After a long restoration process, one of the oldest carriage museums in the world finally reopened its doors in late-2020. The museum was originally established during the reign of Khedive Ismail in the late-1800s before falling into decline. Restoration of the museum began in 2001, but with many delays it took until late-2020 to finally finish the project.
Housed within this historical building, where the original basalt floors still remain from the late-1800s structure, are five different halls showcasing various examples of royal vehicles and chariots from the period of Egypt’s modern monarchy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The Antikkhana Hall houses the carriages that were gifted to the royal family. Of note to see in this hall is the Alay chariot – a fine display of workmanship and ornate decoration gifted by Empress Eugenie, the wife of Emperor Napoleon III, to Khedive Ismail to commemorate the inauguration of the Suez Canal in 1869. Other impressive and rare vehicles can also be seen in the Gamallon Hall.
The Royal Events Hall houses the carriages that the royal family used for various state occasions as well as several oil paintings depicting the family members to whom the carriages belonged. The Hosan Hall offers a view into the world of costumes and clothes worn by stablemen and carriage workers of the royal court, as well as decorative accessories used to adorn the horses.
And if you are looking to take a small break from cars and carriages, you can always pop over to the Reception Hall where you’ll find a screen displaying related documentaries.
A museum of this type specializing in royal cars and carriages is quite rare, with only four other known examples in the world, so this unique museum could worth checking out if you have the time and interest while in Cairo.