Today I visited the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum located at Rosicrucian Park in the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose, California. On this autumn day, the sun was shining and the weather comfortably warm. The gardens were peaceful with few visitors, and the vegetation, dry and shriveled, was entering a quiet, dormant period as well.
The museum, devoted to Ancient Egypt, was founded by the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis. Rosicrucian teachings are a combination of occultism and other religious beliefs and practices, including Hermeticism, Jewish mysticism, and Christian Gnosticism. The central feature of Rosicrucianism is the belief that its members possess the secret wisdom that was handed down to them from ancient times.
The Egyptian Museum was architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak, Egypt. The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum houses the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts on display in Western North America, including objects from predynastic times through Egypt’s early Islamic era, as well as Assyrian and Babylonian artifacts. The entrance door is flanked by Moorish columns.
The Moorish Design of the Planetarium building honors the important contributions of the Arab astronomers and was the fifth planetarium built in the United States.
The Rosicrucian Park is also home to the Rosicrucian Labyrinth, Alchemy Exhibit, and Alchemy Garden, as well as the historic Rosicrucian Planetarium, Peace Garden, Rosicrucian Temple, and Research Library. The beautiful grounds and buildings were inspired by Egyptian and Moorish architecture.
After admiring the architecture and doors of the buildings in Rosicrucian Park, I walked the dirt path of the labyrinth.
The Rosicrucian Labyrinth is based on the design of the Chartres Labyrinth, which has inspired spiritual pilgrims for at least 750 years. The paths are lined by native plants, which create the outline of the labyrinth design. Around the labyrinth is an oak grove considered sacred in many of the ancient mystery traditions.
The Moorish and Egyptian architecture in the park create a striking contrast to the Spanish-influenced architecture of the surrounding neighborhood. One doesn’t expect to see Egyptian-style buildings in San Jose. The mysticism of the Rosicrucian teachings and the Egyptian artifacts in the museum offer a glimpse into an ancient world beyond high-tech Silicon Valley. This beautiful complex was well worth the visit.
This post was inspired by Thursday Doors.
Thursday Doors is a weekly feature sponsored by Norm Frampton allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world.