16 June 2024 02:30 AM

Abdeen Palace Museum

Saturday، 11 June 2022 - 02:48 PM
Abdeen Palace Museum

Abdeen Palace is one of the most famous royal palaces in Cairo, and it was the seat of government from 1874 until the 23rd revolution in 1952. It was the first time since the Ayyubid era that the ruler of Egypt leaves the fortress and moves to the heart of Cairo to live among his people. The palace then became one of the presidential palaces following the decision of the Revolutionary Command Council.


 Abdeen Palace Construction

Abdeen Palace was built as part of Khedive Ismail's ambitious plan to build a modern Cairo that is similar to modern European cities. As soon as he ascended the throne of Egypt in 1863, he ordered the establishment of the palace. Abdeen Palace was named after Abdeen Bey, one of Mohammad Ali Pasha's military commander, who used to live at it. Then after Abdeen Bey died, Khedive Ismail bought the palace from his widow. He demolished and expanded its area to be 24 acres and build the current Abdeen Palace, which became one of Cairo's architectural masterpieces. It took 10 years to finish the construction of the palace. 

Abdeen Palace is an example of European architecture in Egypt designed by the French architect Rousseau resembling the European palace at that time. Khedive Ismail commissioned several architects from around the world to finish the palace construction before the inauguration of the Suez Canal in 1869. Nevertheless, the 500-room palace was completed in 1874.


Abdeen Palace Description

The facade of Abdeen Palace suggests that it is an official palace. It reminds the visitor of Buckingham Palace in London. Khedive Ismail and his followers were keen to imbue the character of grandeur on the Egyptian royal palace.




Abdeen Palace consists of two floors. The first floor includes the haramlik and salamlik. While the ground floor contains the palace's garden, and a pharmacy of rare medicines opposite to the pharmacy is the former royal printing house as well as King Farouq's office.


 The palace also has several halls painted in white, red, and green to receive the official delegations during their visit to Egypt. The Mohammad Ali Hall is the biggest and most luxurious hall in Abdeen Palace. It was built in the Arabic Islamic style and has a distinctive accurate inscription inlaid with marble, granite, and amber.  


 Moreover, the Belgium suite is a magnificent part of Abdeen Palace given its architectural and decorative unique style. It was so named because the king of Belgium was the first person to stay in it.



The Palace is also characterized by its exquisite Italian, Turkish, and French designs and decorations as well as a collection of rare paintings and pieces of furniture decorated with gold.  



Abdeen Palace is not one museum, or an antique, but four different museums:



1 - War Museum (Arms Museum)


One of the richest museums, the sons and grandsons of Khedive Ismail took care of and preserved it. It is divided into two parts:


a-The white weapons section: those rare weapons that were brought out by the hands of skilled craftsmen from the countries of the Islamic world and Europe, from different eras, including “swords; daggers; hunting tools; shields; gears; helmets; and fencing swords “shish”, some of which have a handle and a gold sheath Or silver; or ivory handles; and inlaying with diamonds; sapphires; emeralds; coral and other precious stones was used. Examples of these collectibles are “Ottoman Sultan Selim I sword, BC 16. Also, Muhammad Ali Pasha belongings of swords and daggers BC 19.  In addition to this Napoleon Bonaparte sword.  Finally dagger that belongs to German commander "Rommel in the 20th century..


b- Arms Museum


It was constructed by King Farouk. It displays different weaponry collections, including a number of Egyptian guns that belonged to King Farouk and a number of light weapons. This section displays groups of different firearms in terms of diversity; rarity; industry methods and model. This section begins with a hall to display “deceitful” partner weapons, which is a group of guns or a “shish” weapon executed in the form of sticks, which is supported by them. And a group of pistols and rifles that were ignited by sulfur and this weapon is known as “Match Lock.”


 The exhibits date back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

The manufacturer decorated these weapons either by inlaying with precious stones, or suffuring with gold and silver on the grip of the weapon, and the craftsman’s creativity reached the implementation of hunting scenes on the grip of the weapon, executed in the manner of hollowing out, for example, weapons bearing the name Muhammad Ali and others belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte



C-Defender Square:


It is an open display arena, with cannons of different models on display, some of which were made in Egypt during the era of Muhammad Ali and his successors, and their manufacture dates back to the 19th century, including a group of "mortar" cannons next to the cannons of forts and field cannons.


2-Museum of medals and badages

-Royal acquisition section

In this section, various collectibles and antiques, such as: a sword inlaid with precious stones and decorated with colored enamel, is known as the "Coronation Sword"; as the emperors of Russia were crowned with it, and it was made in Germany and purchased by King "Farouk" from an international auction. , It also displays the crew of "Kamar" to carry bullets, which is made of local leather with wrought gold, given by King "Abdul-Aziz Al Saud" to King "Farouk".


3-Silverware Museum


It was added to the Abdeen Palace museums in 1998. It contains a number of silverware antiques that belonged to Mohamed Ali’s family. It was devoted to preserve the royal family's belongings that was made of gold, silver, crystals and colored crystals. They are tools, utensils and antiques used in eating food and drinks, in addition to valuable gifts that were presented by foreign delegations and the upper classes.


4-Historical Documents Museum: It displays a number of important and secret historical documents from different eras. The most recent museums that opened inside the palace, it was opened in 2004. It displays a number of important and secret historical documents from different eras .As several important historical documents from "Muhammad Ali Pasha era” to King Farouk I, the last king of Egypt.



The most important historical events that Abdeen Palace have witnessed


Abdeen Palace  have witnessed many and many important historical events in Egypt’s history, such as: the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal; the famous confrontation between Ahmed Orabi and the Khedive in 1881 AD;and the transformation of Egypt from the monarchy to the Republic in 1952 AD; and President Abdel Nasser addressed the palace balcony more than once until the year 1958 Nasser went to the Dome Palace to rule from it.


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