As we were leaving Cairo‘s Mosque of Ibn Tulun, our guide gestured to a building on the right and asked if we wanted to see the Gayer-Anderson Museum. It wasn’t on the itinerary we negotiated with the tour company, but we had considered it, so we said sure. We’re glad he asked. The museum is “one of the best-preserved examples of 17th-century domestic architecture left in Cairo”
Above, the minaret of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun is framed by the wooden latticework on the rooftop terrace of the Museum. This rooftop terrace was used in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
Major Gayer-Anderson was a doctor in the British Army who was stationed in Cairo. After retiring, he was the doctor of King Farouk and lived in this house. Gayer-Anderson filled it with his collection, which he left to the Egyptian government when he returned to England.
The reception hall has a sitting area, mashrabiya from the second floor for privacy, and a fountain with geometric patterns. Water is special for people of the desert. “In the Middle Ages, Moorish and Muslim garden designers used fountains to create miniature versions of the gardens of paradise.”
This loggia and courtyard provide a open but private space in a crowded city.
I liked this combination of plain stone walls, decorated wooden ceiling, and the brass fixture with patterns of light shining through.
This harem room with mashrabiya has a high ceiling.
My favorite is the Damascus Room, named for the city from which this wooden room was moved.
The wall and ceiling of the Damascus Room.