The Royal Jewelry Museum of Egypt is located in Alexandria's Zizenia neighborhood and is one of the largest museums in Egypt, with a surface area of around
4,185 meters. Moreover, the Royal Jewelry Museum hosts the most valuable displays including the jewelry and the ornaments that the queens and the princesses of the last royal family of Egypt have worn for a considerable period of time.
History Of The Royal Jewelry Museum
The building of the museum itself is truly marvelous as the museum is housed in the palace of Princess Fatema El Zahraa, a rare gem of architectural excellence that was constructed in the 19th century.
Some of the displays of the Royal Jewelry Museum go back to the period when Mohamed Ali Pasha became the Khedive of Egypt in 1805. Pasha took control of the country, making it independent from Ottoman rule and he established a dynasty that ruled Egypt for the next 147 years.
The grandson of Mohamed Ali, the Khedive Ismail, who ruled from 1863 to 1879, wanted to make Egypt part of modern Europe. This is why Khedive Ismail added electric lamps to the street of Egypt, dug the Suez Canal, and had many modern buildings and different structures constructed in Egypt that raised its development level. Moreover, the Khedive Ismail hired the most skillful Egyptian and foreign artists to create the golden jewelry of the royal family and the antiques that were used to decorate their houses and palaces. This is the main reason why most of the displays of the Royal Jewelry Museum date back to his ruling period.
After the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, all the royal jewelry was expropriated and remained in governmental stores for a long period of time. Eventually, however, a report by the General Administration of Expropriated Money recommended that this jewelry should be used to establish a museum that would display the treasures to the whole world.
The Palace Of Fatema El Zahraa
The committee that was specified to establish the Royal Jewelry Museum was attracted to the Palace of Princess Fatema El Zahraa. She was the daughter of Prince Haidar Fadel, the son of Prince Mustafa Fadel who was the brother of Khedive Ismail. The palace of Princess Fatema El Zahraa was constructed between 1919 and 1923.
This palace is considered to showcase a uniquely European architectural style but was designed by French, Italian, and Belgian architects and artists. Furthermore, the palace was erected following the school of Michael Angelo using the calm style of coloring and decorations. The Palace of Fatema Al Zahraa, which was constructed over a surface area of 4185 square meters, consists of two large sections. The eastern section has two halls and a gallery with a bronze statue of a boy in the center of it. The walls of this section have rich colored window decorations all over; the western section consists of two floors. Each has four large halls with three bathrooms that were coated with decorative colored ceramics.
An elegant foyer connects the two sections of the palace and has ten glass frames in the shape of ten doors with drawings representing European historical scenes and legendary stories such as Romeo and Juliet.
The windows of the Palace of Fatema Al Zahraa were decorated with colored glass, and the grounds of the palace were coated with the finest types of wood that were imported from Turkey and other European countries. After the revolution of 1952, the Egyptian Government took ownership of the palace from Princess Fatema Al Zahraa, and it was transformed to become the lounge of the president of Egypt before it was later opened as the Royal Jewelry Museum.
Displays Of The Royal Jewelry Museum
The Royal Jewelry Museum has more than 11,000 displays that include the collection of Prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik, which consists of 12 cups that were made out of bronze and gold, 2,753 lobes of precious stones and diamonds, and a money bag made out of gold and other precious stones. Moreover, the priceless collection of Prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik has the marvelous Sultan pocket watch that was made out of pure gold and precious stones and a number of glass cups that are decorated with 977 lobes of diamonds. The Royal Jewelry Museum also displays a collection that dates back to the ruling period of Said Pasha that consists of some golden clocks and watches, Turkish, Egyptian, and European insignias decorated with gold and diamonds, and 4000 Roman, Persian, Byzantine, and Coptic coins.
Among the most impressive exhibits of the museum is the stuffing box of Mohamed Ali, the founder of the royal family in Egypt. It is ornamented with diamonds and gold, his set of chess, and his monumental sword that was created in the shape of a snake and decorated with 600 diamonds gathered from the collections of many princesses of the Royal family. The walls of the Royal Family Museum also have some magnificently painted portraits of Khedive Ismail, his wives, sons, and daughters that were put in pure golden frames.
The Collection Of King Farouk
The collection of King Farouk features extensive use of diamonds. The first piece of this collection was the sistrum that he used when he was a baby to call his servants. This sistrum is made in the shape of a royal crown and is studded with Palatine diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and small pieces of gold.
The museum also features King Farouk's personal walking stick, which was made of ebony and gold, and a magnificent set of cups decorated with gold and sapphire. Each cup has 229 pieces of sapphire and 29 diamonds.
A whole section of the Royal Jewelry Museum was specified to display the gifts that were given to King Farouk. This collection includes the tea set that was given to the king and his wife, Queen Farida, on their wedding day by the Pashas of Egypt. This is in addition to a plate made out of agate that was given to King Farouk by the Czar of Russia.
Belongings From The Queens Of Egypt
One of the most startling displays in the Royal Jewelry Museum is the crown of Queen Shwikar, which is one of the largest and most beautiful crowns of the members of the royal family in Egypt.
There is also the hall of the belongings of Queen Farida, the wife of King Farouk that exhibits her crown which was made out of gold and Palatine and ornamented by 1,506 diamond pieces. This is in addition to a large collection of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and corals. The collection of Princess Fawzeya, the sister of King Farouk and the wife of the Shah of Iran, Mohamed Reda Balhawy, contains a palatine ring where the name of the princess was carved and a belt that was ornamented with 240 pieces of diamonds. The museum includes many other displays that, include a large royal clock decorated with diamonds and the shape of an elephant made out of ivory and sapphire.
A section of the museum is also dedicated to the antiques and gifts that were given to the Royal family. These include the famous plate of Queen Eugenie that was given to Khedive Ismail at the opening of the Suez Canal. Its estimated price is around 15 million pounds, as it was ornamented with diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.
Reopening Of The Royal Jewelry Museum
The Royal Jewelry Museum has undergone a long restoration and renovation period for a long period of time it was reopened in the year 2010. Many services and facilities were added to the museum like central air conditioning, a library, a café, a seminar hall, and a restoration laboratory. Moreover, the security alarm system of the museum to protects the museum against thrifts, fire, and surveillance cameras.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Egypt has announced that the restoration and renovation of the Museum of Royal Jewelry Museum have cost more than nine million dollars, and it is set to become one of the most fabulous museums in Egypt. In April 2010 after a long period of being closed, the museum was officially reopened for public visits.
Hours Of Operation
Open daily 9 AM-4 PM
Tourist Ticket: LE 50
27 Sharia Ahmed Yehia Basha, Glymm, Alexandria
- BY TRAM: Tram 2 to Qasr as-Safa stop and look for a large white villa
- BY TAXI: ask for "met-haf al-megawharat al-melekiya"
- FACILITIES:: cafeteria, bookstore
- NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY IS ALLOWED.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
- CONTACT INFO : Phone: (03) 586 8348