After travelling around Sudan and enjoying visiting many historic sights, we have reached the last day of our stay in the country. Our flight leaves in the afternoon, and there is only one thing on our mind: visiting the National Museum of Sudan before our departure. We have passed it several times before, on the banks of the river Nile, and now, it is finally time to go in. We pay the ridiculously low entrance fee (especially compared to the entrance fees levied at the sights around the country), and walk into the pleasant garden. Here, we find not only flowers and an empty water basin, but also three fully reconstructed temples. Taken from the area that was flooded after the completion of the Aswan Dam, the temples of Buhen, Semna and Kumma were rebuilt stone by stone. Moreover, they are all covered by a roof, and thus better protected against the elements.
We walk into the temple of Buhen first, which has remarkable hieroglyphs and figures carved out of the stone wall, remarkable also because they are quite colourful. Fortunately, there is sufficient light inside to see the rich decorations on the big blocks of which the temple was constructed. Close by is the temple of Semna, and the temple of Kumma; which are a bit darker inside, but both of which also have richly decorated walls which we scan in search of interesting hieroglyphs. Walking towards the main museum building, we pass two giant statues outside, the Tabo Colossal Statues which are from Kerma. Furthermore, there are two lines of lion statues leading up to the main entrance of the museum proper. Our eyes have to adjust a little bit, and then, we start exploring the interior of the museum.
While walking past the objects on display, a satisfactory feel comes over us. Our entire trip through Sudan now comes together. We find statues, jewelry, a sarcophagus, and more explanations of all the sites we have already seen. Visiting the sites has been very exciting, but we knew that much, or all, of the riches that had been discovered there, had been taken to various museums; this National Museum is only one of them. There is a larger-than-life statue of Taharqa, whose pyramid we saw at Nuri. There are items from Holy Mountain of Jebel Barkal. There are objects from the Begrawiya pyramids, and the area around Kerma. There are precious small items, and bigger ones as well. It is a recap of our journey through the desert country, and a perfect wrap-up before our imminent departure. On the first floor, we find frescoes rescued from old churches of the Nubian region. While downstairs, taking pictures was no problem at all, a caretaker now tells us that no pictures can be taken, and watches us. We get the feeling that these beautiful frescoes are somehow considered less important; is it because they are Christian? When we reach the time limit we have set ourselves, it is only two and a half hours before take-off, and we still have to buy some gifts, drink our last fruit juice, get our stuff from the hotel, and find a car to the airport. It feels we are postponing leaving the country that has grown on us and that has become so dear to us; we have certainly used every single opportunity to enjoy our visit.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sudan National Museum (Sudan). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sudan National Museum. Read more about this site.