Museum of Islamic Arts
Seeing as Egypt is home to the first and oldest Islamic University, it only makes sense to pay a visit to the Museum of Islamic Arts. In Azhar Street, near the famous Azhar Mosque and University, one will find a very informative collection of well-presented Islamic art. The building is newly refurbished and up to three hundred thousand pieces from the Ummayad period until the Ottoman ages are on display here. It is one of the few museums in Egypt that allows tourists to take photos of what are on display.
One could easily spend half a day within the walls of this remarkable building. A wide range of historical objects are on display. It is labeled and arranged in an orderly manner and pieces are well light for an impressive display of some of the world’s oldest and unique Islamic pieces of art, documents and relics. In fact, most people would say that this is one of the museums where pieces are best labeled, allowing a comprehensive, educated experience in English, French and Arabic. The variety ranges from Iranian, Mongolian, Egyptian Mamluk, Fatamid, Ayyubid and Ottoman of course.
One of the most outstanding objects, of which the museum houses over a dozen, is Islamic astrolabes. This makes it the only museum in the world to have them on display. Then there are medical tools, exquisite lamps and carpets, brassware and of course, ceramics. Some of the woodwork that is on display date back to the tenth and eleventh centuries. The Museum of Islamic Arts also displays an enormous copy of the Holy Quran, written in gold leaf. Another remarkable display is five meter high doors from a mosque. There are also a number of Mamluk monuments that take up large spaces of the museum’s display rooms. A truly mesmerizing experience!