The Royal Palaces
The Villas of Former Kings
Although Alexandria’s palaces and royal chateaus are presently out of bounds to the public, visitors can still see the façade and enjoy the view from outside.
A particularly outstanding building among the palaces is the Al-Haramlik Palace, a massive complex also referred to as the Montaza Palace that was erected in 1932 by King Fuad I. The former regal summer house remained relevant even also served as the residence of some of Egypt’s presidents after the 1952 uprisings that ushered in the new form of government.
The Montaza palace is quite opulent with a flamboyant design that combines styles from both Italian and Turkish architecture. It also sits on a vast accumulation of land, surrounded by about 60 hectares of land that serve as the palace gardens.
These gardens can be visited by tourists and the general public for an entry fee and closer views of the palace are possible from within, although the palace itself is closed and out of bounds to the public.
Another palace, though not as big as Montazaا, quite beautiful to look at too is the Salamlek palace which is situated within the grounds of the royal garden of the Al-Haramlik palace. Historically, this palace housed Khedive Abbas II’s friends.
However, a luxury hotel now occupies the building that used to be the Salamlek palace and provides accommodation for visitors to the area.
Yet another Alexandrian palace, also closed to the public, is the Ras el-Tin palace on which construction work was concluded in 1847. At present, the area plays host to a Naval base and the palace itself is one of the presidential villas where the Egyptian President resides.
For obvious security reasons, this palace can be viewed only from the exterior. It was the former residence of King Farouk who had to relinquish the throne escape with his family because of the 1952 uprisings.