off area of the museum’s first floor holds a screen and projector where you can sit and watch old film trailers and old Israeli pre-movie advertisements. Also on display are old film reels and a photo collection donated by a local resident featuring Hollywood’s stars of yesteryear such as Gregory Peck, James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. Largely featured in the Armon Theatre which was established in the Haifa’s Downtown area, not far from the German Colony, in the year 1935. The original theatre had 1800 seats and an electric removable roof for pleasant summer evenings. On opening night, the Armon Theatre showed “The Merry Widow”, an Oscar-winning musical comedy. The theatre met its demise with its closing in the late 80s and was eventually torn down.
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Kourion Ancient Amphitheater
One of the most beautiful and interesting for visiting amphitheatres is located in Kourion. It will amaze travellers with its majestic appearance, the beauty of the preserved antique mosaics and the magnificent panoramic view that opens from spectators’ seats.
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Kourion Archaeological Site
The archaeological remains of Kourion - which was one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity - are of the most impressive on the island, and excavations have unearthed many significant finds, which can be viewed at the site.
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Agia Paraskevi Church
Located in the village of Geroskipou, this interesting 9th century Byzantine church is a five-domed, three-aisled, barrel-vaulted basilica, making it one of only two such churches on the whole island, and a significant example of Byzantine architecture. The beautiful interior wall paintings date to various periods, from the 8th-15th centuries. A monochrome reddish cross, painted directly on the stone, is of an earlier type and was revealed during restoration works. This type of cross is usually dated to the Early Christian period, up until the 8th-9th century. Apart from its frescoes, the church also contains a rather significant portable, double-sided icon, dating to the 15th century. The Virgin Mary is depicted on one side, and the scene of the Crucifixion on the other. According to tradition, the name Geroskipou (‘sacred garden’ in Greek) derives from the sacred gardens of the Goddess Aphrodite, which were located to the south of the village towards the sea, at the point where the ancient pilgrims began their journey to the sanctuary of Palaipafos (old Pafos). As such, the church may stand on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Aphrodite, although it could also originally have been dedicated to Timios Stavros (the Holy Cross). Today, it is dedicated to the Christian martyr Agia Paraskevi.
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Paphos Archaeological Museum
The Pafos District Archaeological Museum houses a collection of finds from the Pafos (Paphos) region dating from the Neolithic Age to 1700 AD. The exhibits are set across five rooms and originate mainly from Palaipafos (Kouklia), Nea Pafos (present­ day Pafos) and Marion-Arsinoe (Polis). They are supplemented by finds from Pegeia, Kissonerga, Lempa, Pano Arodes, Salamiou, Akourdalia, Pomos, Kidasi and Geroskipou. The first room covers the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age, including coins cut from the mint of Pafos. The second room houses exhibits from the Iron Age and Classical period, including a tombstone from Marion with the Cyprosyllabic script. The third room presents the Hellenistic and Roman periods, with a rare marble bust of Aphrodite and a marble statue of Asklepios. The fourth room hosts exhibits from the late Roman and early Christian periods, while the newer fifth room showcases pieces from the Byzantine Period and the Middle Ages in general.
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The Folk Art Museum
The visitors of Lefkara must not fail to see the Patsalos house. It houses the Museum of Popular Art and hosts exquisite embroidery samples, some of which date back to the 19th century.
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Timios Stavros Church
The magnificent Lefkara Church is dedicated to the Holy Cross and dates back to the 14th century. According to the byzantinologist Athanasios Papageorgiou, the eastern part of the Church dates back to the 14th century, named after considering rescued frescoes behind the church’s iconostasis. This date is also confirmed by the metrical “Olivianos’ inscription”, which appears at the bottom of the Lefkara Golden Cross. There is written evidence that Olivianos was a Lefkara Bishop in 1307 during the occupation period by the Franks. This fact is also confirmed undeniably by the founder’s note on a manuscript dating back to the 14th century, which is kept in the Church’s safe. At the end of this manuscript, which is a precious Evangeliary it is noted that it was written in 1345/46 and that the monk Gabriel who was the abbot and the founder of the “Holy and Life-giver Revealed Cross” monastery paid all the expenses. In 1740 the church was restored and the wooden sculptured iconostasis was then made by the Rhodian sculptor Hadjikyriacos who was called in by the church-warden Lourentzos to this end. n 1867 important works were carried out in the church and it was, therefore, expanded in order to have a greater congregation capacity. In 1909 common repair works in the church were deemed necessary and then the entrance was constructed as it appears today. The south door was also built. In 1953 the dome was covered with paintings. The style of the eastern part of the church is cruciform with a cupola, while the style of its more recent part is Cypriot dating back to the 19th century. Furthermore, there are six internal pillars ranged in two rows per three pillars.
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Bellapais Abbey
Bellapais Abbey is located in the hillside, 6 miles South East of Kyrenia. The Abbey is the best example of Gothic architecture in Cyprus, as well as being ones of the finest in the Middle East. Built by the Lusignans, the first settlers in Bellapais Abbey were the Agustinas Monks, who escaped from Jerusalem in late Twelth century.
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Khalifa House Museum
The museum is located near The Mahdi’s tomb in Omdurman. The house was built for the successor of the Mahdi. The museum was established in 1928 and contains antiquities of the Mahdist period.
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Sudan National Museum
Sudanese Museum is one of the main attractions of Sudan. The National Museum of Sudan is the largest museum in Sudan. Located on El Neel Avenue in Khartoum, the museum contains works from different epochs of Sudanese history.
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Archaeological Museum
The long archaeological and historical research at the Sitia area has brought to light rare and valuable finds and information of all civilizations from the Neolithic Age and the Minoan period to the New Age. The civilizations that have flourished the grounds of Sitia, one of the richest areas in archaeological sites internationally have bequeathed us magnificent samples of material and intellectual wealth that are exhibited in the district Museums and Collections.
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Citadel of Aleppo
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Aleppo preserves remnants of more than four millennia of Near Eastern history. The Citadel of Aleppo is a densely layered microcosm of this long and complex history.
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Fikret Otyam, Ironsmiths Exhibition and Art Gallery
Fikret Otyam, Ironsmiths Exhibition and Art Gallery was opened in 2013 to provide a center of excellence where skilled artisans and craftsmen could work and display their trade and craft and provide an insight into the metalworking world to the general public.
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Archaeological Museum of Kos
​The two storey bulding on Eleftherias Square that houses the Archaeological museum of Kos is a protected monument of the Italian occupation era (1912 - 1943), built in 1935.
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Mevlana Museum
Mevlevi Derhgahı (Dervish Lodge) and the mausoleum started to function as a museum in 1926 under the name of Konya Museum of Historical Works. In 1954 the display pattern of the museum was once more taken up and it was renamed as the Mevlevi Museum.
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Isparta Museum
A must in Isparta is the Isparta museum. Here you can see excavations from the Persian, Ottoman and Roman times. The museum has four halls: archeology, excavations, ethnography and carpets.