One of the hallways in the National Military Museum at Salaheddin Citadel. Al-Ahram
The museum is one of the most important sites at the citadel, displaying a collection of artefacts relating the military history of Egypt since ancient times.
As part of the development process, the antiquities ministry supplied the museum with artefacts from storehouses in Suez, Saqqara, Luxor, and Alexandria, according to head of the museums sector Moamen Othman.
Additions have also been made to the museum to enhance visitors’ experience, including sun shades, labels, banners, a cafeteria, and seats, Othman said.
The development also included the refurbishment of statues on the museum’s façade and erecting large interactive screens to tell the story of the museum and its development phases, according to Osama Talaat, head of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish antiquities sector.
Among the most important artefacts on display at the museum is a collection of statues of Egyptian kings who led military campaigns, such as Thutmose III, as well as a collection of stone stelae depicting King Ramses III at war. A replica of a chariot is also on display along with the Roman Rafah decree, which shows the battle of Rafah and the victory of the Egyptians over the Seleucids.
A collection of military papyri from the Graeco-Roman era is also on display, with icons showing the renowned knight Saint George and a collection of replicas of Cairo gates, walls and fortresses from the Islamic era.
Military medallions and decorations are also on display, including those bestowed by the late defence ministers Abdel-Halim Abu Ghazala and Mohamed Tantawi.
The museum was established in 1937 at the old Ministry of Defence building on Falaki Street, and was moved to a temporary building in Garden City in 1938. It was officially inaugurated in the Citadel in November 1949.
The museum then underwent different phases of development over time, and in 2011 it was closed for restoration and development.