The National War Museum was established in 1937 in the old Ministry of Defense building on Falaki Street, in the West of Cairo.
The museum then moved to a temporary building in Garden City district in 1938, until it was moved again at the Haram Palace in Salah El-Din Citadel.
It was officially opened in November 1949 and was renovated and opened in 1982.
The museum was developed several times until 2011 when the project to develop and restore it was started to make it a new tourist attraction to be added to the ones existent in Salah El-Din Castle.
The museum was reopened last Wednesday,6 October, 2021, on the day that coincides with the celebration of the glorious 6 October victories, after the completion of its restoration and development project.
Moamen Othman, head of the Museums’ Sector at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, explained that the War Museum displays, through its contents, history of the Egyptian military through various ages from the beginning of the Pharaonic eras until the modern time and the emergence of the Egyptian military again during the era of the family of Muhammad Ali Pasha.
Egypt under the royal family witnessed the renaissance of the Egyptian army, through the 23 July Revolution, the October victories, and even the June 30, 2013 revolution.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities provided the museum with a new set of contents, including more than one hundred artifacts from various stores of archaeological and museum sites from Saqqara area, Giza, Luxor, Alexandria, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, the Suez National Museum and others.
He pointed out that the development process includes providing the maximum means of tourism services in order to improve the visitor’s experience in terms of cards M. Othman explained that the artifacts, as well as establishment of cafeterias, umbrellas for sun protection, benches and resting places of a special nature in line with the surrounding archaeological environment.
As for the restoration project, Dr. Osama Talaat, Head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish Antiquities Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the project included the structural restoration of the building of the War Museum in addition to the careful restoration of the wall decorations, as well as all the chandeliers, as well as the landscape work for the area surrounding the museum.
Experts also restored and maintained the statues at the entrance to the museum, including a statue of Ibrahim Pasha, son of Muhammad Ali Pasha, and another of Suleiman Pasha (a French colonel who founded of the Egyptian Arms House.
Dr. Talaat added that the War Museum was provided with interactive display screens at the entrance to inform visitors with the history of the museum and the names of the halls in it.
Also, the museum was furnished with a Calterama Hall, which was implemented in cooperation with the Caltnet Center of the Library of Alexandria to display film material about the Egyptian military from Pharaonic times until the June 30, 2013 revolution and mention the names military commanders who contributed to the establishment of the Egyptian military.
An overview of the museum’s most important contents of the War Museum that includes a group of Pharaonic statues of warrior kings such as Tuthmosis III and many stone murals, the most important of which is a plate representing King Ramses III as he pounces on enemies.
The museum includes a model of a chariot and a stone plate showing a pictorial view of the manufacture of war wheels, as well as a mural representing the victory of King Ramses II over Hittites.
From the Greco-Roman era, the museum includes a model of the head of Alexander the Great.
It also contains the Rafah Decree, which is one of the most important contents, as it chronicles the battle of Rafah, the victory of the Egyptians over the Seleucids in Rafah, and the rise of King Ptolemy IV with the help of the Egyptian army.
Some papyri that chronicle the military in the Greco-Roman periods, some statues of the Ptolemaic kings, and a statue of one of the soldiers who participated in the Battle of Rafah.
From the Coptic Era the museum includes the most important things such as an icon representing Saint George, who is said to have learned equestrianism, joined the army and was included in it, and assumed many military positions.
The museum also includes some Artifacts of Islamic era which comprise models of the doors and walls of Cairo, castles and fortresses, such as the fortress of Muhammad Ali on “Mokattam” Mountain and the fortress of Costa Pasha in Alexandria, and a panorama of the most famous battles in this era, in addition to various types of weapons.
It includes a unique collection of badges, medals, decorations and medals that express the Egyptian military, in addition to a group of special weapons donated by the late Field Marshal Muhammad Abdel Halim Abu Ghazaleh, Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi and other Egyptian leaders in the contemporary era, and some of the weapons from 6 October War.
Translated by Ahmed Moamar