Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art (changed from Museum of Arab Art in 1952) was founded in 1880 by the Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf). It moved several times (as more private small-scale enterprises at the Mosque of Baibars and then Mosque of Al-Hakim) before the current building, designed in an impressive neo-Mamluk style, was constructed in 1899-1902.

Though initially under European control and influence, largely through the Comité de conservation des monuments de l’art arabe, its first Egyptian director, Ali Bahgat (1858-1924), was a pioneer of Islamic archaeology and conducted excavations around Fustat in the early twentieth century.

As you walk the museum’s halls in this three-dimensional virtual tour, take a look at its displays of rare manuscripts of the Qur'an, intricate wood, stone, and plaster architectural elements, as well as crafts in glass, ceramics, and textiles.

It’s location, a short walk from Bab Zuwayla in Historic Cairo, makes this a must see for any visit to Cairo!