National Museum

The Alexandria National Museum considered one of Egypt's finest museums. It was opened on December 31st, 2003. The museum is housed in the old Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace. The palace was designed by a French engineer who used the Italian styles in its construction. This villa was sold to the Americans as a consulate in 1960, and thereafter in 1997, was purchased by the Ministry of Culture for about 12 million LE. The Alexandria National Museum is the first of its kind in Egypt. It is the only one which narrates the history of the people of Alexandria through antiquity.

The National Museum is housed in a restored Italian-style palace (Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace, built 1926) with three floors.

The first level, with dark blue walls reflecting the Egyptian symbolic color of the afterlife, is dedicated to the Pharaonic period. On display are several notable statues, including portraits of Menkaure (builder of the third Giza), Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) and the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. There is also an interesting replica of the sort discovered in the Valley of the Kings, complete with a mummy and original funerary treasures.

The middle level displays artifacts from the Greco-Roman period, during which Alexandria flourished, such as figurines of Greek women and a majestic bust of the bearded god Serapis. Also on this level are finds from recent underwater excavations conducted around Alexandria, including several notable stone statues.

The top floor displays Coptic and Islamic treasures, illustrating the rich heritage of these two faiths that are still alive and well in Egypt. There are icons of Christ and the Virgin Mary, carved tombstones and clothes with silver and gold crosses. Notable among the Islamic objects are 162 coins minted in Alexandria and religious supplies such as incense burners, chandeliers and pottery.