Originally built in the Khedive era to manage royal stables, Cairo’s Royal Carriages Museum is set to reopen in 60 days after being closed for 20 years.
Carriages are just one of those symbols of a bygone age. Even though our streets are still so narrow from when they were built to accommodate them, even though you can still spot a horse-drawn carriage along the Nile in Zamalek or driven by a farmer transporting his wares down a Heliopolis alley, the sheer magnitude of cars and SUVs on our highways has made it clear that we've moved on. That we've forgotten that they can hold their own kind of magic, like Cinderella with her pumpkin. Similarly forgotten is the Royal Carriages Museum, which had been closed for 20 years. But within the next 60 days, this obscure little piece of history will undergo a grand public reopening.
Originally called the Department of Khedive Carriages when it was set up by Khedive Ismail, and later modified into the Management of the Royal Stables before it became a museum after the revolution of 1952. The restoration of the museum cost the state an estimated EGP 63 million since the museum’s closure in 2001, and the project was put on pause before the work began again in 2017. Divided into five halls, the museum exhibits different chariots that were used across Khedive history, including the chariot that French Empress Eugenie gifted to Khedive Ismail on the official opening of the Suez Canal.
You can find the museum in Islamic Cairo in front of Suleiman Pasha Mosque.