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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial is set on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance on the edge of Jerusalem. The new Yad Vashem Museum opened in 2005 and its nine chilling galleries of interactive historical displays present the Holocaust using a range of multimedia including photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos. Yad Vashem is a place which is not fun to visit, but is definitely somewhere that we recommend all visitors to Israel experience.
The museum leads into the Hall of Names, an eerie space containing over three million names of Holocaust victims that were submitted by their families and relatives. Names can still be submitted by visitors to the memorial and added to the computerized archive, whilst visitors are able to search through the records.
In addition to the Holocaust History Museum, the Yad Vashem campus has a number of other chilling memorials which you can visit. These include the Hall of Remembrance, where the ashes of the dead are buried and an eternal flame burns in commemoration; Yad Layeled, the children’s memorial, which commemorates the one and a half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust; and The Memorial to the Deportees, a railroad car hanging over the cliff on the road winding down from the mountain commerorating those who were deported.
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.
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.
The Atlit Detainee Camp Museum is located in Atlit, a small town located on the northern coast about 20 kilometers south of Haifa. In the 1930s and 40s, this site served as a detention center for illegal Jewish immigrants seeking refuge in Palestine (which is now the State of Israel). The land was under British Mandate and officials let very few Jewish people into the country legally. Tens of thousands of Jewish people were interned here during this time period. Although first-time visitors may not be familiar with this museum, it is very significant site in the history of Israel.
Illegal immigrants are known as “ma’apilim”. Before and during World War II, thousands of Jewish people were fleeing their homes trying to escape persecution and concentration camps. Many coming from Europe and northern Africa chose to seek refuge in Palestine, which was under British Mandate. More than 122,000 people came to Israel despite the blockade.
Just above the Bat Galim Promenade, at the foot of Mount Carmel in the city of Haifa, is the Clandestine Immigration and Navy Museum. A large museum with many hands-on exhibits including two retired ships and a submarine on display and open for exploring, the museum is operated by the Israeli Navy and Ministry of Defence so don’t be surprised to find the front door locked – the guards will open it for you and ask for identification. Once inside, a short video presentation is shown giving a brief overview of the Israeli Navy’s history and then the large collection of both clandestine immigration and naval maps, photographs, articles and souvenirs can be browsed. Also, for those interested, a database of war medal and decoration recipients is available behind the guard’s booth.
n the main room, the “History of the Navy” exhibit, learn about the Battle of Tel Aviv where the Israeli Navy’s first warship, the INS Eilat – originally a icebreaker for the Canadian Navy and then the US Coast Guard, intercepted a group of Egyptian ships in June 1948 with just a few machine guns and a dummy wood cannon. Read about Operation “Pirate” and the 1953 Assistance to Greek Earthquake Victims exhibit, with a life-size dummy dressed in a 1950s commando diving suit completed with weaponry. Look at the pictures of Squadron 788 and their twenty-year stint as guardians of the Sea of Galilee – constantly under fire from Syrian MiG fighter jets and artillery. Learn the amazing story of the capturing of the Egyptian warship Ibrahim El Awell by the Israeli Navy and how it was turned into the INS Haifa. Be mystified at the tale of the Israeli Naval submarine INS Dakar and its disappearance in the Mediterranean Sea in 1968, only to be found in 1999 with the help of the US Navy and modern technology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Limassol Castle is situated in the centre of old Limassol, is a remnant from the presence of Crusaders on the island. It was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle and has been converted today into the Cyprus Medieval Museum.
The Byzantine Museum at the church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus) is housed in some of the cells of the hypostyle porch that still stand to its south. The museum’s exhibits include important religious icons, artefacts and relics, including Byzantine icons, gospels, crosses and other ecclesiastical treasures from the whole district of Larnaka.
The Monastery of St. Barnabas is at the opposite side of the Salamis-Famagusta road, by the Royal Tombs. You can easily tell it by its two fairly large domes. It was built to commemorate the foremost saint of Cyprus, whose life was so intertwined with the spread of the Christian message in the years immediately following the death of Christ.
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.
The museum at first operated in the Alâeddin Mosque in 1922, then in Yivli Mosque beginning from 1937, and then moved to its present building in 1972. It was closed to visitors for a wide range of modifications and restorations in 1982.
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is housed in the medieval building which served as the Hospital of the Knights of St. John. The structure was begun in 1440 by Grand Master de Lastic with money bequeathed by his predecessor, Fluvian, and was completed in 1489 by Grand Master d’Aubusson.
The earliest collection of art and archaeological artefacts for the National Museum of Aleppo dates back to 1928 and the museum was formally inaugurated in1931. Initially, it was devoted to the pre-Greco-Roman era, with works no later than 333 BC, most of which were based on finds from Tell Halaf. It was decided to move the collection from its original location in an Ottoman period building, which had become overcrowded, into a modern purpose-built museum, begun in 1967 and formally opened in 1972. It includes the following wings:
Pre-historic art: dedicated to finds such as bones and pottery from the regions of Syria and the Euphrates Valley. Some items are about a million years old and the most recent piece dates to no later than 3,200 BC, after which writing was developed and art, became historic.
Arab Islamic art: The method of display here is based on the item's function and medium, such as pottery, ceramics, metalwork and glass of the various Islamic dynasties as well as a collection of gold and silver coins of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. A stone cenotaph carved in floriated kufic calligraphy is a masterpiece of this hall. Medieval military equipment and an Ottoman wooden ceiling featured in a side chamber are also presented.
Modern art: paintings by Syrian artists, particularly Aleppines, expressed in various styles such as realism, cubism, expressionism.
The Great Ummayyad Mosque remains one of the great symbols of the glorious period of Muslim civilisation and its pride. It is a master piece of architectural ingenuity having a decisive influence on the maturity of mosque architecture all over the Muslim World.
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.
The most prominent archaeological site in Santorini is Akrotiri and the findings of the excavations that began in 1967. Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. It is a real promontory, with sheer cliff shores stretching three miles west of the southernmost part of Santorini.
First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period (at least from the 4th millennium BC). By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC) becoming one of the main urban centres of the Aegean.
Covering about 50 acres, the settlement had a very well-planed infrastructure and an elaborate sewage system. Imported products found inside the buildings prove that Akrotiri was well developed, held strong ties with Minoan Crete and conducted business with the Greek mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt. The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC, when its inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then, the volcano erupted, and volcanic material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day.
This unique site gives visitors the opportunity to admire and walk through the sheltered settlement!