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The Museum Of Islamic Arts

The Museum of Islamic Arts, dating from 1903, owns an extensive collection of craft-work, artifacts, manuscripts, and textiles covering the entire Islamic period in Egypt. Today the museum contains about 80,000 items and is one of the finest Islamic collections in the world. The collection was started in 1880 by Tawfiq, who was Muhammad Ali's grandson. He also had some help from two historians, Herz and Creswell. Soon the collection had over 7,000 items and continued to grow through donations, excavations and purchases. Originally the pieces were kept in al-Hakim's mosque until 1902. The museum is located at Bab El-Khalq Square. In the museum, they have gathered the masterpieces into two easily accessible areas, Halls 2 and 13. In Hall 2, you can find Umayyad objects which date from the 7th and 8th century. In Hall 13 there are representations of various types of pottery and the casket of al-Nasir Muhammad. In the other rooms there are objects of woodworking, metalworking, armory, ceramics, glass, books and textiles.

Here, Mohammad Ali waited while his forces trapped, and put an end to the Mamluk beys by massacring most of their leaders as they were leaving the Citadel. The Kasr (Qasr) El-Gawhara or Jewel Palace, originally Mohammad Ali Pasha's headquarters, is now open to the public as an example of the best early 19th Century Ottoman decoration and architecture. It collection includes 19th century royal portraits, costumes and furnishings. Constructed in 1814, it includes a small garden leading to a mosque with one of the more interesting eccentricities being the Watch Hall where the shape of a watch has been used to decorate the walls.

 

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