Gayer Anderson Museum

The Gayer Anderson Museum is a medieval building and one of the best-preserved historical architecture in Islamic Cairo that houses a collection of oriental artefacts.

General Info

Name: Bayt al-Kritliyya
Established in: 1631
Location: 30° 1′ 42.24″ N, 31° 15′ 2.52″ E
Opening Hours: 8:00am-4:00pm
Place: Islamic Cairo
Type: Architectural Preserve
Collection: Oriental items
Friday: 8:00am-noon & 1:00-4:00pm


The building was first built in 1632 by Hajj Mohammad ibn al-Hajj Salem ibn Galman al-Gazzar, a wealthy Islam but was passed on to a very wealthy muslim lady from Crete. And was called Beit al-Kritliyya, or "House of the Cretan Woman”. A second house was added to it was named after its builder Abdel-Qader al-Hadda and was called Beit Amna bint Salim. These two houses were joined by a bridge and totally called Bayt al-Kritliyya.

In 1935, Major Gayer Anderson was allowed to live here who saw to the renovations, plumbing and restorations of the building and started collecting oriental artefacts. However, he was forced to leave Egypt in 1942 due to illness. The museum is used for film making sets such as The Spy who loved me.


The building is divided into 2 sections.

  • Haramlik: The family residence

  • Salamlik: The guest-house

  • 5 Main Entrances:

  • One for the ladies,

  • Sebil,

  • Entrance through the garden

  • 2 doors of honour

The Courtyard

  • The floor is made of marble that can be overlooked by with windows in the Haramlik.

  • Bats’ Well also known as Bier el- watawit

  • A stairway

The Maq’ad or Loggia: It is a reception room with a Durkah, pathway from a door to another where guests put their shoes.

Qa’a: The Reception Room in Haramlik with marble tables and holy carpet.

Service Room: Famous for the dresses and cupboards modelled in Turkish designs.

The Khazna: The Safe- Room or Coffee room between men and women room which displays miniature Persian buildings nowdays.

The Harem: A very large room supported by four columns  have some Persian cupboards each with a different collection.

Makhba: A Secret Chamber above the magic well that was used as hiding place for people or objects.

The Main Stairs: A series of Persian Kashan, also known as velvet prayer-hangings, are hung on the main stair walls here.

Reading and Writing Rooms

  • Reading room was very small with a window-seat and shelves, inspired by Islamic designs.

  • Writing Room also serves as a study room is now used as an office for the museum’s curator.

The Roof Garden: The flat roof of main house is turned into roof garden by Mashrabias enclosure is inspired from Coptic designs.

The Persian Room: The objects in this room dates back to Persian period.

The Byzantine: The Bridge Room links Haramlik to Salamik.

The Ancient Egyptian Room: Originally used as study room contain items belonging to Ancient times.

The Mohamed Ali Room: This Ottoman apartment houses items belonging to Rocco period and Khedives period too.

The Damascus Room: The room made of wood with a collection of candlesticks spread across the room.


  • It is believed that the house was built on the remnants of an ancient mountain called Gebel Yashkur, the "Hill of Thanksgiving."

  • One important legend pertaining to Noah Ark is that it came to rest here and last of the floodwater was drained through the well in the courtyard of the house.

  • This well-known belief inspired him to build a sailing boat on the Nile and gave a French name La Marée now called Dahabiya meaning "the tide”.

  • The well is also believed to have miraculous qualities.

or detail viewing, come and witness the glorious history of Gayer Anderson Museum with NILE HOLIDAY today..

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