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Montazah: The Royal Palaces and Gardens

, Mohamed Awad Book Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex Med)

Available in: Arabic

Montazah site, known since Antiquity, was rediscovered and developed in the 19th and 20th centuries to become Egypt’s royal summer retreat. Khedive Abbas Helmi, fascinated by the natural beauty of the site, decided to build a summer retreat there, the Salamlek, in 1892. King Fouad, later in 1927, built the Haramlek, and King Farouk added more dependencies including the Tea Pavilion and bridge. Following the 1952 Revolution, the gardens and the beaches were opened to the public, yet still most of the site was reserved for Egypt’s elite society. An Italian company developed and managed the site and its beach cabins, while the royal residences were transformed followed with the addition of the Palestine Hotel in the late 1960s, while casinos, clubs and entertainment facilities were added successively. This brief historical account is meant to document the history and development of the site, and serve as a guide to its resort and recreational facilities.