The Spectacular Royal Jewelry Museum You Should Visit in Alexandria
The city founded by the greatest of them all Alexander the Great. Our link to the Mediterranean Sea, and Egypt’s second largest city. I’ve been there only three times. But every time I discover something new and the city never cease to amaze me, whether because of its history, its cuisine or its amazing weather. This is one of these posts that answer “why should I visit Alexandria” question.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a loyal fan of royal families. We had our own royal family till 1952. We always reminisce about their time. A time when Cairo was voted as the most beautiful city in the world. Which leave us now not only with a modern Egypt infrastructure but also with astounding artistic production from breathtaking structures that still managed to survive to this day. And certainly, the most alluring pieces of jewelry.
The latter made me come across the Royal Jewelry Museum which was on the top of my list this visit. Which also, if you are wondering where to go in Alexandria I highly recommend. I believe it’s one of the best museums in Alexandria if you are looking for places to visit in Alexandria, Egypt. After some struggle with the GPS, we finally found the place. The building itself is a piece of art. More composition and elements than I could imagine. It used to be a palace that belonged to Princess Fatma al Zahra’ Haider.
Once you are inside, you are greeted with some paintings of the members of the royal family, and full-length sculptures. The decorative coffered ceiling of the palace and some of its walls are adorned with baroque and rococo art that I’m sure will perplex you by its charm. They depict some historical scenes, some natural scenery, and of course some angels (hashtag basic).
The main corridor of the palace that connects between the eastern wing and western wing of the palace is divided into three folds with columns with golden crowns decorated with floral motifs, based on a marble base which gave it splendor look. The floors are in Oakwood. Each side of the corridor has 5 doors on each side made with Italian stained glasses. As you move down the corridor, the artwork tells the love story of a noble Italian couple from the first time they met till they got married, my hopelessly romantic self was definitely weeping. The ceiling of the corridor is decorated with lanterns of stained glass to balance the feeling with the corridor doors.
Another part of the palace that I want to rant about is the bathroom. The best way to describe the bathroom is that it’s so baroque, I don’t know why they don’t make them like that anymore. Ok, I know, but I’m just jealous of the amount of work on each corner. From the ceiling to the tiles to even the tubs and the metal pipe, everything in this bathroom will leave you wanting to redecorate your own.
The star of the show is the jewelry of course, since its a jewelry museum. The museum has more than 11,000 pieces belonging to the ladies and the gents of the Egyptian royal family. Once you enter the main hall you are greeted with two beautiful tiaras, made of white and yellow diamonds, the details in both of them are exquisite.
The high ladies of the court get their individual vitrine. The most exquisite of them all is HRH Princess Fawzia’s of Egypt who was also the Empress of Iran. This beautiful lady was the daughter of a king, a sister of a king and the wife of an emperor. So it’s fair to say that her jewelry collection is majestic. From a beautiful braided bracelet to a diamond hairpiece that spells her name in Arabic, her collection will make you wish you were royal.
The jewelry of queen Farida the first wife of Farouk the last king of Egypt isn’t to be missed. They are made of gold, platinum, and coral inlaid with diamonds, sapphires, rubies jade and opal, all that set aside, there was a piece that really caught my eye. It was a pocket watch-shaped as a scarab, the phonic reference in many of the pieces is just a great nod to the Egyptian culture.
The museum has even more than the jewelry. There are some brilliant toilet sets, and desk sets adorned with the initials of royals. You can tell how big the pocket watches were at 20th, there all have the faces of their owners. The men also weren’t shy to show some bling either in their cuff links, their medals, or their binoculars.
The last room before you leave the palace is filled with some of the wedding gifts given to queen Farida and king Farouk which was the wedding of the century, think will and Kate, but bigger. Even Hitler sent them a Volkswagen. You will be able to have a glimpse of what’s like to be living in a palace with the marvelous tea sets, glasses, and gold trays. Lastly, there was a chess set that I will leave the photos to elucidate. No, I can not not speak about it, the chess set was gifted to King Farouk I by the Iranian crown prince on the occasion of his marriage to Princess Fawzia. Other than the luxurious look, inlaid with diamonds of the pieces itself, the chess base is a mirrored tray which can easily make you see the bottom of each chess piece. Each bottom is different, one player’s set has the countries, and the other has the royals of it. Go figure.
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