This San Jose Museum Was Founded by an Ancient Egyptian Order

Ancient Sphinx and Pharaoh Khufus Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt
Ancient Sphinx and Pharaoh Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt | © aussiejeff / Flickr
Deanna Morgado

Devoted to Ancient Egypt, the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose holds the most extensive displayed Egyptian artifact collection in western North America. Visitors can learn about the long past of Egypt—a civilization of power that’s enchanted and boggled historians since its demise. The museum’s secrets and stories all come from its founding organization, the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis.

The Order

The Ancient and Mystical Order of Rosae Crucis (AMORC) established San Jose’s Rosicrucian Museum in 1927, at the same location as AMORC’s USA chapter’s headquarters. The Order—a centuries-old global organization—is dedicated to the education of its mystical history, teachings, and principles.

The Order follows traditions of the Rosicrucian movement, dating back to Egypt in 1500 BCE. This secret society formed schools with handpicked students and explored unanswered mysteries of the universe, studying the metaphysical under the teachings of a hidden society. These institutions, now referred to as Ancient Egyptian Mystery schools, remained hidden from the world until the 17th century, when anonymous publications regarding the Rosicrucian philosophy and mystical teachings emerged throughout Europe.

Ancient Sphinx and Pharaoh Khufu’s Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt
Sarcophagus

Another Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, was a student himself at Tutmose’s secret school decades after its founding. Known for abandoning the traditional Egyptian belief of worshipping many gods, after attending the school, Amenhotep IV introduced the idea of monotheism—the belief of only one Creator. The Pharaoh’s learning under the Rosicrucian Order inspired a religious revolution, however brief, against Ancient Egypt’s philosophies.

Over 3,000 years later and no longer a secret society, the AMORC follows a more open philosophy, sharing its story with the world.

Rear Entrance of Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium San Jose

The Museum

The first imperator and founder of the Rosicrucian USA chapter (rumored to have been originally purchased because of San Jose’s abundance of cheap land at the time), Dr. Harvey Spencer Lewis had built such an extensive collection of mystical artifacts through various archaeological excavations that he decided to present it to the public. In 1928, Lewis unveiled his collection he’d titled “The Rosicrucian Egyptian Oriental Museum,” inside the AMORC headquarters building in San Jose. He had acquired the exhibition of artifacts through archaeological digs he not only participated in but significantly contributed to financially. By the following year, the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis received enough donated artifacts to expand Dr. Lewis’ museum to over 2,000 exhibits.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Nearly 100 years and millions of visitors later, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum required a second building on the AMORC grounds in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood. The collection consists of many objects tied to the era, like amulets, statues, and rooms recreated to look like ancient tombs; other exhibits continue to mystify visitors and experts alike. Such is the case for the long-standing enigma that is the Mummy from Usermontu’s Coffin—a human mummy that displays mysterious mummification styles dating back to more than one time period.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

San Jose’s Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum offers a look into an era with many tales and secrets that mystify. The Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis continues to reveal the mysteries of the Rosicrucian movement to showcase at the museum and share with the world.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article