Beit El Kritliyya or The Gayer Anderson Museum is a manifestation of the majesty and grandeur of Islamic architecture, and is noted as one of the well-preserved demonstrations of the domestic architecture of Cairo of the 17th century.
Adjacent to the mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulun and dating back to the Mamluk era, what is now known as the Gayer Anderson Museum was built in 1632 by Hajj Mohammed Salem Galmam Algazzar. Later, a wealthy lady from Crete bought the building and accordingly it was named ‘Beit El Kiritliyya’.
Throughout the years, the house was kept intact and restoration works were made to the side of the walls to keep the walls strong.
The reason why the building gets its current name, The Gayer Anderson Museum, dates back to 1935 when Gayer Anderson, a British army doctor, was granted the permission by the Egyptian government to reside in the house. Dr. Gayer Anderson first came to Egypt in 1906 to serve the British Royal Army Medical Corps and fell in love with Egyptian culture and the way of living.
Having decided to extend his stay in Egypt after his retirement, Dr. Gayer filled the house with his personal collection of paintings, opulent furniture and antiques, as well as carpets. Besides the astounding architecture of the building, the ornate rooms are filled with rich artifacts.
In 1942, Dr. Gayer had to move back to England due to his illness and handed over the house with its contents to the government where it has become open to the public as a museum.
Worth mentioning that The Gayer Anderson museum was used as a location for the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, where some shots were filmed in the ceremonial reception hall and the rooftop terrace.