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Abdeen Palace Museum

Egypt has an abundance of royal museums built by Mohammad Ali Pasha and his dynasty of kings and princes such as Al-Gawhara Palace in Al-Qalaa area and Mohammad Ali Pasha Palace in the Shubra El-Khaima area, Abdeen Palace, and El-Qobba Palace.      


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

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 just a palace or architecture masterpiece but also home to five exquisite museums:


1 - War Museum (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.






2 - Presidential Gifts museum

It was established by President Mubarak in 2005 to show a number of presidential gifts and Mubarak family belongings. In addition, it contains a number of royal honoree medals.


3 - Royal Museum

It contains a big number of Royal Family belongings. It shows a number of objects, plates and eating instruments made from colored glass, gold and silver. It also carries a different collection of Royal Honoree medals.


4 - Historical Documents Museum

It displays a number of important and secret historical documents from different eras.


5 - 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.