The Dome Palace Museums in Cairo (Mohamed Mokhtar, Egypt, ITP Senior Fellow)
Written by Mohamed Mokhtar Senior Curator, Abdeen Palace Museums, (ITP 2015, Senior fellow 2019, Egypt)
As part of the Egyptian state’s efforts to develop archaeological and tourist sites, the Presidential Dome Palace has recently witnessed a comprehensive development process, including the main garden of the palace, which has an area of 190 acres, includes a rare collection of plants and trees that were specially brought during the rule of the Muhammad Ali family to this palace.
The Qubba Palace is located in the Saray al-Qubba area of Cairo. It is the largest palace in Egypt, and one of the most important royal palaces in the era of the Muhammad Ali Pasha family. It was built by Khedive Ismail (1863-1879) on the ruins of an old house belonging to his father Ibrahim Pasha, and the construction lasted for 6 years. Work began on its construction in 1867 and ended in late 1872. The palace was officially inaugurated in January 1873 at the wedding of Prince Muhammad Tawfiq, the Crown Prince of Khedive Ismail, to later be associated with the legendary weddings of the royal family. King Fouad I made it his residence from 1925.
The Dome Palace has a huge and unparalleled royal collection, and the Egyptian state has been keen to make these collection available to visitors from all ages, to familiarise visitors with that era, which embodies the greatness of the Egyptian state. From this point, The Dome Palace Museums were established, and will be opened to visitors soon:
The Dome Palace Chariots & Vehicles Museum:
It displays royal horse-drawn carts used by King Fouad and King Farouk and the guests of Egypt on various occasions. The museum also houses a rare collection of historical documents and photo albums that are displayed on screens of rare documentaries. This is in addition to the rare knights’ kits and a special display of the clothes worn by the chariot crews of that period.
The museum also displays a collection of royal and presidential cars from different eras, and these cars were witnesses to important events in the history of Egypt and its leaders.
The Dome Palace Museum
The museum which is a part of the main building of the palace includes a unique collection of the acquisitions of Muhammad Ali family and a group of rare documents that are presented for the first time to visitors, and what is new in this museum is that it displays a rare collection of furniture such as the bedroom of Queen ‘Nazli’, the mother of King Farouk, the last king of Egypt, and an office and bed of King Farouk I and the bedrooms of the princesses, sisters of King Farouk.
After the tour in the two museums, visitors can take the open-top bus and tour the royal gardens of the Dome Palace, which has an area of 190 acres, accompanied by a tour guide who explains the history of the gardens and what they contain of rare trees, including the historical sycamore tree that was brought specifically to decorate the Dome Palace from India, in addition to a visit to the Botanical Garden and Royal Greenhouse and Rose Garden.
During their visit to the museums of the Dome Palace, the visitor can find all the services they need like free guidance, cafeterias, restaurants and souvenirs corner.