Muharraq, the former capital of Bahrain, is known for its cultural splendor and traditional Bahraini houses litter the town’s narrow lanes. The Shaikh Isa bin Ali house is Bahrain’s most impressive example of Gulf Islamic architecture featuring four courtyards and beautiful carved wooden doors and perforated gypsum panels. The beautifully restored houses that make up the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research provide an important insight into aspects of Bahrain’s heritage. From embroidery at Kurar House to pearling history at the Bin Matar House, the former home of a renowned pearl merchant, the houses reflect the Centre’s commitment to the preservation of both traditional architecture and history. The Shaikh Ebrahim lecture hall, Iqra Children’s Library, Heraf al Diyar, Nukhida House (the first house to be restored along the pearling trail), Kurar House, Abdullah al Zayed House, House of Coffee, Bin Matar House, Bu Zaboon House and Mohammed Bin Faris House all showcase different aspects of Bahrain’s rich heritage.
Hosting regular art exhibitions and film screenings in the old city is Maison Jamsheer, another example of the traditional courtyard houses and which is situated a stone’s throw away from the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre.