13 August 2020 05:20 PM

Baron Palace reopens

Monday، 29 June 2020 - 03:13 PM

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi was keen on Monday to open the Baron Empain Palace after its overall renovation process which started in July 2017 to bring life to one of the most distinguished archaeological sites in the history of Cairo's district of Heliopolis.

The palace's inauguration, which coincides with the anniversary of June 30 Revolution, affirmed what the president has recently declared that 2020 would witness a leap in the civilization and culture in Egypt. Since he assumed office in 2014, President Sisi ordered a package of restorations and maintenance of Egypt's archaeological sites and treasures to reflect its great civilization and position over the ages.

Today's inauguration also coincided with the 115th anniversary of the foundation of Heliopolis district.

Baron Empain's palace, with its Indian style, and its tower stood out in the then desert landscape of Cairo outskirts. Sitting empty in the upscale neighbourhood of Cairo for the last several decades, the unusual building has long sparked rumours of ghosts and satanic rituals.

The palace reflects the high status of its owner and marks a major milestone in the urban landscape of Heliopolis. Baron Empain's palace is among the most prominent monuments in the capital, its unique and innovative image attracting crowds of pedestrians on the road.

It was founded by Edward Louis Joseph Empain between 1907 and 1911. He was a Belgian businessman who was awarded the title "Baron" by the King of Belgium, on account of his economic contributions. The French architect Alexander Marcel was tasked with building this masterpiece.

The interior design of the palace consists of three floors topped by a roof. The palace is surrounded by a large garden from all sides. As for the basement, it contained a residence for the palace's servants, and consisted of a group of rooms connected by corridors and doors. The palace building is surrounded by a spiral staircase and an elevator that connects all the palace floors with a basement.

The ground floor consists of a reception room, a dining room, and a billiard room. As for the first floor, it houses four rooms, each with its own balcony and bathroom. Finally, the roof of the palace comes as an open space on one of the sides of the tower, characteristic of the Baron Palace.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in cooperation with the Belgian Embassy in Egypt and the civil society associations have turned the palace into an archaeological gallery to tell the history of Heliopolis district.

There are some works that have been added to the site, such as the completion of the fences and the development of the rear garden.

The exhibition inside the palace tells the history of the Heliopolis neighborhood, through a variety of photos, archival documents and illustrations, maps and special correspondence letters depicting the history of Heliopolis district in different eras.

Furthermore, the exhibition inside the palace also illustrates the different heritage sites around the district of Heliopolis, in addition to a wide variety of photos, maps, documents and films that tell the history of Heliopolis, its style, appearances and lifestyle of that special time period.

The fee of the entry ticket is priced to be affordable to almost everyone, that being L.E 100 for foreign visitors, L.E 50 for foreign students, L.E 20 for Egyptians and L.E 10 for Egyptian students. All elderly Egyptian visitors (60+ years) will be exempted of the entry fee. It is open for visitors from 9 am till 4 pm.

MENA

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