Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo

The Museum of Islamic Art Cairo Looks Like a Magic Carpet will Fly You Through the Historical Ages Amid a Dazzling Treasure

A door that will lead you to dazzling treasure, where you will walk across one hundred thousand magnificent, unique masterpieces that will show the true meaning of creativity in the decoration and the precision in the industry. Your eyes will be stunned seeing these shiny metal, glass, and ceramic utensils, ornaments, weapons, wood, ivory, textiles, oriental colorful, unique carpets, etc. Just open the magic door of the Museum of Islamic Art Cairo to travel via the eras going through Fatimids, the Mamluks, the Ottomans till arriving at the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, and live each detail of the life in these historical ages.

Artifacts and Manuscripts

Manuscripts and artifacts in medicine, surgery, herbs, astronomical tools such as astrolabes, compasses, and astronomical balls, and in the field of sub-arts that represent the requirements of life in these historical times wait for you in the Museum of Islamic Art Cairo to feel as if you enter a magic area that will take you as if you ride a magic carpet in the novels to travel back to historical events, viewing by your eyes how was the exact real-life looked like.

Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo is considered the largest museum specializing in Islamic art in the world, as it displays all branches of Islamic art in different eras, and its art collections were distinguished by their richness in terms of quantity and quality, which made it a beacon for Islamic arts and civilization throughout its history and became a source of familiarity with the history of Islamic civilization In various fields of sciences such as medicine, engineering, astronomy, and others.

all branches of Islamic art in different eras

Imported Pieces at the Museum

Delicately carved woodwork, and elaborately decorated ceramic pieces allow you to wander through all periods of Islamic history while the harmony of colors and the vibrant shades will lead your soul to the magic of the art from Arab and non-Arab nations, walking by your feet through one place to travel via the whole world, going through India, China, Iran, Turkey, the Levant, Egypt, North Africa, and Andalusia. That is how your tour will be inside the Museum of Islamic Art Cairo, which began with displaying 7,000 artifacts when it was opened in 1903, then the masterpieces increased to 78,000 in 1978, and then the displays become 96,000 in the recent past, and over 100,000 pieces today. So, what is the exact story of building this glorious landmark?

From the open courtyard of the Al Hakem Mosque to A Place Of Rare Dazzling Wonder In huge Twenty-Five Halls

The idea of ​​establishing the Museum of Islamic Art began in 1869 AD during the reign of Khedive Ismail and was actually implemented during the reign of Khedive Tawfiq in 1880 AD when Frantz Pasha collected the archaeological artifacts dating back to the Islamic era in the eastern iwan of the Al-Hakim Mosque in Al-Muizz Street, and when the number of these pieces reached 111 Masterpiece in 1882 AD, there became an urgent need to build a building that includes these antiques and artifacts, so a small building was built in the courtyard of the Al-Hakim Mosque in 1892 and it was called the Arab Museum under the administration of Frantiz Pasha.


The current building, which is located in Bab Al-Khalq district, was opened during the reign of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II in the year 1903 AD, and the name of the museum was changed from the Arab Museum to the current name – Museum of Islamic Art Cairo- in 1951 AD, where all its exhibits and collections were distributed at that time in twenty-three halls divided according to ages and materials to offer unique masterpieces from the whole world.

And between 1983-1984 AD, the museum’s area was expanded, and the number of its halls increased until it became twenty-five halls, displaying A rare collection of textiles, seals, glass, Ottoman ceramics, Iranian and Turkish carpets, as well as a set of astronomy and engineering tools that were used in the Middle Ages and a huge collection of surgical and cupping machines that were used in the era of Islamic times, which was characterized by prosperity in all fields of medicine, engineering, and chemistry, in addition to its inclusion of many Among the means of measuring distances, such as the arm and the reed, and other means of measuring time, such as the hourglass.

How The Museum of Islamic Art Cairo Arrange The Eras To Enable You The Smooth Traveling Via History Seeing The Wonders

The Islamic Museum is divided according to the eras, styles, and artistic elements, from the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid, Mamluk, and Ottoman, into ten sections according to the artistic elements, starting from the early Islamic era through Muhammad Ali Pasha, such as the department of metals, textiles, woods, carpets, decoration, glass, ornaments, stones, marble and weapons.

While you will find that in the north wing is the Islamic art in Egypt, and the second part is devoted to artifacts that represent the history of Islamic art in Spain, Anatolia, and Andalusia. The museum also includes a huge library on the upper floor that contains many manuscripts and documents written in Turkish and Persian, as well as collections written in English, German and Italian, and a number of Islamic history and antiquities books, equivalent to thirteen thousand books.

Museum of Islamic Art Cairo

Wooden Art

While you go through this majestic landmark, you will stop in complete surprise seeing  The wooden mihrab, which is one of the rarest wooden collections in the museum, and this is evidenced by the inscription in foliated Kufic script on the front of the wooden mihrab and its four facades are decorated with various floral motifs, delicate plant branches, triple and pentagonal leaves, and clusters of grapes next to fillings decorated with star-shaped geometric shapes and the beginnings of the emergence of unfinished star dishes In the Fatimid era. At that time, Samarra-style artifacts dating back to the Abbasid era, especially the Tulunid era, will attract you; it is among the rarest wooden artifacts as well.

wooden mihrab

While the jug of Marwan bin Muhammad, the last of the Umayyad caliphs, made of bronze, 14 cm in length and 28 cm in diameter, is considered one of the rarest metal artifacts because it represents the latest in the art of metal decoration at the beginning of the Islamic era. Then you will go in the charming of the golden and silver treasure, seeing wonderful seals, weights from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, nayashin, rings and necklaces from the Ottoman era, and Muhammad Ali, which are among the rarest metal artifacts, as for the Sultan’s lamp from the Mamluk period, it is considered one of the rarest glass artifacts.

Some Info You Need To Know About The Magical Door Of The Museum of Islamic Art Cairo.

  • The cost to visit the Museum of Islamic Art Cairo is 100 LE.
  • The opening hours are; on Saturday to Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm, Friday: 1.30 pm – 7 pm.

Related FAQ

Why is the museum of Islamic art important?

Importance of the Islamic Art Museum

Masterworks from all over the world exemplify the diversity found in Islamic tradition, and the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is home to one of the world's largest collections of Islamic art.

What is the Islamic art?

The phrase "Islamic art" refers to both the art made expressly for the Muslim faith (such as a mosque and its furnishings) as well as the art and architecture historically made in Muslim-ruled countries, for Muslim clients, or by Muslim artists.

How big is the Museum of Islamic Art?

Museum of Islamic Art Construction

The museum rises from the water and is connected to the land by two pedestrian bridges and a motor bridge. The museum is an architectural wonder that projects 60 metres (195 feet) into the Arabian Gulf off Doha's Corniche. Behind the museum, a C-shaped peninsula and park area provide protection and a lovely setting.

How was the Islamic museum renamed?

The museum relocated to a brand-new Alfonso Manelesco-designed structure in the Bab Al-Khalk neighbourhood in 1903. The museum was renamed Museum of Islamic Art in 1952, following the Gamal Abdel-Nasser-led Arab nationalist movement.

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