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Egypt’s Historic Al-Fustat to Be Transformed into Huge Open-Air Museum

What was first proposed as a park surrounding the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization has escalated to an even more ambitious project in one of Cairo’s most historic areas.

In 641 AD, Al Fustat was announced as the first Egyptian capital under Muslim rule, a title it took from the northern town of Alexandria, which had stood as the chosen capital during the Greco-Roman period for a nearly 1,000 years prior.

Since then, the area has stood as a monument to Egypt’s eclectic past - an unofficial open-air museum showcasing Islamic history and architecture at its finest, if you will. Under the ‘Fustat Gardens’ project, however, the area will in fact become an open-air museum.


Originally, the project was something quite different. It was announced in April of this year that a park was being built around the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, but the plans have escalated quite radically. The park was planned to overlook the Old Cairo area that Al Fustat anchors, but now Old Cairo will be incorporated into what is one of the most unique touristic and cultural projects in recent times.


While details of when and how are still to be revealed, it’s been announced that the entire design will be reviewed. What we do know is that Mohamed Ali Citadel and Mosque, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the City of the Dead and dozens of other historic sites will be incorporated into what’s shaping up to be a museum fitting of the area’s UNESCO World Heritage Status.