Prince Muhammad Ali's Palace in Manial is one of the most beautiful and most important historical palaces in Egypt. The palace represents an important period in modern Egyptian history and is unique in its distinctive architectural design, and the stunning gardens that surround the residence.
The Manial Palace and Museum dates back to the Alawiyya Dynasty and it is located on the Rhoda Island on the Nile in southern Cairo. The palace and estate have been preserved as a historical museum, reflecting the surroundings and lifestyle of the Egyptian prince, in the turn of the 20th century and his successor. It is surrounded by beautiful Persian gardens in a large park, along a small branch of the Nile.
The Manial Palace was built by Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik (1875-1955), uncle of King Farouk, in 1899-1929. It is designed in a style that blends European Art Nouveau and Rococo with many traditional styles of Islamic architecture including, Ottoman, Moorish and Persian cultures, creating inspiring blends in spatial design, using rich materials for the impressive interior decoration.
The beautiful ceramic tiles of the hall and the mosque were made by David Ohannessian, an Armenian ceramist from Kutahya.
The complex consists of six structures. Among these structures is a museum that houses King Farouk's hunting trophies, the prince's residence and equipment, and a museum that houses family heirlooms. The palace also houses a collection of manuscripts, carpets, textiles, brass and crystal. Among the items you can see here is a table made of elephant ears and a 1000-piece silver service.
The palace was handed over to the Egyptian people in 1955 and is administered by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The palace is an interesting combination of many styles and cultures, all coming together to create a stunningly beautiful palace that should be appreciated by people from all over the world. It is a must-see when in Cairo, and should be added to your sightseeing list.
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