Initially named Beit al-Kritliyya, meaning the House of the Cretan Woman and accessible through an entryway from the southern end of Ibn Tulun’s mosque. This museum is currently named after John Gayer Anderson, an army doctor and major in the British army. Between 1935 and 1942, he rebuilt the two attached houses (which were built in the 16th century) and stocked them with collections of artefacts, motifs, and various artworks that he had gathered from his journeys across the region.
Before he died in 1945, the houses and the collections within them were donated to Egypt by Gayer-Anderson. Each of the rooms are designed differently with the lacquer and gold in the Damascus room, elaborate furniture in the room of Queen Anne, and beautiful tiling in the Persian Room.
There’s a captivatingly designed mashrabiyya gallery from which the reception hall is visible with its adorned ceiling beams, fountain built of marble, and cubicles covered with carpets.
The interior of the museum was featured in a James Bond movie titled The Spy Who Loved Me. A reconstruction of the terrace on the roof as being beautifully done and visitors can now enjoy the view of the more intricate mashrabiyya.
A bazaar for the sale of beautiful handcrafts, Khan Misr Touloun, is located just across the street. The well-known Sayyida Zeinab with its metro station is located just 750m west of the area.