A woods-bound pyramid in north-eastern Poland

You do not need to go to Egypt to see a pyramid with your own eyes. When visiting the Masurian lakes, one can head down to the northeastern Polish village of Rapa, where you might find good reason to replace that well-worn image with a new, far less familiar one.

Friedrich Heinrich Fahrenheid (also spelled Fahrenheit) was an important official and nobleman for Imperial Eastern Prussia who was also an avid art collector and world traveller.

The tomb of the Fahrenheid family is located in Rapa, a city near the Russian border. In 1811, Fahrenheid’s 3-year-old daughter was buried in the tomb, as the family hoped it would ensure her immortality. The purpose of building the pyramid-shaped tomb was to create conditions conducive to mummification of the body. The pyramid is 15.9m high and the shape of its inner vault at an angle of 51°52' is inspired by the Egyptian pyramids.

The family members buried there were mummified. In 1945, the mausoleum was severely damaged by soldiers of the Red Army.

Getting to this area is not easy and requires your own vehicle. The easiest approach is from the 650. Turn off towards Rapa (signposted). Straight ahead through the woods you'll reach a sign for the pyramid some 8 kilometres from the main road.

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