TLDR? Palacio Egipcio is an art and history museum in Medellin.
It is expected that when someone talks about Egyptian culture or the ancient Egyptian civilization, you feel a mysterious ambiance around it. This is because its civilization left most of us with many questions about that part of the world’s history.
You’re probably thinking, “why are you talking about Egypt if I’m reading a blog about Medellin?”
Well, if you’re passionate about ancient Egyptian culture, there’s a pretty cool place to learn about it in Medellin.
Find out why visiting the Egyptian Palace should be on your bucket list!
A Brief Rundown on Ancient Egyptians
The Ancient Egyptians were a civilization surrounded in mystery. And, at least for me, when I start thinking about them I get a sense of mysticism.
It feels like they already knew the answers to some of life’s mysteries. And, we are talking about a civilization that existed more than 5000 years ago!
The ancient Egyptians were the best architects of all time—just look at the Pyramids: did you know that the average weight of each stone is around 2.5 tons? That’s the same weight as a baby elephant!
We may never know all the details of how these rocks were moved, but some ancient Egyptian documents offer some pretty good clues.
Okay, so you know who the ancient Egyptians are. But how do they tie into life in Medellin?
Well, Medellin is home to an Egyptian palace, which is actually one of the oldest buildings in Medellin. The idea for this palace came from Fernando Estrada, the first optometrist and egyptologist of Medellin.
The story goes that Fernando was traveling to Egypt from Puerto Colombia by sea. When he arrived in the Mediterranean sea he was greeted by views of the mesmerizing Egyptian pyramids. He fell in love with the architecture of the ancient palaces, temples, and pyramids.
After his visit, he returned to Medellin and brought notes, books, objects, and many ideas with him. He was inspired to build a replica of what he saw in his hometown, Medellin. He thought about the palace he wanted to build and asked the famous Architect Nel Rodriguez to help design it.
Once he found the perfect location, in 1928, he started building the Palacio Egipcio. The construction lasted almost 12 years. And, it was worth the wait!
Every corner of this place makes you feel like you’re in one of the gigantic pyramids in Egypt.
The Original Purpose of the Palacio Egipcio
Even though the Palacio Egipcio is a museum today, it wasn’t always this day.
In fact, after it was built, this palace became the house of Fernando Estrada and his wife and 14 sons and daughters. They lived here until 1973 when Fernando died.
During this time, he also found an excellent replica of Nefertiti’s head, one of the most beautiful and powerful Egyptian pharaohs. He brought it home and put it on one of the house’s columns.
Some years later, there were rumors that the one in Fernando’s Palace was the original one, and the one in the Neues Museum in Berlin was a fake version of Nefertiti’s head. While the rumors are claimed to be false, we’ll never really know!
This palace became a college, restaurant, and house for events and parties in the last few years.
What to See and Do at the Palacio Egipcio
Right now, the Palacio Egipcio is a heritage museum. It’s also a cultural and artistic center that promotes the sharing of thoughts and ideas.
This is because the owner of this palace was a visionary, too: Fernando was a true life lover and supported the freedom of thought.
In addition to exhibits of ancient Egyptian artifacts, you can find concerts, parties with DJs, art exhibitions, and dance shows all related to Egyptian culture at the museum.
The Palacio Egipcio Walk
The Palacio Egipcio walk is a tour through the palace. Here, you’ll get to take in recreated Egyptian architecture, check out displays about ancient Egyptian culture, and look at old artifacts.
Egyptian Culture and Art Exhibitions
The museum actually hosts changing art exhibitions and shows about ancient Egyptian culture. Some of these are things like Egyptian dance events while others are old Egyptian paintings.
Sometimes they also host multi-ethnic events, which are also pretty cool to check out if you have the time.
Academic Events and Conversation Spaces
If you enjoy academic seminars, the Palacio Egipcio is definitely a good place to go. The museum hosts conversation spaces and academic events that you can attend.
The Planeta Azul Foundation
The program “Prado Distrito Artistico, Cultural y Patrimonial” aims to create events, workshops, and other activities with other groups to attract more people to this stunning place. This group hosts regular workshops at the Palacio Egipcio that you can participate in.
How to Get There
Palacio Egipcio is located in Prado District. You can easily get there with the A-line of the Medellin metro. You can also take a bus to get there, although this is going to take you a bit longer.
Another option is to drive. Just be aware that this place is located downtown, so finding parking can be a bit tough.
I’d definitely recommend sticking to the metro or bus since it’s a lot easier.
Get Ready to Explore Palacio Egipcio
Palacio Egipcio might not be focused on Colombian history and culture, but it’s definitely a cool place to go. Spend a day in the museum and get transported to distant lands!
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