Fascinating pyramids

2500 years ago, even the Ancient Greeks stood in wonder before the pyramids of Giza, and for this reason included them amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. To this day, the pyramids exude a special fascination, while also raising many questions. How were they built? How long did this take? What responses did these structures, which represent eternity, afterlife concepts, continuity and monumentality, evoke? Why and how did the fascination for the pyramids arise? What links pyramids and obelisks?

We wish to explore these and further questions, and to present the most important pyramids in an evocative manner using unique models and drawings. Original items from the period provide further contextual background. Visitors will find, for example, strikingly beautiful and fascinating exhibits such as the heads of pharaohs, statues and reliefs from Ancient Egypt as well as gold rings that once belonged to a queen of Nubia. They come from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, the Egyptian Oriental Collection of the Museum of Art History in Vienna, the August Kestner Museum in Hanover, the Museum of Antiquities in Basel and the Egyptian Museum of the University of Leipzig.

The exhibition also breaks new ground by showcasing in detail how the pyramids and obelisks came from Egypt to Europe, and what tremendous excitement they generated in the modern age. A number of unique works of art are also on display, such as models, paintings, sculptures and porcelain, inter alia from the Pantheon in Wörlitz, the Princely Collections Vaduz - Vienna, the Swiss National Museum in Zurich and the Art Collections of Weimar.

Stele representing Akhenaten and Nefertiti sacrificing to Aten. - About 1351–1334 B.C. From Amarna.
© Berlin, Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, inv. no. ÄM 25574
 Pyramidion of Amenakhte. - ©About 1279–1213 B.C. From Deir el-Medina, tomb TT 218.
Basle, Museum of Antiquities and Collection Ludwig, inv. no. BSAe 1120
Seal ring of the queen Amanishakheto representing the goddess Mut. - 2nd half of the 1st cent. B.C. From Meroe (Sudan); Pyramid Beg. N. 6.
© Berlin, Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, inv. no. ÄM 1701

 Tomb relief representing men pulling sleds. - About 2494–2345 B.C. From Giza, mastaba of Tepemankh.
© Leipzig, Egyptian Museum of the University, inv. no. 2

Head of the king Khafra. - Around 2500 B.C.. From Giza, in front of the mortuary temple of Khafra.
© Leipzig, Egyptian Museum of the University, inv. no. 1946
 Statue of the scribe Henka. - About 2430 B.C.
From the region of Memphis, presumably from Dahshur.
©Vienna, Museum of Art History, the Egyptian-Oriental collection,
inv. no. ÄS 75
Hanns Christoph Teufel, „Travel description … from Venice … to the Orient …“ - Vienna, 1591.
© LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections,Vaduz–Vienna, inv. no. HS 98
 Stucco coating of a human body. - About 2514–2191 B.C. From Giza, west cemetery, duct 466/467.
© Vienna, Museum of Art History, the Egyptian-Oriental. collection, inv. no. ÄS 7800
Giovanni Paolo Pannini. Capriccio with monuments and sculptures of Ancient Rome. - 1735.
© LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna, inv. no. GE 2132
 Amorous couple and obelisk. - Perhaps made in the porcelain manufactory Kilchberg-Schooren, about 1780. Zürich, Swiss
© National Museum, inv. no. LM - 68377

The canon fabric of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux is only known by a sketch. The canon fabric is considered as one of the most famous constructions of revolutionary architecture (second half of the 18th century). 

© C. Tietze

 The Bent Pyramid of Dahshur was the second trial of king Sneferu
(about 2613–2589 B.C.) to build a tomb. Finally he created a true smooth-sided pyramid by building his third pyramid, the Red Pyramid of Dahshur.
© C. Tietze