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Islamic Art Museum Cairo

Islamic Art Museum Cairo Egypt

Islamic Art Museum Cairo Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Islamic Art Museum in Cairo, Egypt, indeed is one of the greatest in the world. In fact, the Islamic Art Museum has an exceptional collection of rare woodwork and plaster artifacts. Moreover, the museum also has metal, ceramic, glass, crystal, and textile objects of all periods. They are from all over the Islamic world. In fact, the Museum displays about 2,500 artifacts in 25 galleries. It houses more than 102,000 objects rest in storage. The collection includes indeed rare manuscripts of the Qur’an. They have some calligraphy written in silver ink, on pages with elaborate borders. Moreover, the Islamic Art Museum conducted archaeological excavations in Fustat area. Furthermore, it organized many national and international exhibitions.

The museum closed for renovations in 2003, and re-opened 8 years later, in August 2010. The restoration cost was about ten million USD. Khedive Ismail approved to establish a museum of Arab Art in the Courtyard of Baybars mosque. In fact, it not carried out until 1880. It was when Khedive Tawfiq ordered the Ministry of Endowments to set it up. Julius Franz was an Austrian Scholar of Hungarian Descent. Moreover, he also was the Head of the Technical department at the Awqaf. He suggested that the ruined Mosque of Al Hakim to be a provisional seat for the Museum. It was in 1881. A gallery furnished there in the eastern arcade. It consisting of 111 architectural pieces taken from other monuments.

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In the same year, Khedive Tawfiq approved the “Committee of Arab Antiquities”. Its duties included running the arab museum and providing it with objects. As a result, the arcades of the mosque filled to overflowing. In 1884, a two-storey structure built in the courtyard. It was to house the collection of 900 objects. In 1887 Max Hertz, also Austro-Hungarian, replaced Julius Franz. He began making many changes. He suggested the name of the Museum back then as the gallery of Arab Antiquities. By 1895 the collection numbered to 1,641. The new building became too crowded. That was why he requested the Awqaf to build a larger Museum.

In 1899 the foundations laid for the present larger building in Bab Al-Khalq area of Cairo. In fact, the Islamic Art Museum building designed by Alfonso Manescalo. It completed in 1902 in new Mamluk style. Moreover, the museum upper story housing the National Library. The old museum in Al Hakim demolished in the 1970, during refurbishment of the mosque there. Islamic Art Museum faces Historic Cairo. It has two entrances. One on the north-eastern side and the other on the south-eastern side. A beautiful garden with a fountain once led to the first entrance but later removed. The entrance on Port Said Street features a luxurious facade. It is rich with decorations and recesses. They inspired by Islamic architecture in Egypt from various periods.

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Islamic Art Museum is a two-stores building. The lower one contains the exhibition halls. The upper floor contains the general stores. The basement contains a store connected with the Restoration Section. On January 24th, 2014 a car bomb attack targeting the Cairo police headquarters. It caused considerable damage to the Museum. In fact, it destroyed many artifacts. It estimated that 20-30% of the artifacts will need restoration. The blast also damaged the buildings facade. It erased intricate designs in the Islamic style. The Egyptian National Library and Archives in the same building also affected.


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Gayer Anderson museum Cairo

Gayer Anderson Museum Cairo Egypt

Gayer Anderson Museum Cairo information, tours, prices, booking

Gayer Anderson museum in Cairo also called Beit El Kertlia. In fact, Gayer Anderson Museum built in Cairo in 1631 by one of the wealthy men. He used it to live in the Egyptian capital. His name is Mohamed Ibn Hah Salem Ibn Gelmam. In fact, the museum indeed is one of the most marvelous historical structures in Egypt. Many of rich families lived in Gayer Anderson museum in Cairo. They were one after another. It was until a lady from Crete Island bought the house to live in it. It was why the house named El Kertlia house or the house of people from Crete. In fact, the museum attached to the Eastern section of Ibn Tulun mosque. Moreover, the museum consists of two historical houses. They facing each other. They both constructed in the Ottoman period.

The first house, Kertlia house, constructed in 1631. The other one built by Abdel Kader El Haddad in 1540. The two houses connected together with a passageway. Egyptian authorities have granted Gayer Anderson the two houses as a house to live in. It was in 1935. Gayer Anderson was a British officer. He collected a large selection of furniture, carpets and many other eastern objects. He also collected many Egyptian handcrafts. In 1942, Gayer Anderson had to leave Egypt because of his illness. The Egyptian government allowed the people to visit the house and view his collection. It was before the whole complex transformed to a museum.

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Gayer Anderson museum Complex host a Sabil. It offers fresh water to the public. This feature is difficult to find among historical houses in Egypt. Sabil is a religious structure which is in a mosque or a mausoleum. It is to provide people with their needs of water. Finding a Sabil within a residential house is rare in the Islamic architecture. The Sabil of the Gayer Anderson museum located in the right hand side section of the ground floor. It is with a window, opens on the street. It is from which the servant working in the Sabil used to give the water to the people. The room of the Sabil made out of stones. The ceiling contains some remarkable geometric decorations with bright colors.

The Sahn or the open courtyard of Gayer Anderson museum has a semi irregular shape. It is with a white marble fountain in the middle. In fact, the Sahn is the heart of the house with all the floors. Moreover, the sections of the house open at the Sahn. They don’t open towards the exterior of the house. This architectural design of Gayer Anderson museum Cairo was common for many reasons. The first is to provide a sense of privacy especially to the ladies of the house. The second is to protect the house against dust and dirt making the air inside the house cleaner and fresher.

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All over the surface area of the Sahn, there are many pots that take the shape of barrels. They based upon white marble basins. It is where the water coming from the fountain to provide fresh water for the people living in the house. Moreover, Gayer Anderson museum has rooms and halls to storage grains and foods. They are on the ground floor. At the back of the Shan, there is a horse stable. It hosts only a few horses. The staircase which leads to the second floor of Gayer Anderson museum is in the horse stable. The most dominating feature of the second floor is what called the Maqa’ad. In fact, it is a wide space overlooking the Sahn of the house. The word “Maqa’ad” means the sitting area. It was where the people who lived in the house used to sit, especially men.

Moreover, the ceiling of the Maqa’ad is rather remarkable. It is with many marvelous plants and geometric golden decorations. Furthermore, there are also some shelves which decorated all around the Maqa’ad. In fact, this was where Anderson used to keep his glass items collection which he was fond of. Many of the architectural features of Gayer Anderson museum can viewed from the Maqa’ad. It is including the decorated walls of the house that are distinctive with their white and red colors. The marvelous Mashrabeya screens of Gayer Anderson museum overlooks the Sahn. It can also admired from the Maqa’ad.

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The other section of the second floor of the museum is the Salamlek. In fact, it is the hall where the men used to meet. The hall divided into three sections. It is the same as many other historical houses which date back to the Mamluk and the Ottoman periods. Moreover, there are two galleries surrounding the main chamber of the hall. Each gallery has many created Mashrabeya screens. The hall has many colorful pillows and wonderful wooden ashtrays. They decorated with pearl and ivory. The displays in the Salamlek hall include a collection of pistols. They date back to the Ottoman era with their distinctive accurate ornaments. There is also a collection of swords from different sizes and shapes.

The sides of ceiling of the Salamlek hall have remarkable decorations. They are with geometrical patterns and Arabic calligraphy. They include many pieces of poetry and different phrases from famous literature works. The ceiling itself is rich with its dark brown wood geometrical patterns decorations. In the middle of the Salamlek hall there is a large copper tray. It dates back to the Ottoman period. It used by the owner of the house to offer his guests drinks and snacks. There is also a white marble shelve where they used to put the Kolla. Kolla is the traditional Egyptian pottery water container.

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Large number of exhibits and antiques not present here during the days of Gayer Anderson. In fact, they put recently when the house modified to become a museum. The Gallery of the photographs and drawings host indeed a rare collection. It features fishing, love, celebration, chanting, wildlife, flowers and birds’ scenes. The portraits in this hall are quite notable for their special attention to details and sizes. Haramlek section is the section specified for the ladies of the house. This section featured with its beautiful Mashrabeya screens. They overlook almost every section of the house, the lanes and streets outside the house as well.

In fact, the Mashrabeya screens used by women to look over the streets. It not seen from outside. he Haramlek hall also feature many shelves and cupboards. They have wonderful colors that created in the Persian style. Moreover, the main staircase of Gayer Anderson museum leads to the roof. The roof used to function as a seating area for the women in the summer. There are many basins of water of different sizes which located in various locations in the roof for people. They used to wash their hands and faces in the summer.

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Gayer Anderson museum has Persian style bedroom of the owner of the house. The room has a magnificent bed decorated with ivory and pearl. There are also some candles holders and paintings. They make the room even more attractive to the eye. Gayer Anderson museum has Turkish hall. The hall has large chair which has a crown on top. In fact, it was a royal hall. Moreover, it also contains some pretty portraits of Mohamed Ali and Khedive Saied. Furthermore, there are many items which put on display in this room. They include large statue of Hatshepsut and a black statue of the ancient Egyptian cat god. They also include Bastet and many glassware and pottery.

The celebration hall of Gayer Anderson museum indeed is one of the most luxurious halls. The hall is around 15 square meters in surface area. It divided into two galleries. The first featured with its wonderful throne chair. It decorated with ivory and pearl. The middle section of this hall has a decorated white marble fountain. The floor of the hall ornamented with different light colors of marble. In fact, visiting the Gayer Anderson museum recommended. It is for history and Islamic architecture fans. Most of the features of Gayer Anderson museum remaining in a good condition. They make the visit to the museum an enjoyable experience. It is as if you travel in time to the period of the Ottomans.

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