The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, Egypt, is a must-see destination for travelers interested in Islamic art and culture. The museum contains an impressive collection of artifacts from the Muslim world, including objects dating back to the 7th century. This beautiful museum provides a fascinating glimpse into Islamic art and history.
The history of the museum
The Museum of Islamic Art was founded in 1903 by Mohamed Ali Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt. At the time, Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire. Mohamed Ali Pasha saw the need for a museum to house the growing collections of Islamic art and artifacts excavated throughout Egypt.
Construction of the museum began in 1899 and was completed in 1902. Architect Alfonso Manelesco designed the original building. Alfonso’s design was inspired by Mamluk architecture, which is prevalent throughout Cairo.
The architecture of the museum
The museum comprises two wings, each with its distinctively modernist style. The Main Hall is a large, rectangular space with high ceilings and walls lined with beautiful Islamic art. The first wing, known as the North Wing, is smaller and more intimate, with low ceilings and intricate detailing. The second wing, known as the South Wing, is the largest and most impressive of the two, with its soaring ceilings and exquisite staircase.
No matter which wing you explore first, you’ll be amazed by the sheer beauty and complexity of the artwork on display. The Museum of Islamic Art showcases the best of Islamic art, from intricate calligraphy to delicate mosaics. If you’re lucky enough to visit during Ramadan, you’ll also be able to see the museum’s stunning Ramadan decorations.
The museum’s exterior is adorned with intricate Muqarnas carvings, stained glass windows, and calligraphic inscriptions. The main entrance is through a massive gateway into an impressive courtyard. The courtyard is surrounded by an arcade of arches supported by columns with beautifully carved capitals. From the courtyard, visitors can enter the museum’s galleries through a series of iwans or Grand Hallways.
The Museum’s Grand Hallways are lined with walls covered in intricate tile work. The tile work comprises small ceramic pieces that have been hand-painted in bright colors. These tiles were produced in Syria, Egypt, and Morocco and date back to the 13th century. Beyond the Grand, Hallways are the museum’s galleries, which house the Museum’s collection of art and artifacts.
Some of the most important artifacts in the collection
The museum’s collection spans 1,000 years of Islamic history and includes objects from around the Muslim world. Some of the highlights from the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo include the following:
The Quran: One of the most important pieces in the Museum of Islamic Art’s collection is a copy of the Quran. The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, and this particular copy is believed to date back to 1000 years ago. The book is exquisitely decorated with gold and silver and features calligraphy that is nothing short of masterful.
Lamps: Another highlight from the Museum of Islamic Art’s collection is a beautiful lamp dating from 1000 years ago. This lamp was used for lighting purposes but was also seen as a status symbol. The lamp features intricate designs that are truly stunning.
Ceramics: The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo has one of the largest collections of Islamic ceramics. The collection includes pottery, tiles, and plates from around the Muslim world.
Woodwork: the Museum of Islamic Art’s wooden collection is worth checking out. This collection includes furniture that dates back to the 12th century. The woodwork is exquisite, and it’s clear that a lot of time and effort went into its creation.
How to get to the Museum of Islamic Art
The best way to get to the Museum of Islamic Art is to take a taxi or private car. Public transportation in Cairo can be challenging for visitors, and it is often more convenient to take a taxi. Traffic can be heavy, especially during rush hour, so it is important to allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
Visitors should also be aware that there are often demonstrations and protests in Tahrir Square, near the museum. While these events are typically peaceful, they can cause traffic delays.
Hours and admission prices for the Museum
The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo is one of the most important museums in the world for Islamic art. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday to Thursday. And on Fridays, the timing is different since it opens from 9 am to 11:30 am and then again from 1:30 pm to 5 pm.
Admission prices are 50 Egyptian pounds for foreigners and two for locals. The museum offers a wide variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it an essential destination for anyone interested in Islamic art and culture.
Tips for visiting the Museum of Islamic Art
If you’re planning on visiting the Museum of Islamic Art, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip.
Plan Your Visit Ahead of Time
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of Cairo’s most popular tourist destinations, so it’s important to plan your visit ahead of time. This will help you avoid long lines and crowds at the entrance. Once inside, take some time to explore the different galleries at your own pace. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, so you’ll need at least a few hours to see everything.
Be Respectful When Taking Photos
The Museum of Islamic Art is a place of learning and culture, so it’s important to be respectful when taking photos. Photography is allowed in most areas of the museum, but flash photography is not permitted. Be sure to ask permission before taking photos of any staff members or other visitors.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
The Museum of Muslim Art covers a large area, so you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes when visiting. There are also a lot of stairs, so if you have any issues with mobility, be sure to plan your route ahead of time. While there are plenty of places to sit and rest inside the museum, there’s also a lot of walking involved. Wearing comfortable shoes will help make your visit more enjoyable.
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the most important museums in Cairo and is essential for anyone interested in Islamic art and culture. The museum has a wide variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a great destination for visitors worldwide. When planning your visit, allow plenty of time to explore the different galleries. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.