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Gayer-Anderson Museum (Bayt Al-Kiritliya)

Gayer-Anderson Museum - Egypt Tours Portal
Gayer-Anderson Museum (Bayt Al-Kiritliya)
Location Sayyida Zeinab, Cairo Beside Ibn Tulun Mosque
Built 16th-17th Century
Owner Gayer Anderson
Museum Established 1937
Architecture Distinctive Design


  • The Gayer Anderson Museum, situated near Cairo's Ibn Tulun Mosque, is named after Major R.G. Gayer Anderson Pasha, who resided there from 1935 to 1942.
  • It comprises two ancient residences showcasing exquisite 17th-century Cairo architecture and a collection of carpets, furniture, and artifacts.
  • Established in 1937, the museum combines the Beit Amna Bent Salim (1540) and Beit El-Kiridiliya (1632), preserving Islamic monuments cleared by the Egyptian government in 1928.
  • Gayer Anderson's career spanned military and administrative roles in Egypt before retiring in 1924 to focus on Oriental studies and Egyptology.
  • The house is associated with legends, believed to be built on ancient remnants, and holds a well with mystical properties.
  • The museum, managed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, enforces strict regulations for preservation.
  • It boasts a stunning gallery featuring diverse artifacts and rooms, making it a must-visit during an Egypt vacation, offering guided tours for an enriching experience.

This is a wonderful art museum that is located in the Sayyida Zeinab neighborhood adjacent to the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo. It was named after Major R.G. Gayer Anderson Pasha, who resided at the house from 1935 to 1942 with permission from the Egyptian government. His house in the museum is considered the best-preserved example of the bewitching 17th-century architecture that was left in Cairo and also for the incredible objects, carpets, furniture, and everything inside.

Gayer Anderson Museum was established in 1937 based on two ancient residences which are The Beit Amna Bent Salim from 1540 and The Beit El-Kiridiliya from 1632. You will find inside the museum the private collection of the major in addition to lots of precious carpets, glassware, silks, Arab costumes, and furniture.

Gayer-Anderson Museum History

Gayer-Anderson Museum History - Egypt Tours Portal
Gayer-Anderson Museum History - Egypt Tours Portal

The majestic Bayt Al Kritiliyya is one of the most magnificent examples of incredible Muslim domestic architecture in the golden city of Cairo. The house is known to date all the way to the Mamluk period, around 1631 AD, which was constructed by Hagg Mohamed Salem Galmam el-Gazzar. It is made of two marvelous houses where Ibn Tulun mosque’s outer wall was used as a form of support. The bigger house is found on the far east side, which was constructed around 1632 AD by an order from Hajj Mohammad ibn al-Hajj Salem ibn Galman al-Gazzar. Then its ownership was transferred to a rich Muslim lady called Crete, which explains why the house became known as the House of the Cretan Woman "Beit al-Kritliyya". The second house found on the far western was created by Abdel-Qader al-Haddad around 1540 AD which late on was known as "Beit Amna bint Salim". Again, the two amazing houses were merged by a great bridge across the 3rd floor, thus forming the current shape of the house museum which became known as Bayt al-Kritliyya.

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The creation of private homes across the great outer wall of the mosque was seen as a common practice. The Egyptian government in 1928 began to clear all the homes that were in poor condition in order to make space dedicated to the preservation of all the other significant Islamic monuments while making them more accessible. The rise of the museum came around 1935 AD by the hand of Major Gayer Anderson who was a self-described orientalist and a retired art collector who was given permission to leave the house after it was completely restored. He furnished the entire house with his entire collection of artifacts after he installed the house with the most modern plumbing and electricity plus he resorted the entire interior of the house-museum plus all the pavements and the fountains. The house and all of its content in 1942 was transformed into a museum by an order gayer-anderson who became ill and had to lead the country.

Who is Gayer Anderson Pasha?

Who is Gayer Anderson Pasha - Egypt Tours Portal

Gayer Anderson joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1904, and then he joined the Egyptian Army in 1907. He was promoted in 1914 and became a Major, and in the same year, he became an Assistant adjutant General for recruiting in the Egyptian Army.

Gayer retired from the army in 1919, and he became the senior inspector in the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior. After that, he became the secretary of the British Residency in Cairo. Finally, he retired in 1924, and he spent the rest of his life in Egypt trying to expand his interests in Oriental studies and Egyptology.

Legends Attached to that House

Legends Attached to that House - Egypt Tours Portal

There are some amazing legends that are closely associated with the house of Gayer Anderson, including:

The House was built on the remnants of an ancient mountain called "Gebel Yashkur," and it is believed that the Ark of Noah rested there after the Deluge. It is believed that that house was built on the spot where Moses was spoken to by God.

His house and his small sailing boat were protected by Haroun El-Husseini, who had actually been buried under one corner of the house. It is believed that the well of the house has some miraculous qualities, and if a lover looked into it, he wouldn’t see his reflection, but instead, he would see his beloved reflection.

The Apartments inside Gayer’s House

Apartments inside Gayer’s House - Egypt Tours Portal
Apartments inside Gayer’s House - Egypt Tours Portal

The House Museum has a magnificent and truly enchanting architectural design on both the exterior and interior. The house museum is divided into the guest house Salamlik and the Haramilk, which acted as a center for all the family residences and provided an exclusive entrance for all the family members, close friends, honored guests, and the master.

The house contains five main entrances, each with its own goal, as there is an entrance for the ladies, the garden, and the guests of honor. The amazing court is known for its marble floor that acts as a central hub for the entire house. The haremlik has amazing windows that open to the courtyard, plus a staircase that connects it to the family residence.

The courtyard contains a 15 m deep wall known as the Bats' Well, also known as Bier El-Watawit. The reception room of the maqam has a gateway open to the outdoors, which is adorned with brass bowls that date all the way between the 14th and 17th centuries. It also has a marvelous pathway called a traditional "Durkah" where all guests can remove their shoes before entering the house.

The haremlik has the beautiful Qa’a which is the space where the marble tables are known to take center stage. The room is incredibly adorned with marvelous flowers, fruits, and beverages that follow a great, rich tradition. It is part of a holy carpet made of green silk. The service room stands out with all of its cupboards and well-crafted dresses inspired by marvelous Turkish styles. The safe room, or the Khazna, is found between the women’s and men’s quarters. It is known to be the place for preparing coffee and contains a number of miniature Persian paintings.

The great harem room is supported by 4 great columns and beautiful windows on all sides containing epic cupboards from the incredible Persian Teheran palace. Above the magic well is the secret chamber where people hide themselves and objects during times of danger. The main stairs are not typical of Islamic architecture as these stairs are only found in houses like this one.

The main stair walls are decorated with Persian Kashan, which are velvet prayer hangings. The small reading room has a magnificent Islamic design window seat and shelves. Across the walls are decorations of a Chinese flower painting on rice paper. The writing room has become known as the museum's curator's office and study held long benches and tables which possessed various ancient Egyptian writings and drawings across the walls.

The magnificent flat roof of the house was transformed into a magical roof garden which was surrounded by Mashrabias that carry incredible Christian symbols like the cross. The phenomenal Persian room contains objects dating from the later Persian age. The Byzantine or Bridge Room is known to connect the Byzantine room, which showcases a marvelous collection of epic Christian objects.

The ancient Egyptian room has a number of extraordinary ancient Egyptian artifacts, which include a magnificent map of Egypt engraved on an ostrich egg, a bronze Ancient Egyptian cat adorned with gold earrings, and a gold & black mummy case from the 18th century BC. The Mohamed Ali Room is a beautiful ottoman apartment that contains green and gold decorated walls, furnished with great Rococo-period furniture like an exquisite throne chair. The room is home to two portraits, an Istanbul harem toy, and a mechanical singing bird located within a cage.

The Damascus room was made around the 17th century. The room has three windows with three sides and cupboard doors on the fourth that has an incredible ceiling inscribed with a magical poem that praises the prophet. The decorations in the Damascus room are highly colorful walls and candlesticks across the room.

Gayer Anderson Museum Rules

Gayer Anderson Museum Rules - Egypt Tours Portal
Gayer Anderson Museum Rules - Egypt Tours Portal

The entire museum is totally run and handled by the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The museum has a number of regulations and rules that everyone should follow in order to ensure the safety and preservation of all the architectural structures and historical artifacts of the museum.

These regulations include no touching any of the displayed works of art, not eating or drinking within the museum and in front of the artifacts, and no camera flash in order to provide the most safe environment. It is advised to hire a guided tour so everyone can move with ease and caution.


Being in such a wonderful place in Egypt is a really incredible adventure that definitely worth so make sure you visit that marvelous museum during your unforgettable Egypt vacation. Book your guided Egypt tours now and experience the adventure of a lifetime! Don't wait.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Finest Destinations to Visit in Egypt?

The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.

What Are Egypt's Visa Requirements?

If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.

What Is the Top Traditional Egyptian Food?

Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.

What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.

What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?

You should pack everything you could ever need in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.

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We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 20 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort to make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the finest atmosphere until you return home.

Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.

What to Wear While in Egypt?

Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.

What are the Best Activities to Do in Egypt?

The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.

What are Egypt Festival and Public Holidays?

There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.

What are Special Advice for Foreign Women in Egypt?

Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

What are the Official Languages of Egypt?

Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.

What is the Transportation in Egypt?

The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.

What is the Weather is Like?

The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

What are the Reasons That Make You Visit Egypt?

It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.

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