Old & New Egyptian Museums
It is more of a fact, than a joke, when our tourism brochures fondly claim that “Egypt is One Vast Museum” due to its deep-rooted and unusually long history hardly comparable to any country in the world. However, it is unfortunate that due to the various occupations of foreign rule, more than one-third of our national and historical heritage have been auctioned, sold, stolen or shipped abroad. This still goes on, but the Ministry of Tourism and other local and international authorities are joining forces and trying to retrieve some of our antiquities, as well as making greater efforts in stopping the thieves and smugglers of what remains. Egypt has more than 80 museums, in assorted classifications, which house the relics or antiquities.
ANTIQUITIES & CULTURAL MUSEUMS
The Egyptian Cairo Museum:
Located in the Tahrir Square. It houses ancient Egyptian antiquities dating back to pre-historic ages up to the early Christian era. To top the exhibits are the collection of Tut-Ankh Amoun antiquities and the Mummies’ Hall. Recently, this most famous museum was refurbished inside and with a coat of powder-pink paint, outside, for the Centenary a few of years ago. It is said to have underneath the museum a huge warehouse of relics not on display, due to the lack of space inside the museum for the vast amount of antiquities in storage. That is mainly why a new museum is being built in Giza, to display them all.
The Coptic Museum:
Located in Masr El-Qadima (Old Cairo). Built in 1910, this museum contains a rare collection of antiquities that depict Christian civilization, in addition to a collection of icons and matchless textiles.
Islamic Art Museum:
Situated in Ahmed Maher Square in Bab El-Khalq. It contains valuable curios originally collected from ancient buildings and mosques.
Prince Mohamed Ali Museum:
Situated in Roda Island, El-Manial. Its structure combines a variety of architectural and ornamental styles of Islamic art.
Greco-Roman Museum, Alexandria:
Opposite Alexandria Governorate building. It houses antiquities of the Greco-Roman era. The Coins Hall is the most important.
(New) Underwater Museum:
Still a project under survey and surveillance, in the Mediterranean Sea of Alexandria. Submerged or sunken huge statues and monuments were discovered inside the sea. It is under reconsideration if we could build a type of underwater museum, for sports and diving lovers…as well as for art and antiquities lovers.
Gaber Anderson’s Museum:
El-Kraitla House was established in 1835, in Ahmed Bin Tolun Square in El-Sayeda Zeinab district. As one of the most outstanding buildings of the Turkish era, it contains a variety of antiquities from this era.
The Glass & Ceramics Museum:
On the Sakkara Road, it is situated in front of the Cataract Resort Hotel, Haraneya, Haram, Giza, and contains modern and ancient glass and ceramic artefacts.
Royal Vehicles Museum:
This was established during the era of Khedive Ismail and King Fouad, in Boulaq. The museum consist of horse stables and bays for rare royal vehicles, as well as a rare collection of gala uniforms. (*) More details below.
Mohamed Ali Palace Museum:
This is an outstanding architectural building, built in the era and under the orders of Mohamed Ali Pasha in 1821 amidst vast gardens in Shobra El-Kheima.
Helwan Corner Museum:
Located at the end of Helwan Corniche, was established by King Farouk as a rest house in 1943, and was later transformed into a museum in 1954. It includes many royal acquisitions and paintings.
THE SALADIN CITADEL (SALAH EL-DIN EL-AYOUBI CITADEL) COMPRISES THE FOLLOWING 5 MUSEUMS:
El-Gowhara Palace Museum:
Built during the period from 1811 to 1814, at the southern corner of the Citadel, as the ruler’s seat for formal meetings and receptions; it is in the oldest formal residence for earlier rulers until 1844, and comprises many rooms, halls, precious curios and storeroom for the covering of the Holy Qa’aba in Mecca.
*Royal Vehicles Museum:
As mentioned above. It was inaugurated in 1982 and has only one hall where specific vehicles used on formal occasions in Egypt are exhibited, topped with the car of Empress Eugenie who visited Egypt to attend the inauguration of the Suez Canal.
The National Military Museum:
Depicts the history of Egyptian militia.
The National Police Museum:
This was inaugurated in 1987, displaying the history of the Egyptian police force.
Built in 1992, includes all the antiquities that were confiscated by the police.
FAMOUS MUSEUMS IN ALEXANDRIA & OTHER CITIES
The Royal Jewellery Museum:
Located in the Zinzinia district and was establilshed in 1919 as a residence for Fatma El-Zahra’.
The Maritime Museum:
Depicts maritime events in Egypt, situated in Qait Bey Citadel in Alexandria.
Rashid (Rosetta) Museum:
Dating back to the 8th century, portrays the main features of the national history of Rosetta. The Rosetta Stone is not within the premises.
San El-Hagar Museum – in the Delta; Cheops’ Boat Museum – at the Giza plateau in front of the Pyramids; and Kom Ushim Museum.
Both El-Karnak Museum and El-Malarey Obelisk, are classified as Open Museums.
FINE ARTS MUSEUMS
Modern Art Museum:
Located on the Gezirah grounds within the Egyptian Cairo Opera House compound, comprising masterpieces of ancient and contemporary Egyptian artists in different fields of art since the early 20th Century up till the present.
Mahmoud Khalil Museum (Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum):
Was inaugurated in 1995, located on the Nile Corniche in Giza beside the State’s Council; a wonderful architectural edifice that houses the masterpieces of great painters belonging to different artistic schools all over the world.
El-Gezirah Museum (Arts’ Palace):
Located by the Modern Art Museum in the Gezirah, and contains various works of art, including painting, weavings, pottery, carpets, glass, crystal and marbles statues from the 14th century to the early 20th century.
OTHER FINE ARTS MUSEUMS SPREAD ALL OVER EGYPT, as:
Effat Nagui Museum, Sa’ad El-Kadim Museum, Mahmoud Sa’eid Complex in Alexandria, and El-Nasr Museum of Modern Art, in Port Said.
CULTURAL & BIOGRAPHICAL ART MUSEUMS
Moustafa Kamel Museum:
Located in Salah El-Din Square in Qala;a (the Citadel). Comprises the letters and photos of Moustafa Kamel’s relentless struggle against the British occupation, besides the major events of his time.
Ahmed Shawki Museum:
Originallyu the residence of the poet laureate, it is located in Ahmed Shawki Street, opposite the Giza Zoo.
Located in Helmayat El-Ahram Street, in Giza; exhibits many of Taa Hussein’s acquisitions athat tell about his life.
Beit El-Umma (The Nation’s House):
This is situated in Sa’ad Zaghloul Street, off Qasr El-Eini Street and embodies the Egyptian people’s struggle under the leadership of Sa’ad Zaghloul. The mausoleum of the leader Sa’ad Zaghloul, who died in 1927, is located opposite the museum.
Sheikh Aly El-Ghayaty Museum:
Is in the city of Damietta, at the Cultural Center. Patriot, pioneer journalist, writer and poet, the museum was and donated by his predecessors, containing personal belongings, books written by him, his life story or biographies written about him by others or his life story, his struggle against the British occupation, and his escape and immigration to Switzerland.
Lies in the Dinshwai village in the Nenufia Governorate and depicts the history of the national resistance, especially the major events that were witnessed in Dinshwai, which led to the dismissal of Lord Cromer, the British Ambassador in Egypt at that time.
Bin Luqman House Museum (Dar Bin Luqman):
It is located in El-Mansoura and embodies lthe struggle of its citizens against Louis VI and the story of his captivity.
Hassan Tobar Museum:
Located in El-Manzala in the Daqahleya Governorate; depicting his struggle agains the French Expedition.
SCIENCES & TECHNOLOGY MUSEUMS:
In Ataba, which demonstrates the history of the mail in Egypt.
Located in Ramses Sqauare, and depicts the evolution of Egyptian railways that were established after the British railkways.
Surveys the history of transport in Egypt.
ETHNOGRAPHY & FOLKLORE
Ethnography & Folklore Museum:
This was established by the Geographical Association and inaugurated by Khedive Abbas II in 1898. It includes all the acquisitions unearthed by travellers in the Nile Valley and consists of three halls: The Sudan Hall, The Countryside Hall, and Life in Egypt Hall.
The Agricultural Museum (Department of Folkloric Heritage):
Inaugurated in 1957, situated in Dokki, Giza, and displays details related to the present daily life and models of folkloric handicrafts and artefacts.
Wekalat El-Ghouri Museum:
It is located in Alk-Azhar district. Includes different collections and models of the folkloric heritage of certain regions, as Nubia, Oases and Sinai, which are exhibited within eight halls on the ground floor.
Qout City Museum:
In El-Dakhla oases.
Sinai Heritage Museum:
At the north-western coast of Marsa Matrouh.
Delta Peasants Museum:
Situated in Kafr El-Shorafa.
Ragab Papyrus Museum:
On the Nile River bank, in Giza.
AGRICULTURAL & ZOOLOGICAL MUSEUMS
The Giza Zoological Museum (Giza Zoo):
This consists of three big halls exhibiting large groups of Egyptian and foreign embalmed birds, reptiles, fish and animals, as well as skeletons. There are also two other halls exhibiting various kinds of animals, reptiles and birds. An embalming factory is located behind the museum for such purposes.
OTHER OPEN MUSEUMS AND PARKS
The Agricultural Museum at Dokki; Fish Park Museum (‘Fish Garden’) in Zamalek, El Kobba Palace Park Museum, and The International Park at Nasr City, that exhibit rare collections of flora, both in quantity and formation, or species of fish, as surmised by the names of the museums.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUMS
These are represented by sciences museums at the Academy of Scientific Research & Technology in Qasr El-Aini Street in Cairo; sciences museums in Damietta, Assiut and Alexandria; Seas & Fisheries Science Museums in Alexandria, Suez and Hurghada; The Geological Museum in Qassr El=Aini Street; Insects Museums in Queen Nazli Street in Cairo; History of Medicine & Pharmacy Museum in Saraya El-Sakakini, Ghamra, which includes medicine and pharmacy-related acquisitions.
Prehistoric & Petrified Forest; Petrified Whales and other open museums are located at Fayoum and Ma’adi districts.
The Military Museums in El-Alamein and the Military Museum in Port Saied. The 6th of October Panorama Museum is one of the most remarkable museums that tell the history of the 6th October Victory in 1973.
Egypt also has museums not specifically for the public, but more for the professors and attending students, such as the University Museums.
More recent museums have been established, to honour deceased celebrities or artistes of acclaim, such as for the famous singer Om Kalthoum.
THE (NEW) GIZA MUSEUM
This new marathon project is still under planning and construction. Egypt intends to build one of its greatest and biggest museums of the country, and perhaps of the world, close to the Pyramids area, in Giza. The main antiquities will soon be relocated there, following the route and final resting place of our great statue of Ramses II.