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Nassif House Museum: The Residence Of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud


Established as a museum and cultural center in 2009, Nassif House Museum is an important historical structure in Al-Balad, Jeddah. The museum is one of the most magnificent mansions in the area serving as a symbol of the city’s rich history. Additionally, the museum served as a residence for the founder of modern-day Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud. This prominent historical marvel has an impressive collection of several vintage photographs that provide visitors with deep insights into the region’s fascinating past. Nassif House Museum is also known as ‘The House with the Tree’ as it opens into a square courtyard that features a towering neem tree. Neem trees used to be quite rare in the region, and it is believed that this one was the only tree of neem in the city until the 1920s.

Nassif House Museum general information

Location: Al Dhahab, Al-Balad, Jeddah

Timings: The museum remains open from 8 am to 11:55 pm from Monday to Saturday. It opens from 8 am to noon and from 6 pm to midnight on Sundays.

Entry fee: The entry to Nassif House Museum is free for all visitors

Ideal trip duration: It can take 2-3 hours to explore the museum completely

Architecture and design

Nassif House Museum is in the list of the most beautiful architectural highlights of Jeddah, making it a popular tourist destination. The initial design of the museum was created by a talented Turkish architect, giving it a striking Ottoman architectural style. Even though the museum has undergone considerable restorative renovations, it still retains its historical architecture. It is known for its complex layout as well as magnificent structure.

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Nassif House Museum is a 7-story structure consisting of 106 rooms. With an irregular layout, it has rectangular rooms that are arranged around a massive central hall. It has two entrances: the main one is from the north while another is from the west. In the past, the west entrance was used by women. The front entrance of the house stands on a small raised platform attached to a small flight of stairs. It opens to a massive entry hall, which is connected to the central hall. There are several smaller rooms on the left and right sides of the entrance hall. The west entrance opens directly into the central hall. There is a large stairway opposite the house’s main entrance hall, taking visitors to the upper floors of the house.

Architectural highlights

Flaunting intricate architecture and immense aesthetic appeal, Nassif House Museum is a major center of attraction amongst tourists and locals alike. Its spacious hallways and carved wooden doors boast elaborate Arabic calligraphy, which was originally done by Ottoman Turks. The front side of the building features two large bay windows that span upto two levels over the main door. Over the years, these windows have become a symbol of traditional Jeddah architecture. The museum has cisterns underneath ground floor to store rainwater and keep the temperature of the house’s lower floors down.

Exhibits and display

Nassif House Museum exhibits a wide variety of artifacts and objects from the region’s storied history. It has a remarkable collection of several vintage photographs that take the visitors on a trip to the past. Home to several special and unique exhibits, it has 106 rooms, all of which flaunt breathtaking artwork. It has numerous wall-mounted displays that show ancient maps of the pilgrim routes from various countries like Syria, Yemen, and Egypt.

One of its displays also exhibits an old map showing the migration route of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Additionally, the museum has a wide collection of jewelry, electronic appliances, utensils, and other household objects that were used by people in the old days. Further, Nassif House Museum conducts educational and informative lectures given by historians and experts from around the world. At one time, Muhammad Nassif turned this building into a private library that eventually housed a collection of 16,000 books. Today, these books are a part of the library in King Abdulaziz University.

The museum has numerous written notes and documents from the old rulers of Saudi Arabia. Some of the displays also show personal collections of King Abdulaziz and previous rulers. The exhibits showcase ancient weapons and armors.

Nassif House history

Nassif House Museum’s construction began in 1872 on old Jeddah’s main street called Suq al-Alawi. The construction ended in 1881, and it became the residence of Omar Nassif Efendi, who was not only a member of a prominent merchant family but also Jeddah’s governor at the time. Years later, in December 1925, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud entered the city and stayed at this house after the siege of Jeddah. During his initial stays in Jeddah, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud used the Nassif House Museum as a royal residence and welcomed guests. Until 1975, the house remained under the ownership of the Nassif family.

Eateries near Nassif House Museum

Nassif House Museum enjoys a prime location in the city of Jeddah. Offering easy access to several facilities, it is located in close proximity to a large number of incredible restaurants. Several popular eateries include India Gate Restaurant (2.3 km away), Sapphire Family Restaurant (2.3 km away), and Super 2Go Resto Cafe (2.4 km away).

Known for being Saudi Arabia’s artistic capital, Jeddah is home to dozens of famous museums that pay tribute to the country’s rich heritage, vibrant culture, and storied history. The museums of Jeddah not only preserve and portray the region’s earliest history but also provide tourists with a chance to immerse themselves in the local culture. Nassif House Museum is a famous house in Jeddah featuring old artifacts. Due to its complex layout and beautiful architectural style, it attracts the footfall of tourists and locals alike throughout the year.

Suggested Read: Best Things To Do In Jeddah City To Experience Its Vivid Vibe

Nassif House Museum FAQs

How far is the Nassif House Museum from the airport?

Nassif House Museum is 33.2 km away from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

Is there any entrance fee to the museum?

No, the Nassif House Museum entry is free for all visitors.

Where are the book collection of Muhammad Nassif?

The impressive collection of more than 16,000 books put together by Muhammad Nasseef now belongs to King Abdulaziz University central library.

Are there any good restaurants near the Nassif House Museum?

Yes, there are many restaurants, including Sapphire Family Restaurant and India Gate Restaurant.

What are famous exhibits at the museum?

Photographs, maps, artifacts, and notes are some of the popular displays at the museum.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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