Abdeen Palace

Abdeen Palace (Arabic: قصر عابدين‎) is a historic Cairo palace, and one of the official residences and the principal workplace of the President of Egypt, located above Qasr el-Nil Street in eastern Downtown Cairo, Egypt.

Abdeen Palace
Abdeen Palace
The main facade of the Palace.
Abdeen Palace is located in Egypt
Abdeen Palace
Location within Egypt
General information
Town or cityAbdeen Square
Country Egypt
Coordinates30°02′30″N 31°14′54″E / 30.04167°N 31.24833°ECoordinates: 30°02′30″N 31°14′54″E / 30.04167°N 31.24833°E
Construction started1863
Cost2,700,000 Egyptian pounds
Technical details
Size44 feddans
Design and construction
ArchitectFrench architect Rousseau


Built on the site of a small mansion owned by Abidin Bey, Abdeen Palace, which is named after him, is considered one of the most sumptuous palaces in the world in terms of its adornments, paintings, and large number of clocks scattered in the parlors and wings, most of which are decorated with pure gold. Built by Khedive Ismail, to become the official government headquarters instead of the Citadel of Cairo (which had been the centre of Egyptian government since the Middle Ages), this palace was used as well for official events and ceremonies.

Construction started in 1863 and continued for 10 years and the palace was officially inaugurated in 1874. Erected on an area of 24 feddans, the palace was designed by the French architect Léon Rousseau along with a large number of Egyptian, Italian, French and Turkish decorators. However, the palace’s garden was added in 1921 by Sultan Fuad I on an area of 20 feddans. The cost of building the palace reached 700,000 Egyptian pounds in addition to 2 million pounds for its furnishing. Between four palaces, King Fuad spent more than 18 million French francs with just one Parisian furniture manufacturer Linke & Cie.[1] More money was also spent on the palace’s alteration, preservation and maintenance by consecutive rulers. The palace has 500 suites.


The palace today is a museum, located in the Old Cairo district of Abdeen. The upper floors (the former living quarters of the royal family) are reserved for visiting foreign dignitaries. The lower floors contain the Silver Museum, the Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, and the Presidential Gifts Museum. A new museum, the Historical Documents Museum, was opened in January 2005. Among other documents, it contains the Imperial Ottoman firman, or decree, which established the rule of Muhammad Ali and his family, and a certificate for the Order of the Iron Crown, from the short-lived South American Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia.

See also


  1. ^ Christopher Payne, ‘François Linke 1855-1946, The Belle Époque of French Furniture’, Antique Collector’s Club 2003, p.269

External links

Abdeen Palace incident of 1942

The Abdeen Palace incident was a military confrontation that took place on 4 February 1942 at Abdeen Palace in Cairo, and almost resulted in the forced abdication of King Farouk I. It is considered a landmark in the history of Egypt.Following a ministerial crisis in February 1942, the British government, through its ambassador in Egypt, Sir Miles Lampson, pressed Farouk to have a Wafd or Wafd-coalition government replace Hussein Sirri Pasha's government. This reversal of long-standing opposition to the Wafd came from the British belief that the Wafd, still the most popular of the Egyptian political parties, would be more effective in gaining public support in Egypt for the British war effort than any of the other parties. It was also hoped that a Wafd government would weaken the influence of the pro-Axis elements around King Farouk. Lampson eventually decided to force this choice on Farouk by insisting that he abdicate unless he agreed to ask the Wafd leader, Mustafa el-Nahhas, to form a government. Lampson sought and finally gained the support of Oliver Lyttleton in the British cabinet to apply pressure on the Egyptian King.

On the night of 4 February 1942, General Robert Stone surrounded Abdeen Palace in Cairo with troops and tanks, and Lampson presented Farouk with an abdication decree drafted by Sir Walter Monckton. Farouk capitulated, and Nahhas formed a government shortly thereafter. However, the humiliation meted out to Farouk and the actions of the Wafd in cooperating with the British and taking power, lost support for both the British and the Wafd among both civilians and, more importantly, the Egyptian military. In his memoirs, Muhammad Naguib, one of the two leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and Egypt's first President, cited the incident as a major factor in the rise of revolutionary, anti-monarchical sentiment in the country that contributed to the Revolution 10 years later.


Abedin is an Arabic name and surname ʿĀbidīn عابدين‎). There are also the variant Abideen and the shortened form Abdeen. Abedin means worshipping or worshippers.

Abidin Bey

Abidin Bey al-Arnaut (c. 1780–1827) was an Albanian commander and politician of Egypt during the early era of Muhammad Ali's rule. A member of the core group of Muhammad Ali's commanders, after his death the Abdeen Palace named after him was built on the site of his residence in Cairo and a district of the city was renamed to honour him.

Barbara Skelton

Barbara Skelton (26 June 1916 – 27 January 1996) was an English memoirist, novelist and socialite.

Cairo fire

The Cairo fire (Arabic: حريق القاهرة‎), also known as Black Saturday, was a series of riots that took place on 26 January 1952, marked by the burning and looting of some 750 buildings—retail shops, cafes, cinemas, hotels, restaurants, theatres, nightclubs, and the city's Opera House—in downtown Cairo. The direct trigger of the riots was the killing by British occupation troops of 50 Egyptian auxiliary policemen in the city of Ismaïlia in a one-sided battle a day earlier. The spontaneous anti-British protests that followed these deaths were quickly seized upon by organized elements in the crowd, who burned and ransacked large sectors of Cairo amidst the unexplained absence of security forces. The fire is thought by some to have signalled the end of the Kingdom of Egypt. The perpetrators of the Cairo Fire remain unknown to this day, and the truth about this important event in modern Egyptian history has yet to be established. The disorder that befell Cairo during the 1952 fire has recently been compared to the chaos that followed the anti-government protests of 28 January 2011, which saw demonstrations take place amidst massive arson and looting, an inexplicable withdrawal of the police and organized prison-breaking.

Faiza Rauf

Faiza Fuad Rauf (Arabic: الأميرة فايزة بنت فؤاد الأول‎) (8 November 1923 – 6 June 1994) was an Egyptian princess and a member of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty.

Farouk of Egypt

Farouk I (; Arabic: فاروق الأول‎ Fārūq al-Awwal; 11 February 1920 – 18 March 1965) was the tenth ruler of Egypt from the Muhammad Ali dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and the Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I, in 1936.His full title was "His Majesty Farouk I, by the grace of God, King of Egypt and the Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, of Kordofan and of Darfur". He was overthrown in the 1952 military coup d'état and forced to abdicate in favour of his infant son, Ahmed Fuad, who succeeded him as Fuad II. He died in exile in Italy in 1965.

His sister, Princess Fawzia Fuad, was the first wife and consort of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

King of Egypt

King of Egypt (Arabic: ملك مصر‎ Malik Miṣr) was the title used by the ruler of Egypt between 1922 and 1951. When the United Kingdom ended its protectorate over Egypt on 28 February 1922, Egypt's Sultan Fouad I issued a decree on 15 March 1922 whereby he adopted the title of King of Egypt. It has been reported that the title change was due not only to Egypt's newly independent status, but also to Fouad I's desire to be accorded the same title as the newly installed rulers of the newly created kingdoms of Hejaz, Syria and Iraq. The only other monarch to be styled King of Egypt was Fouad I's son Farouk I, whose title was changed to King of Egypt and the Sudan in October 1951 following the Wafdist government's unilateral abrogation of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936. The monarchy was abolished on 18 June 1953 following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 and the establishment of a republic. The then-king, the infant Fuad II of Egypt (Farouk having abdicated following the revolution), went into exile in Switzerland.

The rulers of Ancient Egypt may be described using the title King (a translation of the Egyptian word nsw) or Pharaoh (derived from pr ˤ3).

Koubbeh Palace

Koubbeh Palace, (Arabic قصر القبة) is one of the various Egyptian palaces which currently serve as the country's official guest house for visiting dignitaries.

The palace was most likely originally built in the mid-19th century and sold to Khedive Ismail in 1866 by his brother Mustafa Fazl Pasha. It is situated several kilometers north of downtown Cairo, Koubbeh Palace was originally surrounded by agricultural fields and rural villages.

List of monarchs of the Muhammad Ali dynasty

Monarchs of the Muhammad Ali dynasty reigned over Egypt from 1805 to 1953. Their rule also extended to Sudan throughout much of this period, as well as to the Levant, and Hejaz during the first half of the 19th century. The Muhammad Ali dynasty was founded by Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian commander in the expeditionary force sent by the Ottoman Empire in 1801 to dislodge the French occupation of Egypt led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The defeat and departure of the French left a power vacuum in Egypt, which had been an Ottoman province since the 16th century, but in which the pre-Ottoman Mamluk military caste maintained considerable power. After a three-year civil war, Muhammad Ali managed to consolidate his control over Egypt, and declared himself Khedive of the country. The Ottoman Porte refused to acknowledge this title, instead recognizing Muhammad Ali by the more junior title of Wāli (meaning governor or viceroy) on 18 June 1805, making Muhammad Ali the successor to Ahmad Khurshid Pasha in that position. In the years following his consolidation of power, Muhammad Ali extended Egypt's borders south into Sudan, and eastwards into the Arab Mashreq, particularly the Levant. In 1840, his demand for hereditary control of Egypt and Sudan to be passed to his heirs and successors was accepted and confirmed by the Convention of London, but he was compelled to agree that, upon his death, control over his territories in the Mashreq would revert to the Porte.Muhammad Ali had a 43-year reign, the longest in the history of modern Egypt. Called the "father of modern Egypt," he is viewed as the dynasty's most important ruler, due to his massive agricultural, administrative, and military reforms. His son, Ibrahim Pasha, was the shortest-reigning monarch of the dynasty. The duration of his rule varies from one source to another, depending on whether or not his reign as regent is taken into account. Contrary to what the short length of his reign might suggest, Ibrahim Pasha is far from being a historically negligible figure, although most of his significant achievements were made before his accession to the throne. His successor, Abbas Helmi I, a traditionalist described by Lord Cromer as "an Oriental despot of the worst type," reverted many of his predecessors' reform-minded measures, and is considered the most controversial ruler of his family.Sa'id Pasha and Isma'il Pasha were far more open to Western influence, and continued the process of expansion and modernization set up by Muhammad Ali, but on a more lavish scale. Isma'il Pasha is especially notable for his inauguration of the Suez Canal and for his Haussmann-inspired rebuilding of Cairo. However, his costly policy of Europeanisation left the country bankrupt; as a consequence, European creditors greatly expanded their influence over Egypt and Sudan's internal affairs. Isma'il's son, Tewfik Pasha, became increasingly powerless following the Urabi Revolt, and was turned into a puppet ruler following the British occupation in 1882. After his death, his son, Abbas Helmi II, tried unsuccessfully to detach himself from the influence of the British, who ended up deposing him in 1914. The following reign, that of Hussein Kamel, lasted only three years and was thus little more than an interregnum. Hussein Kamel's successor Fuad I was a far more historically significant figure. Described by historian Philip Mansel as "the last great royal patron of history," his reign was marked by the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and the United Kingdom's resultant recognition of Egyptian independence. The British, however, refused to include Sudan within the sphere of this recognition, and continued to apply the terms of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. Fuad's son, Farouk I, was Egypt and Sudan's penultimate monarch. After his forced abdication following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, his infant son Fuad II continued to reign as a nominal king-in-exile until the monarchy was formally abolished on 18 June 1953.Rulers of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty governed Egypt and Sudan as absolute monarchs until constitutional rule was established in August 1878. Following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Egyptian and Sudanese monarchy emerged as the most important in the Middle East and the wider Arab world. Largely powerless during the British occupation, Egypt and Sudan's monarchs saw their powers increased following the recognition of independence, and the subsequent adoption of the 1923 Constitution, the most liberal in the country's history. Although King Fuad I often ruled as an autocrat, partly because he repeatedly overrode some provisions of the Constitution, Egypt and Sudan had the freest parliament in the region. During Fuad's reign and that of his son, Farouk, the country witnessed six free parliamentary elections and enjoyed a free press as well as an independent judiciary. According to Philip Mansel, "the Egyptian monarchy appeared so splendid, powerful and popular that King Farouk's ignominious end seems inexplicable." The Muhammad Ali Dynasty's downfall is often regarded as having begun with the Abdeen Palace Incident of 1942, which greatly discredited the King. It accelerated with the growing discontent of Egypt's armed forces following the country's defeat in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Disgruntled members of the military formed the Free Officers Movement, which led a coup d'état on 23 July 1952, thereby marking the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. The toppling of the monarchy, and the resultant establishment of a revolutionary republican government, was the first of its kind in the modern Arab world, and was a crucial event in the region's history; it accelerated dramatically the rise of Pan-Arabism, and had a domino effect leading to similar military overthrows of the monarchies of Iraq (1958), North Yemen (1962), and Libya (1969). Egypt has had a republican form of government since the end of monarchical rule. Although the establishment of genuine democratic rule was one of the six core principles of the Revolution, political parties were banned in 1953 and the country was turned into a military dictatorship. The thriving pluralism that characterized political life during the latter period of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty's rule was thus brought to an end. Even though a multi-party system was officially restored in Egypt in 1976, the country has never recovered the level of political freedom it had enjoyed during the monarchy. In common with most deposed royal families, the Muhammad Ali Dynasty was initially vilified by the new revolutionary regime. Nonetheless, it has undergone re-evaluation in recent years; nostalgia for the former monarchy has been growing among some in Egypt, largely fuelled by the airing in 2007 of a hugely successful serial about the life of King Farouk I.

List of museums in Egypt

Egypt has one of the oldest civilizations in the world . Thus, it has been in contact with many other civilizations and nations and also has been through so many eras, starting from pre-historic age to the modern age, passing through so many ages such as; Pharonic, Roman, Greek, Islamic and many other ages. Because of this wide variation of ages and the continuous contact with other nations, many museums may be found in Egypt, covering a wide area of these ages.

Following is a sortable list of museums in Egypt.

Mallawi Museum

Mallawi Museum is a museum of Egyptian antiquities in Mallawi, Minya Governorate, Upper Egypt.

The museum was established in 1963 to house finds from local excavations and held an important collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts until it was looted in August 2013. Over 1000 pieces were stolen or destroyed in the looting but around half of those have since been recovered.

Mostafa El-Nahas

Mostafa el-Nahhas Pasha or Mostafa Nahas (Arabic: مصطفى النحاس باشا‎; June 15, 1879 – August 23, 1965) was an Egyptian political figure.

Museum of Islamic Ceramics

The Museum of Islamic Ceramics is a ceramics museum in central Cairo, Egypt, which was launched in February 1999.The museum is located in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island on the Nile, just west of downtown Cairo. It is situated within the Prince Amr Ibrahim Palace, built in 1921.As at January 2019, it has been closed for restoration for at least 2 years.

National Archives of Egypt

The National Archives of Egypt are among the oldest in the world, for while the National Archives of France were established in 1794 and the Public Record Office, London, wasn't established until 1838, the National Archives were founded in Cairo in 1828. It dates, therefore, to the 19th century when Mohammed Ali Pasha constructed a place in the Cairo Citadel to preserve official records and named it Daftarkhana (House of Documentation). The main aim behind its construction was collecting written documentation of the state’s activities and maintaining it in one place; thus, it eventually turned to a storehouse of Egypt's national heritage. The first to head Daftarkhana was Ragheb Effendi; whereas, the first to set its internal rules of procedures was John, the expenditure clerk. The Egyptian House of Documentation (Daftarkhana) accumulated so many governmental documents after they were no longer needed that Mohammed Ali was forced to construct Archival Storehouse in governmental ministers and agencies in the capital as well as the provincial governorates.

Princess Fadia of Egypt

Princess Fadia Farouk (15 December 1943 – 28 December 2002) was born at the Abdeen Palace in Cairo, as the youngest daughter of the late King Farouk of Egypt and his first wife, the former Queen Farida. After her father was deposed during the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the Princess lived in Italy for two years. She and her sisters were then sent to live in Switzerland, to attend boarding school. There, the Princess studied painting, became an accomplished equestrian and met her future husband.On 17 February 1965, she married Pierre Alexievitch Orloff (born 13 December 1938), a geologist and descendant of the Russian Royal Family, at the Kensington Registry Office, in London. He converted to Islam, taking the name Sa'id Orloff. They had two sons, Mikhail-Shamel (born 2 September 1966) and Alexander-Ali (born 30 July 1969). The Princess worked as a translator for the Swiss Ministry of Tourism, being fluent in French, Arabic, English, Italian and Spanish.Princess Fadia died in Lausanne, Switzerland and was buried in the Al-Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo, Egypt.

Princess Fawzia Farouk of Egypt

Princess Fawzia (Arabic: الأميرة فوزية‎) (7 April 1940 – 27 January 2005) was the second daughter of King Farouk I of Egypt from his first wife Queen Farida.

Qasr El Nil Street

Qasr El Nil Street is a street in downtown Cairo, Egypt, one of the biggest streets in Cairo, with many businesses, restaurants, and an active nightlife.

The vintage urban planning and architecture here are reminiscent of the illustrious period of late 19th and early 20th century European Beaux-Arts and Egyptian—Islamic—Moorish Revival styles. The street and its new building designs were part of creating a new international downtown district, to link to Egypt’s rich Islamic heritage and institutions with the many new foreign enterprises, at the turn of the 20th century in Cairo.

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