Montazah Gardens


Montazah Gardens and palace; are located at the Eastern edge of Alexandria. The palace was built on a low plateau east of Alexandria and overlooking a beautiful beach and set amongst gardens and woods, the palace comprises a number of buildings, the most important of which are Al-Haramlek and Al-Salamlek. 


This 115 acre complex is surrounded by great walls from the south, east and west, and with the beach on its north side. This area used to belong to the Mohamed Ali family, that ruled Egypt from the mid 19th century until 1952. The construction was started in 1892 by King Abbas II, who built a large palace inside the complex called the Salamlek. In 1932, King Fuad built a larger palace and called it the Haramlek. His son, King Farouk, built a bridge to the sea to act as a water front. The rest of the 115 acres is nothing but beautiful gardens. Palm trees and gazelles cover the area. This is a wonderful spot to enjoy the beauty of Alexandria. 


Montazah palace, that is the main living quarter, the haramlek, was built by Khedive Abbas II in 1893 and during the first World War was converted by the British to a hospital. Here E.M. Forster did some of his Red Cross work, gave lectures on ancient Alexandria, and himself convalesced from jaundice, coming to love the palace and often returning to it fro weekends. King Fuad I began refurbishing the haramlek in 1925, his architect Verrucci making it over in the style of the Florentine quattrocentesco except for its high corner tower, an exact copy of that at the Palazzo in Siena. Notice that letter F which appears as a motif on the outside. A fortune-teller had told Kin Fuad that the letter F would bring his family luck, so he named his daughters Fawsia, Faisa, Faika and Fathia, and his only son Farouk who in turn renamed Shahinaz, his first wife, Farida , by whom the three daughters, Ferial, Fawsia and Fadia. 


In 1951 Farouk married Narriman, neglecting to change her name, and in January 1952 she bore him his only son, the letter F relegated to second place in Ahmed Fuad. Six months later, Farouk was out of Abbas II alos built the Salamlek (men's or reception quarters) near by, but this did not get the Chianti treatment, and it remains merely modestly grandiose. It is now a handsomely renovated deluxe hotel and overlooks a lovely cove with swimming and watersports.