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Downtown Cairo, Buildings that tell stories – Egyptian Museum

Egyptian Museum - Downtown Cairo Buildings

Downtown Cairo … One of the magical spots in Egyptian capital. The historical buildings were built with artistic touch. the facades shows the care on each detail. The whole area is a witness on an important phase in history.

You can have a quick online tour for this this phase here.

The history of Downtown Cairo goes back to 1867. Ismail Pasha, the grandson of Mohamed Ali Pasha, was the Khedive (ruler) of Egypt. He had a vision to make Cairo a beautiful city and even compete with the European cities. He hired a French planner to do design the downtown area in Cairo. The result was magnificent. In 1925, Cairo won the title of the most beautiful city in the world, even though European cities like Berlin, Paris and London were also competing.

Therefore, if you are visiting Cairo, try to visit the Downtown area. Each building tells a story. Here, we are of giving some examples through a series of articles, and this is the fourth one.

See the previous articles:

Egyptian Diplomatic Club

Davies Bryan Building

Credit Foncier Egyptien


Egyptian Museum

In Tahrir Square, the most famous square in Egypt, you will find the remarkable building of Egyptian Museum. That huge building has been opened in 1902.

Historically, story of the Egyptian Museum started in 1835 (under the rule of Muhammad Ali). At that time, antiquities were not well protected. they were smuggled and sold out of Egypt. Moreover, it was even possible to build new buildings using rocks from historical sites.

Then, two great men showed interest in saving Egyptian antiquities. They were Rifa’a al-Tahtawi, and Youssef Diaa. Due to their efforts, Muhammad Ali issied an order to establish the new Department of Antiquities. It was under the management of Youssef Diaa, and supervision of Rifa’a al-Tahtawi. Then, The Egyptian government established the Egyptian Museum to host antiquities from Ancient Egyptian history.

At the establishment, the museum building was in Al-Ezbekeyah. Along the years, in moved several times from a building to another. The location according to the historical order: Al-Ezbekeyah, Saladin Citadel, Boulaq, and Giza.

The, in 1902, under the rule of Abbas Helmi II, the museum moved to its current building in Tahrir Square (Previously named Ismailia Square). There was a competition for designing the building. Then, among 73 competing designs, the design by the french Architect “Marcel Dornon” won the competition.


The most famous contents on the museums are the pieces of the treasures of King Tut. the includes the marvelous golden mask of the young king. In addition, the Egyptian Museum host a collection of royal mummies such as the mummy of Ramsis II.

King Tut - Golden Mask

The museum also has many statues, jewelries, and tools from the daily life of the Ancient Egyptians. Exhibits are arranged in a series of departments according to the historical phases.