Information about Montaza Palace Montaza Complex Montaza Gardens
Montaza Palace Alexandria and Montaza Gardens located in Montaza complex. Montaza complex located at the Eastern edge of the city of Alexandria on the north coast of Egypt. The complex, which size ranges around 360 acre, overseas a gulf that was called Al Montaza Gulf. Montaza complex contains five beaches for swimming. They are Aida Beach, Cleopatra Beach, Vanessa Beach, Semiramis Beach and the private beach of Helnan Palestine Hotel. All sorts of sea activity can be done in Montaza. One can ride a sea boat and take a ride around the Montaza complex. You also can go water skiing as well, Diving, Snorkeling, or even just chill out in front of the sea.
Montaza Palace is a palace and extensive gardens in the Montaza district of Alexandria, Egypt. Moreover, Montaza Palace built on a low plateau east of central Alexandria overlooking a beach on the Mediterranean Sea. The extensive Montaza Palace grounds first had the Salamlek Palace. Salamlek Palace built in 1892 by Khedive Abbas II, the last Muhammad Ali Dynasty. Further more, Montaza Palace used as a hunting lodge and house for his companion.
The history of Montaza Complex:
In the year 1892, Abbas Helmy II, the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, used to like riding horses and donkeys on the shores. He was doing that in the neighborhoods of Alexandria with some of his friends like Ahmed Shafiq Pasha. They used to start their rides from Sidi Bishr, a neighborhood in the west of the city of Alexandria. And then they move to different places of the jewel of the Mediterranean Sea. In one summer night, Helmy ordered his men to prepare 80 donkeys for his ride in Alexandria. This is besides the Khedive Music band that consisted of 48 music players and their instruments. When they reached Sidi Bishr, a group of Bedouins heard the music. When they knew that the Khedive is among the ride they came, greeted and followed him around.
The Khedive Helmy II loved an area near Sidi Bishr because of the scenes of the sea there. He likeed it because of the quite and fascinating atmosphere of this location. Moreover, he even went again to view this area more clearly. He went to a specific spot that is located between two eminences and has a small island to its North. At that moment Helmy decided to have this spot as his summer house. H decided to build a palace and some gardens there. On the top of one of these eminences, there were old canons that go back to the reign of Mohamed Ali. Mohammad Ali put them there to protect the North Coast of Egypt and the city of Alexandria. These canons are still at the same spot till today and Helmy built the Salamlek Palace in front of it.
The other eminence’s top contained a center for coast guards. The Khedive bought it form the government and built the Haramlek Palace there. Helmy II also bought the house of Sinadino. He was a rich Alexandrian tradesman. He added the land to his complex and he bought a lot of lands from people living in the area. It was to expand the space of his summer resort. The Khedive followed the construction of the two palaces himself. He named the whole complex, Montaza complex or Montaza Palace or Montaza gardens. That suggested to him by Mahmoud Shokry Pasha, the head of the Turkish Divan in Egypt.
After the death of Abbas Helmy II, the Royal Family continued taking care of the Montaza Palace until the reign of King Farouk I, the last king of Egypt. Egyptian revolution of 1952 took Montaza Palace. And then opened the gardens for public. Salamlek Palace transformed into a museum. And then, added to the presidential palaces. Presidential palaces serve as a hosting place for the president’s visitors.
Montaza Gardens which are 3000 meters wide contains a huge selection of trees and plants. Some of them are quite rare. Some of the tropical plants are still in good shape although they planted more than 75 years ago. The plant collection in Montaza Gardens includes Catania, huge boots, Zamia, Carlota and special types of palms. This is besides the big size plants like Anthurium, Hokiry, Araliaceae, Victoria, and Ropilia.
Helnan Palestine Hotel:
Helnan Palestine Hotel is the only hotel which built inside one of the royal palaces. The hotel ownership transformed to the government after the Egyptian revolution in 1952. It stands just in front of the modern light house of Montaza. In fact, the hotel built due to the orders of the former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser to host the first Arab Summit. Moreover, it attended by all the Arab president and kings of the time. The hotel became the house of most of the kings, queens, presidents and important figures who visit Egypt. Moreover, the hotel even hosted the visitors of Egypt at the event of the grand opening of the new Library of Alexandria. The list included, the French president Jacques Chirac, Sofia the Queen of Spain, and the Queen Rania the wife of the king of Jordon.
In fact, the hotel is the most favorite summer spot for some of Egypt’s artists and authors as well. Moreover, the hotel contains 233 rooms and all them have sea or garden views. It also has 20 suites, two royal suites, and a villa. The villa takes the whole space of the sixth floor of the hotel and it is suitable for large families and groups. The villa contains 6 rooms, special private kitchen, and a big reception hall. Helnan Palestine Hotel is famous for its various restaurants. Estacoza Restaurant, located on the sea, offers delicious fresh seafood dishes.
El Salamlek Palace & Hotel:
El Salamlek Palace hotel provides its visitors with the luxurious style of the life of kings and queens. The hotel was built by Abbas Helmy II as the hunting lounge for him and his Austrian girlfriend. She became his wife afterwards and changed her name to be Gawidan Hanem. The name Haramlek in the Turkish language means: the place where men meet women. Haramlek is the opposite of Salamlek, the place where women stay. In the reign of King Farouk, the palace used as his special office and meeting hall. El Salamlek Palace designed by Dmitri Fabersious, one of the most famous architects at the time.
It designed using a lot of rich decorations. It contains an artificial forest. The garden of the Palace has Italian canons that King Ahmed Fouad brought from Europe. He did that to defend the Palace against any attack that might come from the sea. The palace used a military hospital in the World War I where British soldiers used to be transferred there to receive treatment. After the revolution in 1952, the Haramlek Palace transformed into a hotel and managed by Sphinx Tourism Company. The San Giovanni Company came afterwards and made a lot of restorations and renovations to the hotel.
When you first enter the main hall of the hotel you find yourself in the Khedive Salon with its luxurious furniture. It contains a collection of photographs of the Khedive with different important figures. You will definitely spend some time at the reception to be able to choose the best suite. The hotel has 14 special suites. “Mawlana Al Moheeb” Suite that contains 5 wide rooms and a special royal garden view. “Sahebat Al Essma” suite features huge three rooms and wide balcony. “Dawlat Al Ra’ees” suite features two rooms and a wide balcony. “Afandina” suite features three rooms and a big balcony. The most fascinating suite in the hotel is the Crystal suite, or the queen royal suite. It was named that way because all its items were made out of blue glass and crystal.
Haramlek Palace built by King Ahmed Foaud in 1925. He ordered his Italian architect, firotche, to construct it to be the summer house of the Royal Family of Egypt at the time. Haramlek Palace has a distinctive design. The design combines different types of styles including Byzantine style dominant. This is besides the Gothic, Classic, and off course Islamic styles of architecture. The word Haramlek is a Turkish architecture term that used to describe the place where women stay. It forbidden for anyone to enter this special ladies area. The Haramlek Palace contains a lot of French antiquities. It decorated in the Baroque and Rococo styles that consist of amazing ornaments of plants and geometric designs.
Moreover, Haramlek Palace consists of a huge open air hall in the middle of it with all the rooms and suites surrounding it. The palace has three floors. The first floor consists of many rooms and halls and the most important among them is office of the king, the billiards hall, and the dinning lounge. The second floor used to host the chaperones and servants of the kings and queens. The third and last floor hosted the suites of the king and the queen with a huge balcony between. This floor also has the baby prince suite. It designed out of cork to prevent the sleeping baby from being disturbed because of the sound of footsteps.