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Bayt Al Sennari or " Sennari House "
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Beit El Sennari is not well known by many tourists who visit Egypt. Situated on a small lane named Haret Monge, just off of a downtown street called Khairat, there are very few tourism attractions nearby.Sennari House was built in 1794 by Ibrahim Katkhuda El-Sennari, a Sudanese occultist, it is famous for another reason. Renovations of the Sennary House in the Saida Zanaib district have been completed. It will be open to the public during this month. Renovations were performed by both the Committee of Antiquities of South Cairo and a French expedition. The Sennary House has the importance of being a rare historical building since the 18th century and it was the base of the scientific board of the French conquest of Egypt.


During the French expedition in 1798, the house became the residence of French scientists who converted it into a research center where Description de L'Egypte was compiled.  Napoleon invaded Egypt bringing with him an army of scientists, scholars and artists to establish a French culture base in Egypt. Soon, they began their mission of making the first European study of Egypt which they published as Le description de l'Egypte. Sennari House "Beit El Sennari" was used to house many of the French artists and scholars at the time. It became the center of the French study of Egypt, and therefore a very important monument to early Egyptology.


Beit El-Sennari has a massive outer door followed by a smaller doorway designed to preserve both the security and privacy of the house. Various halls, decorated with well-kept plants, lead off to a rectangular courtyard. The men quarters (salamlik) comprise two main reception halls, while the women's quarters (haramlik) consist of several rooms and corridors and a lavishly decorated stairway. The walls of Beit El-Sennari are decorated with magnificent tiles.

Typically, the house surrounds this open courtyard, and it was used, particularly in the mornings, as a reception place. The sahn of El Sennari House is very beautiful. There is a very old fountain .
The sahn is an excellent place to see most of the mashrabeya screens of the house, as they are built to overlook the courtyard.There are many mashrabeya screens all around the house and in a very good state. They are of the finest variety, made of very small pieces of wood in tight patterns, and many have additional arabesque carvings within the wood. To the left on the second floor, one's eyes are drawn to a very attractive balcony with wood work all around it. As both a historical house, and the center of work surrounding the scholars in the Napoleon expedition, it deserves, and will probably someday receive, more attention. But probably only then will it find an audience of tourists. Nevertheless, even today it does have its charm, but only those very interested in such places will appreciate its appeal.

Over the last three years, the restoration team has pumped out the subterranean water, replaced the old and deteriorated drainage system, and restored all the tiles and mashrabeya woodwork. Beit El-Sennari was scheduled to open to the public earlier this year in time to celebrate the bicentennial of Franco-Egyptian relations, but the restoration work could not be completed in time.