The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

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12 Historical Palaces That Showcase the Extent of Cairo’s Magic!

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12 Historical Palaces That Showcase the Extent of Cairo’s Magic!
via Wikipedia 

As one of the largest cities in Africa, it’s no surprise that Cairo possesses a huge amount of tourist sites. From the Pharaonic to the Coptic, Islamic, and Modern, our charismatic capital has it all! However, it’s not just these sites and landmarks that make Cairo stand out—there’s something else that makes it simply exquisite.


If you’ve ever been downtown, then you’ve already guessed it: Cairo is Cairo because of its majestic architecture. With many palaces that look wonderfully timeless, it’s hard not to stop and stare whenever we happen across a classically Cairene architectural gem. So we invite you to do a mini-tour of your own by visiting these 12 Cairene palaces!


1- Abdeen Palace

Built for Egypt’s Royal Family by a group of architects from Egypt, Turkey, Italy, and France, Abdeen Palace is currently a museum as well as a vibrant cultural hub for the capital. As elegant as it was at its initial construction, this palace also hosts concerts from time to time.


2- Aisha Fahmy Palace

Breathing life and art, Aisha Fahmy Palace was designed by an Italian architect for the Egyptian aristocrat and army chief Ali Fahmy, who made sure it became a pinnacle of luxury and refined taste. Following Fahmy’s death, the palace went to his sister Aisha and remained in her possession until she passed away. In 2017, the palace reopened as an arts centre.


3- El Sakakini Palace

One of Cairo’s architectural cornerstones, El Sakakini Palace was named after its first owner, Gabriel Habib El Sakakini Pacha, a Syrian family man who moved to Egypt to work with the Suez Canal Company. Constructed mostly out of marble, the palace is a vision you can’t take your eyes off.


4- Baron Empain Palace

Built for the Belgian Baron Eduard Louis Joseph, this palace’s architecture was inspired by Hindu elements. A pillar of the Heliopolis district, which was also built by Joseph, Baron Empain Palace was reopened to the public in 2020 after a two-year restoration.


5- Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace)

One of the most important palaces in Cairo, Prince Mohamed Ali Palace is one of Al Manial’s gems. The palace is a testament to modern Cairo’s architecture, and combines the best of elements of the Islamic, Art Nouveau, and Rococo styles. Currently, it serves as a museum and a cultural site.


6- Beshtak Palace

Built by Prince Sayf Al-Din Beshtak El Nasiri, a Mamluk Sultan Commander, Beshtak Palace was restored by the German Archaeological Institute in 1983 and now serves as an Islamic museum that many people visit for its marvellously made glass windows alone.


7- Qubba Palace

Considered by many as one of the most important palaces of the Mohamed Ali Dynasty, the Qubba Palace was built by Khedive Ismail. It was inaugurated for then-Crown Prince Tawfik’s wedding and later served as the location for most royal weddings and promenades. 


8- Al Ittihadiya Palace

Also known as the Heliopolis Palace, the Ittihadiya Palace is one of Egypt’s three presidential residences. Originally built as a hotel, it was renovated post its abandonment in the 1900s, becoming a major political headquarters.


9- Manasterly Palace 

Overlooking the majestic Nile, the exquisite Manasterly palace was built by Hassan Fouad Pasha El Manasterly in the era of Abbas Toson. Home to various Islamic monuments, the palace is right next to the famed Nilometer, making it a two-in-one tourist site.


10- Khairy Basha Palace

A Neo-Mamluk palace, Khairy Pasha Palace was built for Minister of Education Khairy Pasha before being acquired by a Greek businessman. It was later converted into the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Campus. 


11- El Tahra Palace

Designed in the Italianate Palazzo style, El Tahra Palace was built for Princess Amina, the daughter of Khedive Ismail. It’s mostly lauded for its marble stairways and mesmerising alabaster ceilings.


12- Bayt Al Razzaz palace

Located in the heart of Medieval Cairo, Bayt Al Razzaz is a palace comprised of two main houses, combining the best of Eastern and Western cultural influences. The Eastern side was built by Sultan Qaitbay, while the Western side was built by wealthy rice merchant Ahmed Al Razzaz.

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