29 September 2023 12:15 AM

El Montaza palace

Saturday، 11 June 2022 - 02:34 PM

 A brief history of the Montazah gardens


 Khedive Abbas Helmy II admired the area, when he was get a breath of air on its beach accompanied by a musician, who was playing at the time, and decided that the area should include a palace and gardens for the summer.


The Khedive himself supervised the organization of the lush garden and gave it and the palace one name: (The Montazah Palace).In 1892, in one of its summer night, Khedive Abbas Helmy II fell in love with that spot on the eastern edge of Alexandria city, so he ordered the preparation of 80 donkeys for him and his companions to ride and continued to walk, in the desert along the seashore.

They had accompanied the playing of Khedive music; and the more the procession proceeded; the more the Khedive admired that area; with its beautiful tongues entering the sea; and the method of water leaking between its rocky folds in a charming pure.


Then he returned the next day and crossed this area with a great distance, until he reached a place surrounded by two high hills; 16 meters high; And between them is a small side, and at its northern end, is a small island, since that day he settled in his mind that this spot would be a summer residence for him.

Beginning work on the construction of the palace and gardens

Khedive Abbas Helmy II decided to build in this spot an elegant palace, on one of the two hills, the "Haramlik Palace", which became one of the architectural masterpieces, which combines classical architecture and Gothic architecture in its various stages, in addition to the Italian Renaissance and Islamic styles.

He set up a music booth in front of the palace to witness the Khedive’s summer concerts. As for the other hillock, there were old cannons Muhammad Ali Pasha  era that were used to protect the beaches. They still exist until now, and in front of it was the Salamlek building and the princesses’ cinema.


These buildings were surrounded by large gardens, estimated at 370 acres that were planted with rare flowers and trees. On the small island, a classic Roman-style tea kiosk was built. The island was connected to the shore by an Italian-Gothic bridge of great beauty that ends with a lighthouse that guides ships and yachts to Montazah Bay, where King Farouk I’s yacht, which bore the name “Al Mahrousa” was anchored.

In that earthly paradise, natural swimming pools were designed for the king and princesses within the waters of the Mediterranean sea, and they still exist until now.

 Thanks to Mahmoud Pasha Shukri, the head of the Turkish court during the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmy II, who gave the name “El -Monatazah park” to that paradise.


 Some additions that were made by the upper family rulers:

 King Fouad:

 Greenhouse property:


It has been built by King Fouad in 1934. It included the rarest shade plants that still exist so far. The garden of Al Montazah which is 3000 meters wide contains a huge selection of trees and plants and some of them are quite rare. Some of the tropical plants are still in good shape although they have been planted more than 75 years ago.The plant collection in Montazah includes: Catania, huge boots, Zamia, Carlota, and special types of palms. This is besides the big size plants like Anthurium, Hokiry, Araliaceae, Victoria, and Ropilia.


El -Haramlek Palace:

 The thought of constructing this palace goes back to King Fouad I, who has  ordered its chief architect, the Italian Ferrucci in 1925, to build this palace in the Montazah Gardens, which was the royal residence of the royal family to spend the summer.

 King Farouk completed the rest of the additions. It was also planned to be residence of the royal family members, as well as other service buildings, including: the construction of a bridge linking Tea Island with the royal palaces; a cinema for princesses; a water tower; the royal train station; administration offices and royal chariots.


King Farouk


The famous Montazah Palace:


King Farouk established a palace in the early forties, with an architectural system in line with the system in which the royal palaces were built in the park.

There is also a tea kiosk, built in the Roman style and overlooking the shore of the Mediterranean, for the king and his entourage to have “Al-Asari tea” and discuss matters of governance .A cinema was added for the princesses, adjacent to the King’s Palace which is a walled garden with a large wall equipped to display international cinema films to amuse the princesses.


That is simply the story of the construction of the Montazah Palace, which is one of the most important and timeless architectural masterpieces in an Egyptian architecture, in Alexandria city.


Al Qasr Gardens (Al Montazah Palace)

1-The gardens are located on an area of ​​370 acres in Montazah neighborhood at the east of Alexandria.  It overlooks the “Montazah” bay. It also contains ancient trees and rare flowerbeds, which are cared for throughout the day by specialists in landscaping and planting sciences.

2- It is more than 100 years old, as Khedive Abbas Helmy II admired the area when he was strolling on its beach accompanied by a musical band, and decided that the area should include a palace and gardens for summer, and the Khedive himself supervised the organization of the garden in the late nineteenth century

3-The complex contains five beaches for swimming: Aida, Cleopatra, Vanessa, Semiramis, and the private beach of Helnan Palestine Hotel.


 El-Salamlek Palace

It is the first palace built in the gardens. It was established by Khedive Abbas Helmy II in 1892, who entrusted its construction to the Greek engineer Dimitri Fabricius to build the palace according to the Austrian styles prevailing in the nineteenth century, to satisfy the desire of his girlfriend, Countess Marie Turk von Zendo, who later became his wife.


It was built for the king's courtiers to live in, as well as a special resting place for him.


It is one of the most important buildings built in the park gardens, and it was the royal summer residence of the king and queen before the construction of the Haramlek Palace in 1928.Regarding the naming of the palace, the word salamlik means the place designated for the reception and the meeting of men (as opposed to the sanctuary).

 During the reign of King Farouk, this palace was designated to be a special office for the king, and a place for special hospitality to house the king’s guests.

 It has now been renovated into a luxury tourist hotel in which vacationers stay, with a high degree of luxury and pomp. The first floor turned into an international casino and the second and third floors into a luxury hotel.

 This palace was built in a large garden uniquely arranged to overlook one of the most important bays of Alexandria, which is the Montazah Bay. The palace garden includes dense forests overlooking the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.


General overview of Montazah and Qasr gardens:

 This palace is characterized by the combination of different artistic styles and to highlight them at all, the Byzantine style, in addition to the Gothic and classical styles, as well as the distinguished Islamic style.

 The reason for so calling it  “Haramlik” . It is originally a Turkish word that appeared as a term in Islamic architecture

 In the past, part of the houses specialized for gathering of all women alone .They were called them harem. As it was forbidden for men and women to be together. As such a part of the house was allocated for the gathering of the harem, in order to preserve their sanctity and privacy.

The palace contains many antiques and pieces of French-style art. It is also distinguished by its decorations, which were made in the Baroque and Rococo style, which consists of intertwined geometric and plant motifs.


The palace consists from the inside of a central hall, that is, an inner courtyard covered by the height of the building and surrounded by suites and rooms. It consists of three floors.

 The ground floor and contains several rooms and halls, the most important of which is the king's office, the dining room and the billiard room.The middle floor is where the rooms of the bridesmaids and the shamcharjia, a layer that serves the princesses and the king.

 Finally, the upper floor, which contains the wings of the king and queen, is linked by a wide balcony. There are also some rooms for princesses, and during the reign of King Farouk, the palace was renovated.


Palace Description:

-It contains fourteen suites and six luxurious rooms, and the most important of these suites is the King's Royal Suite, which directly overlooks the park's gardens and its balcony can accommodate about one hundred people.

-The palace also contains the crystal room that was dedicated to the queen, where it was called by this name due to the fact that everything it contained was made of crystal, as well as pure blue crystal.

This palace is also distinguished by a room known as the Crown Prince's Room, whose floor is made of luxurious cork, which is compressed to prevent the sounds of any footsteps being entered so as not to disturb the prince’s sleeping.The famous clock tower is one of the current monuments in the Montazah Palace, as well as the tea kiosk, which was built in the Roman style and overlooks the shore of the Mediterranean, where the king and his entourage could drink “succulent tea” and discuss matters of governance.


The island was linked to the beach through an Italian-Gothic bridge. It ends with a lighthouse that guides ships and yachts to the Montazah Bay, where King Farouk’s yacht was anchored, which bore the name “Al Mahrousa”.


In addition to the Princesses Cinema, adjacent to the King's Palace, which is a walled garden with a large wall equipped to display international cinema films for the entertainment of the princesses.


 Palace garden:

 These gardens are located within Montazah Palace wall at the east of Alexandria city. They extend over an area of ​​370 acres. It also contain many trees, forests and rare flowers that dates back to the nineteenth century. It  were also  projected  for the king entertainment ; his women and his entourage; and the princesses' walk as well.These beaches surround the palace gardens and extend along the area allocated to it, and they are private beaches that non-participants are not allowed to sit on.


This area includes many bays and natural beaches, and the number of these beaches is five, namely (Aida - Cleopatra - Semiramis - Phenicia - Palestine Hotel beach  and it has a diving center). Also, there are many cannons in the palace garden.

 During the First World War from 1914-1918, the palace was used as a military field hospital for soldiers.


 Al-Montazah and Al-Qasr Gardens after the 23rd  July  Revolution:


After 23rd   July revolution 1952, Al-Montazah Gardens were managed by the Sphinx Tourist Company, then followed in the eighties by the San Giovanni Company, which restored and renovated it.


 It is worth mentioning that the palace contains many of its furniture, such as: Queen Nazli’s bed and some of King Farouk’s possessions in his office.


After the Egyptian revolution, tourist facilities were established to serve park-goers, including public restaurants; an integrated tourist center; playgrounds; and chalets.

The beautiful Montazah gardens overlook five beaches, including Aida, Cleopatra, Venice and Semiramis, in addition to a private beach at Helnan Hotel. Palestine, which contains a center for water games and diving.

 The Salamlek Hotel, has been transformed into a five-star hotel, its rooms between single and double; and luxurious suites which vary in prices due to its luxury and pomp; royal furniture; and tables, bearing the memories of the previous royal family. Luxurious antiques and chandeliers; and royal suites worthy of its first-class guests; and it contains a private beach; a business center; meeting rooms; parking; a large garden; shopping stores and bazaars.


 The July 1952 Revolution opened the park's and beaches to the general public. In the aftermath of the revolution, the Haramlek Palace was opened for the masses to visit, before joining the group of presidential palaces for the residence of Egypt's guests, presidents and kings 

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