Mecca, in a desert valley in western Saudi Arabia, is Islam’s holiest city, as it’s the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the faith itself. Only Muslims are allowed in the city, with millions arriving for the annual Hajj (pilgrimage). Dating from the 7th century, the central Masjid al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) surrounds the Kaaba, the cloth-covered cubic structure that’s Islam’s most sacred shrine. The focal point for every Muslim and the biggest mosque in the world, Al Masjid Al Haram is able to host a million worshippers and covers an area of 356,800 sq meters. At its epicenter is the Holy Kaaba, covered in black and gold cloth, around which Muslims can be found circumnavigating night and day (known as tawaf). It's the holiest structure in all of Islam, and is at the heart of the Islamic pilgrimages (hajj and umrah).
This little museum is brimming with relics from the two holy mosques, Al Masjid Al Haram in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. These include pillars, marble insignia and historical photos. Some items date as far back as the 13th-century Abbasid period. There are two standout items: the ornate teak wooden stairwell on wheels, which the Ottomans used to access the Kaaba in the 1820s, and a historic pair of the Kabaa's spectacular giant gilded metal doors.