On November 16, 1992, the museum opened in the apartment where Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) spent the last 25 years of his life. The street was known as Rue Lepsius during Cavafy’s time, but it has since been renamed Sharm El Sheikh. In Alexandria, not only have the street names changed. Cavafy lived in a city that was well-known as a commercial and cosmopolitan center, a centuries-long crossroads of civilizations, and capital of memories that the poet, along with E.M Forster, Lawrence Durrel, and Stratis, described so provocatively.
Cavafy’s house is situated between St Saba’s Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek Hospital, and the city’s bordellos, which he referred to as “the temple of the soul,” “the temple of the body,” and “the temple of the flesh”.
After his death, the flat was transformed into a low-cost hospital, and when the Cavafy International Committee leased it in 1991, it was still being used as a pension.
Cavafy’s library, which had been preserved by famous scholar professor George Savidis, was also brought back to the flat, together with material from a modest collection dedicated to the poet originally kept at the Greek Consulate General in Alexandria’s Shatby neighborhood.
Despite the fact that most of Cavafy’s belongings were sold after his death, the ambiance of his house has been reproduced with the cooperation of some of his live friends, and numerous pictures help to conjure the mood of his period. Cavafy’s work has been translated into numerous languages, and his books and essays give a unique glimpse into the poet’s life and times.