Makkah has a host of fascinating, intimate museums that shed light on the city’s history as the birthplace of Islam and a crossroads for travelers from all over the world […]
Makkah has a host of fascinating, intimate museums that shed light on the city’s history as the birthplace of Islam and a crossroads for travelers from all over the world for centuries. The Exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques guides visitors through the construction and many phases of the Masjid Al Haram in Makkah as well as the Masjid An Nabawi in Medina—browse intricate marble arches, reclaimed wooden doors and much more, saved and restored from previous iterations of the mosques. You’ll have to do some wrangling to get permission to visit the Kiswah Museum next door—though it’s still well worth the effort to see where the kiswah, the 670-kilogram black silk cloth draped on the Kaaba, is made by hand, and woven with calligraphic inscriptions done in threads made from real gold and silver. At the Makkah Museum, set in the opulent Al Zahir Palace, you can learn about the region’s pre-Islamic history, dating back to ancient rock art, and see some early-Islamic coins from Byzantine, Abbasid and Umayyad dynasties as well as rare copies of centuries-old Qurans and other important texts.