There are no signs of the old Memphis, except the archaeological remains collected in this museum.
Far from the dense richness of Cairo's museum, the facts that it is mainly an open air museum, and the display is very well spread and located, make this a very nice and easy visit.
Founded in 3000BC, Memphis is the capital city of ancient Egypt - during the old kingdom. It's the center for commerce and trade, so it used to be full of business activities during its glory days. Located 20 kilometers south of Cairo, Memphis is near and around the cities and towns of Mit Rahina, Dahshur, Abusir, Abu Gorab, and Zawyet el Aryan.
But what was left of the old kingdom capital is just a small open-air museum and the huge statue of Rameses II laying on its back located inside a 2-level building structure and surrounded by blocks of other historical findings in the ancient capital.
Around the courtyard of the open-air museum surrounds several huts selling souvenir stuff.
Memphis was the first stop of my full-day private car tour.
Traveling from Cairo to this place alone is not really a good idea, so people normally book tours that include this and Saqqara + Pyramids.
Memphis or Mit-Rehineh, is 30 minutes south of Cairo. Memphis was founded by King Menes (3100 B.C.) of Upper Egypt when he conquered Lower Egypt. Memphis lost it's status as the capital of Egypt during the rule of the Middle Kingdom. The Colossus of Ramses II lies in the right entrance of the museum's hall. He is 33 ft tall carved from a single slab of Limestone!
The angle and the shape of the beard of Pharoah Ramses suggests that he was alive at the completion of ths statue. If the beard were curved up at the bottom, it would suggest that he had died before the statue's completion. Supposedly, the feet were broken off when the British tried to take the statue to England in 1888. This statue of Pharoah Ramses stood in front of Cairo's main railway station from 1955-2002.
In the center of the outside courtyard is the Alabaster Sphinx which was excavated in 1912 it dates back to the 13th Century B.C. At the foot of the courtyard stands a statue of Ramses II wearing the double crown representing a united Upper and Lower Egypt.
Price: 35.00 L.E. (6.00 USD)
visit memphis - one of the oldest town on earth
The city was founded by King Menes, that king who unified upper & Lower Egypt, in 3,100 BC by creating dikes to protect the area from Nile floods.
The city was the capital of Old Egypt during the Old Kingdom , it is considered to be a center of rule and culture for over 3000 years and had great architectural achievements and it is believed that Memphis was the largest city in the world from its foundation until around 2250 BC. The name of the city derives from the Pyramid of Mn-nfr.
At Memphis you can see a colossal red granite statue of the great Rameses II, lying on the ground in a covered pavillon. The statue once measured almost 40 feet but has been damaged with its lower legs and feet missing. The other statue of Rameses II is located in Cairo near the train station.
Once we figured out we were an hour early ( didn’t know there was an hour time change) we were on our way with our guide for the Cairo area with Saed and our driver Tony.
Saed is a walking history book ----he’s quite a serious man but we learn to appreciate his amazing knowledge of Egyptian history.
Our first stop to day is Memphis. This city was built by Pharaoh King Menes . Once the capitol in 3500BC and due to heavy trades, the city flourished . In ancient times Memphis had many fine palaces, large Temples and beautiful gardens. With the arrival of the Greeks the Egyptian Capital was moved from Memphis to Alexandria and Memphis suffered considerably. This was the beginning of the end. It is now mostly in ruins with shabby buildings and very poor residents.
Once we check through the security post we are in the open air museum of Memphis. We see many monuments of Ramses 11 and many more treasures left behind by the early inhabitants.
Saed tells us a farmer discovered the huge granite
monuments when he was tilling his field found the site…quite a harvest !!
King Ramses II was the Greatest Pharaoh King of Ancient Egypt belonging to the19th Dynasty. He was had a strong build and was taller than average at about 5 feet 9 inches tall. Most Egyptians were at least 5 inches shorter than this. He also lived to be 96 years (although at that time average Egyptian lived up to around 45 years of age). He had 200 wives, 60 sons and more than 100 daughters.
The massive Colossus of Ramses inside the Museum is the grand finale. It is an enormous statue carved in limestone about 10m (33.8 ft) long. Some of the original colors are still partly preserved.. The fallen colossus was found near the south gate of the temple of Ptah . Because of its enormous size where it lies is where it will remain. It was once offered to France as a gift but moving it proved to be to difficult.
During the old Kingdom, 2575 – 2130 B.C; Memphis was the Capital City.
Today, Memphis is a small museum, located near the step pyramid if Saqquara, and not really worth the 35 Egyptian Pound entry fee.
Apart from a large standing statue of Ramses II, a large statue of Ramses II lying down and a sarcophagus or two, there is not much to write home about here!
In Memphis, you will find many - as in many schools for carpet making. I know, because my tour guide have to pass to about five or six schools and ask me to let him know if I want to go down and have a glimpse on how carpet is made in Egypt.
I chose the Pyramid Carpet School. We were greeted by the Manager/Master who sat on the terrace of the school. Offered us tea as soon as we entered a big room with all those threads &/or silk on all sides used in weaving. I was surprised, students &/or workers are very young. Boys and Girls from maybe 12-20 years of age happily greeted us. Each one of them tried to convince us to sit beside them to show us the step by step in carpet making. This is evident from all the photos that I have posted here.
The Triad of memphis is another statue which you can find in the Memphis open air museum.
This statue or carving was made in honor of the 3 gods namely PTAH: The Creator and the chief god of Memphis. SEKHMET: The goddess of love, war and protection and Nefertem: the son of Ptah and Sekhmet also known as the protector of the two lands.
In the carvings, Ptah was represented with a hawk head holding a scepter, Sekhmet has a lion head with a moon carving on top of her head while Nefertem has a lotus flower on top of his head.
Memphis is situated some 20 km from Cairo. It was the most important city for the Old Kingdom of Egypt. As a capital since about 2000 BC it was also the biggest city in Egypt at the time. The most importent site is the huge statue of Ramses II which is realy in very good condition. There you can also find the Alabaster Sphinx as well as a beautiful gardens with some more statues.
Memphis is the oldest capital of Egypt is 24km south of Cairo. The open air museum has various statues, the alabaster sphinx and the most beautiful status of Ramses II which is 13 meters long and weight about 120 tons.
The entrance fee is 25 L.E.
Memphis is a place you have to see if you visit Cairo. The beautiful and big statue of Ramses II is amazing.
Entrance fee was in 2005, 25 L.E. (Egyptian pound)
At the Saqqara area you can find a lot of mastaba tombs (toms of the nobles) and some pyramids that don´t look like a pyramid anymore. To mention the pyramid of Unaz and Teti.
But the step pyramid of Djozer in Saqqara. It´s one of the first pyramids, and it´s amazing that it is still standing here to day. Just amazing.
The entrance fee to the step pyramid was in 2005, 35 L.E.
The Step Pyramid is the oldest of the pyramids, rather uneven compared to the Great Pyramid but still a breathtaking site. Memphis has a collosal statue of Ramses II, and a Lion-sphinx, which was also phenomenal.
Located 24 km south of Cairo is the ancient city of Memphis. The main attraction in Memphis today is an open air museum with various pharonic statues, the alabaster sphinx and the reclining statue of Ramses II.
Memphis was once the largest city in the ancient world with a population in excess of 30000 people. The city is even named in the bible under tha name of Noph or Moph. It eventually gave way to other cities like Thebes and Alexandria in terms of importance. It was founded about 3100 BC and climbed to its height in the 6th dynasty when at the time it was associated with the Ptah cult and the remains of a temple of Ptah can be seen at the site. Another popular cult was the Apis or bull cult and a mumified bull was discovered at the Saqqara site nearby and now resides in the Museum of Agriculture. Among many impressive exhibits is the Alibaster Sphinx (see Photo) and large statues of Ramses II (see photo). The necropolis of Saqqara is nearby and is well worth a visit.
The gigantic statue of Ramses II is worth a visit.
What would it have been like ii it had been upright?
Apart from a few other statues there is not much else to see of what was once the capital Memphis.