Book lovers in Egypt might dream of visiting the Library of Alexandria, otherwise known as Bibliotheca Alexandrina. For Cairenes, it seems like a long trip, but one worthwhile for those passionate enough about books and literature. But we’re here to tell you that there’s a much shorter trip to one of Egypt’s greatest libraries that takes its place right here in the heart of Cairo.
After a long time being closed, this brilliant building has finally seen a new dawn. The Egyptian National Library & Archives in Cairo is known as the biggest library in Egypt. It was closed back in 2014 after a car bomb attack of a nearby police station heavily damaged the library.
This renovation comes from a grant by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Sultan Al Qassemi. The Emirati granted Egypt 33 million EGP to renovate this grand library. It’s rather famously known by a shorter Arabic name as Dar El Kotob (literally translating to home of books).
Containing over a million books, this ancient library holds books and records of many types, fields, and descents. It also houses rare Persian and Ottoman Turkish manuscripts, in addition to a special Pharaonic relic, a 19th Century papyrus written in Arabic and Greek. The National Library is a seven-story building, with the National Archives located in an annexe next to the Library, and is also open to the public.
While the Egyptian National Library and Archives is the largest library in Egypt, the second largest is in Al-Azhar University, which shares second place with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. You can visit Dar Al Kotob in Ramlet Boulaq in Cairo, and you can check their website for more information.