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Sakakini Palace in Cairo

 The Sakakini Palace


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Sakakini palace is considered one of the oldest palaces in Egypt, built by Habib Sakakini Pasha, in 1897, located in the Sakakini square in downtown, Cairo, precisely in Al-Zahir district which is considered a populated area. Later, the area around the palace has called Sakakini district. The palace built by Italian architects who specially came to participate in the construction works regarding the palace, as different styles from around the world overlapped the construction of the palace, such as the model of rococo art.

Unfortunately the palace is almost disappeared among a forest of damaged buildings that have no sense of aesthetic, besides you might pass through the Sakakini square without noticing the presence of the palace, especially at night as the palace totally disappears in the darkened square. Although the palace is regarded as one of Cairo’s monuments, but also the monuments district, located in downtown, are using it as a seat of administrative. However, the palace is suffering from terrible neglect both from inside and outside. The palace was built in an Italian style, as Habib Al-Sakikini brought an Italian company to build the palace as he wanted it to be a copy of the palace which he saw in Italy and he directly fell in love with it so he chose his palace to be in an attractive location, consists of 8 main roads and therefore the palace has became the central point in the district.  

At that time, it wasn’t such easy to get a location like this, but the relationship between Sakikini pasha and khedive

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 has simplified the task. The European design shows the letter (S) which is the first letter of the name of Sakakini pasha in English. The palace contains a cone-shaped dome with byzantine design dates back to the middle ages, but the palace seems now misplaced as it is located among modern buildings and huge crowd. When you look at the palace from the outside, you will never give the correct impression regarding its vast area as the palace was built on 2698 square meters with more than 50 rooms and height of up to five floors. Additionally, the palace contains more than 400 windows and doors, besides 300 statues, including a bust of Habib Sakakini Pasha which is located in the top of the main entrance of the palace.

Despite the lack of garden breadth that surrounding the palace, it helped to isolate some sort of modern buildings around it. In 1923, Habib Al-Sakakini died and his fortune was divided among the heirs who gave the palace to the government. Moreover, one of Sakakini‘s grandsons who was working as a doctor, donated his share to the ministry of health, which was not qualified enough to inherit such a palace. In 1961, the museum of healthy edification was transferred from Abdeen to Sakakini palace, by the order of Cairo government. In 1983, the ministry of health issued a ministerial decree to transfer the museum of healthy edification to the Technical Institute in Imbaba. Some of the exhibits were moved to Imbaba and the rest were stored in the basement of the palace. According to the decree holding No.1691 issued by Prime Minister, the palace has been recorded as one of the Islamic and Coptic monuments to be placed under the auspices of Supreme Council of Antiquities. Presently, the palace is opened for the visitors who are mostly art students, as they are spending long hours examining the statues and the decorations which are covering the palace. On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to wander in the corridors of the palace and pass through its empty rooms to feel the greatness and splendor of the palace, besides breathing the scent of bygone glory.

 

A mappában található képek előnézete Sakakini Palace

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Szeptember / 2020

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