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Sightseein - The Solar Barque Museum

The Solar Barque Museum
18 km Southwest of Central Cairo
Pyramids Complex, next to Cheops Pyramid
Open daily 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

In 1954, five large pits were uncovered in the Pyramids plateau, three of which were empty and one contained a dismantled boat or barque. Ancient Egyptians buried these boats, believing that they carried the deceased pharaoh as he accompanied the sun on its daily journey through the sky. Other sources suggest that the barque was believed to transport the pharaoh to the after life. The Solar Barque (more commonly known as the Solar Boat) Museum was constructed as a showcase for the barque, which was reassembled over a period of 10 years. Although quite small, this museum is intensely fascinating and has a certain aura to it that almost brings ancient Egyptians back to life.



The museum is a two-story building, constructed around the rectangular pit in which the barque was buried. The bottom level houses an exceptional photo gallery of the excavation, the uncovering of the boat and its reconstruction, along with a miniature model of the barque. Visitors can also look into the pit, which has been kept intact. The upper level of the museum is dedicated to the restored solar barque, which is 43 meters (140 ft) long. A balcony-like passage around the boat allows viewing the cedar wood, nail-less (held together with only ropes and pegs) structure from all angles. The bottom of the boat can also be seen from the lower level.
A visit to this museum should be planned as part of the Pyramids tour.





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