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Open Air Museum of Memphis

Open Air Museum of Memphis

Memphis was founded around 3100 BC by the pharaoh Narmer (Menes) who unified the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt - thus giving birth to Memphis. The city derived its name from Min-Nefer, an ancient Egyptian name, which was later converted to Memphis. The people in Memphis believed in the local God called Ptah - who was the also the God of creation and workers. He was worshipped along with his wife and son.

Memphis was originally the capital of Ancient Egypt and was dotted with palaces, gardens, and temples. It was one of the most beautiful cities of that era. But today, nothing much remains of Memphis as it stood testimony to a series of invaders who looted the city and abandoned it. Excavation has been continuing for 200 years now.

Even if nothing much remains of the city, the Open Air Museum is worth a visit. It is one of the must-see sights in Egypt. This museum is built around a magnificent fallen colossal lime stone statue of King Ramses II. This statue is carved in limestone and is about 33.8 ft long, and has no feet.

The museum also exhibits an alabaster sphinx of the New Kingdom. This sphinx weighs more than 80 tones and is believed to have once stood outside the temple of God Ptah. Besides this, there are two statues of Ramses II, which was originally believed to have been placed in Nubian temples; granite coffins and tablets; huge beds on which sacred Apis bulss were mummified.

Where is Memphis and how can a tourist reach there?

Memphis is situated 24 kms south of Cairo and is 3 km from Saqqara. Reaching there can prove to be a tedious task for some. Therefore, the simplest way is to hop into a local train at Ramses station to Al-Badrashein village, then catch a Saqqara microbus to Memphis. Or the best way could be to hire a taxi and tour around.

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