The peaceful environment of Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, California, is a mysterious and beautiful combination of Egyptian and Moorish architecture, attracting thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. The area, covering nearly an entire city block, was once orchard and farmland.
Dr. Harvey Spencer Lewis, the late Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC), established Rosicrucian Park in 1927. It hosted a number of the Rosicrucian conventions, as well as Rose-Croix University sessions featuring esoteric and mainstream studies.
Now the park is a resource for Rosicrucians and the community. It also is the headquarters of the English Grand Lodge for the Americas of Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis founded by Dr. Lewis in 1915.
An Egyptian museum (founded by Dr. Lewis in 1930), a planetarium, the administration building for the order, the 18th-Dynasty Egyptian Peace Garden, the Research Library (built in 1939), the Akhenaton Shrine, and a central fountain plaza and gardens are all maintained with meticulous care.
The museum was, and still is, the only museum in the world that houses its collection in an Egyptian-style building. Eight ram-sphinxes, such as those flanking the avenue between the Temples of Mut and Amun at Karnak, line the pathway to the museum's doors. Sixteen papyrus cluster columns surround the peristyle court before the double brass entry doors.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, built in 1932, tells the sometimes-lurid yarn of the Rosicrucian Order's contributions to San Jose life and culture. It displays a chronological presentation of archival photographs, paintings, and artifacts.
The park’s planetarium, constructed in 1936, boasts its own definitive attractiveness. It is situated inside a building of Moorish design that honors the Arabic astronomers who preserved ancient Greek astronomy in the Middle Ages.
Since June 19, 1939, the library's collection of books and other research materials on most esoteric subjects, as well as cultural, scientific, and other fascinating material, has grown in its present home, from the personal libraries of Rosicrucian Park founder Dr. Lewis and that of his son, Ralph M. Lewis, who established the library, through the generosity of members and friends of the Order.
The Akhenaton Shrine (built in 1949) contains the ashes of Dr. Lewis and other former officials of the order.
All of the buildings in the park, with the exception of the planetarium, were built with Ancient Egyptian-revival exteriors.
Beyond being a popular destination for school field trips, the museum is now a venue for receptions, meetings, lectures, and private parties.
Rosicrucian Park is located within walking distance of the Municipal Rose Gardens in San Jose.
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