Abdeen Palace


Abdeen Palace

Construction

Construction started in 1863 and continued for 10 years but the palace was officially inaugurated in 1874. Erected on an area of 24 feddans, the palace was constructed by the French architect 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. More money was also spent on the palace’s alteration, preservation and maintenance by consecutive rulers. The palace includes 500 rooms.

Ottomans

The palace was originally built on land belonging to an Ottoman Turkish nobleman named Abdeen Bey. The palace became the centre of the royal court, rather than the Citadel of Cairo (which had been the centre of Egyptian government since the Middle Ages) during the reign of King Fuad I.

Museum

The palace, located in the Old Cairo district of Abdeen is today a museum. 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 A new museum, the Historical Documents Museum was opened in January 2005.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 Mohamed Ali and his family, and a certificate for the Order of the Iron Crown, from the short-lived South American Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia. Abdeen Palace was the official residence and principal workplace of the President of Egypt.

Decoration

Abdeen Palace 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, this palace was used as well for official events and ceremonies. Abdin Palace was so called as it was built on the debris of a house owned by the Turkish Prince Abdin Bey.

ee also

*Abdeen Palace Incident of 1942

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/Archives.htm Egypt's Royal Archives, 1922-52] on historical archives housed in the palace.


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