CAIRO - 19 May 2017: The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is the largest and the most famous museum in Egypt that many Egyptians mistakenly think it is the only museum in Cairo. In fact, Cairo has many precious museums worth visiting. Celebrating the International Museum Day, Egypt Today is recommending you top 5 museums in Cairo that should not be missed.
1-The Coptic Museum
The Coptic Museum was established in 1910 on 8000 square meter land by Marcus Simaika Pasha. The museum’s building is paved with mosaics and is surrounded by gardens, courtyards and old Coptic churches like the Hanging Cchurch of the Virgin Mary and the church of St. Sergius.
This museum contains the largest collection of Christian artiefacts in the world; including plenty of vestments, frescoes, cloths, manuscripts, priestly garments, wooden panels and icons. The museum contains sculptures from the fourth and fifth centuries. A sculpture as Aphrodite emerging from the water on a seashell, another is sculpture from Ahnas illustrating the marriage of queen of Sparta Leda and god Zeus. The wood work displayed in the museum show the Copts cleverness in making doors and panels showing episodes from the life of Christ.
2-Museum of Islamic Arts
Erected in 1903 in Bab el- Kalq, this museum is considered one of the greatest museums in the world. It is made up of one large floor with plenty of exhibits. The museum's right wing includes many artefacts from different Islamic periods.
It contains also wood panels, gold dinars, ceramic dishes, beautiful jewellery, ivory, boxes and whole doors. The museum left wing includes in addition to the Egyptian Islamic art, Persian and Turkish artefacts. The collection in this section includes surgical instruments, scales, sand clocks, astrolabes and compasses to determine Ka’ba direction to help Muslims to pray.
This museum was closed in January 2014 after a bomb attack on the Cairo police directorate, and was reopened in January 2017.
Islamic art Museum
The Egyptian Textile Museum is one of its kind in the Middle East. It features fabric collections from Ancient Egypt, the Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.
The museum collection includes simple linen shawls, tunics and loin cloths, textile samples and a number of Pharaonic statues. The Pharaonic section in the museum contains funeral clothes, shrouds and decorative colourful textiles. The Graeco-Roman section contains different statues. The Islamic section exhibits different styles of Arabic calligraphy, and the last room features a cover of the Ka’ba, which dates back to the time of King Farouk.
4-Abdeen Palace Museum
It was established on the site of palace owned by Abidin Bey, one of the army commanders under Mohamed Ali Pasha on 1874, that’s why it was named after him.
It was built on an area of 24 feddans. Abdeen palace which is located in old Cairo district in Abdeen neighbourhood is one of the most luxurious palaces in the world. It is full with of paintings, ornaments and huge number of pure gold decorated clocks. The palace upper floors are pawned only for foreign dignitaries’ visits.
The lower floors are open for the public and include the silver museum, Arms museum, Royal family museum, the presidential gift museum, new museum and the historical documents museum.
Abdeen Palace museum
5-Gayer Anderson Museum
Located in Sayida Zeinab neighbourhood right next to Ahmad Ibn Tulun Mosque, the museum is named after Gayer Anderson Pasha, a British officer in the Egyptian army who used to live in the house.
The museum is famous with the beautiful garden that surrounds it. All the displays in the museum are put in glass cases with explanation under it.
The museum is divided into two parts. First is the Salamlek, which is a place in the house for men only to sit in. This part has an amazing ceiling and walls with Persian decorations. The second part is the Haramlek which is dedicated to ladies only. The Haramlek is full of paintings that Anderson collected from all over the world.
Gayer Anderson Museum