Entryway to the Rosicrucian Museum. The building’s architecture is inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak.
San Jose, California is far from Egypt and seems an unlikely place to find a museum dedicated to ancient Egypt, but the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the history of the Egyptians. What you will see there may surprise you, as you step out of the present and make a journey back into ancient Egypt in the middle of Silicon Valley.
1. Find your way to The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium, located on 1660 Park Avenue in San Jose, California. The days and times of admission to the museum are Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. Planetarium shows are Monday to Friday at 2 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, they have two shows at 2 pm and 3:30 pm. They are closed on Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. The Rosicrucian Museum is easy to spot. Look for the only building with Egyptian statuary and architecture in the area. There is free parking available.
2. Pay your admission fee and head on in to see the biggest Egyptian collection in North America. Begin with the Afterlife section in Gallery A. It features both human and animal mummies, canopic jars that held the vital organs of the deceased and simple and ornate coffins.
3. Head into the Daily Life and Trade area of the Rosicrucian Museum, in Gallery B. You will see some of what daily life was like for ancient Egyptians, with model displays of people at work and objects of daily living with everything from games to personal care, trade and education artifacts.
4. Go into the Kingship and Religion section in Gallery C next. You will see royal statuary and jewelry dating back to the rulers Akhenaten and his son Tutankhamun in the 18th dynasty.
5. Enter the Shrines gallery of Aten and Sekhmet, which are full of real and replica pieces of art, statuary and even a small replica of a step pyramid. There are displays and galleries representing many of the gods and goddesses of the monotheistic followers of ancient Egypt.
6. Go through the Middle Kingdom tomb for a really eerie experience, stepping into a full-scale replica of a noble’s tomb. Although it is a replica built in 1935, this is a popular feature of the museum. The two rooms, the Offering Chamber and the lower the Burial Chamber, are adorned with hieroglyphic inscriptions, wall paintings and even realistic signs of thievery with an empty burial pit and broken wall pieces. It is a must-see part of the Rosicrucian exhibit.