Nubian Museum Aswan
The Nubian Museum, Aswan: A Grand Repository of Nubian Heritage
Perched in the heart of Aswan, the Nubian Museum gleams as an exquisite epitaph to Nubian culture and civilization. This architectural masterpiece, crafted meticulously by the esteemed architect Mahmoud El-Hakim, stands as a testament to Nubia's splendid past, a past that has shaped much of Egypt's rich heritage.
Inaugurated on the 23rd of November, 1997, this grand institution has quickly gained global recognition, earning the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001. The museum's construction, costing an estimated LE 75 million, was an investment well-spent, for it now houses a trove of archaeological treasures that narrate the tale of Nubian civilization from its earliest beginnings to its ultimate fusion with modern Egypt.
The museum is ensconced in a vast 50,000 square meter area, with 7,000 square meters dedicated solely to the main building. The remaining space unfolds into landscaped gardens and public spaces, which serve as serene backdrops to the colossal artefacts, accentuating their magnificence and underscoring the many development phases of Nubian culture.
A staggering collection of 3,000 Egyptian antiquities, each representing various epochs, reside within the museum. These epochs span the geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic, Islamic, and, of course, the Nubian periods. The outdoor exhibition showcases 90 rare monumental pieces, while the interior halls cradle 50 invaluable artefacts dating back to prehistoric times. Additionally, the museum houses 503 Pharaonic pieces, 52 from the Coptic era, 103 Islamic artefacts, 140 Nubian items, and 360 pieces that echo the history of Aswan itself.
What sets the Nubian Museum apart is its unique location on a steep cliff, which serves as a natural design canvas for a full-scale depiction of the Nile river, flowing from its origins in Ethiopia and Sudan to Egypt. This geographical tableau blends seamlessly with the museum's surroundings, creating a harmonious fusion of history, culture, and nature.
The museum is not just a repository of ancient artefacts; it's also a sanctuary for Egypt's diverse flora. The surrounding Natural Botanical Garden teems with an array of Egyptian plant species, offering a verdant respite to visitors and a fitting complement to the museum's cultural richness.
In essence, the Nubian Museum stands as a shining beacon of Nubian heritage in Aswan, beckoning visitors from far and wide to delve into the enchanting saga of a civilization that has left indelible imprints on Egypt's historical and cultural landscape.
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