The Montazah Palace and Royal Gardens to the east of central Alexandria is beautifully maintained and features two royal palaces built during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Many tourists arriving in Alexandria, Egypt’s old capital have never even heard about the Royal Gardens of Montaza. This is despite the fact that the extensive grounds are also home to two historical palaces, both of which are these days open to the public.
Salamlek Palace – A 19th Century Hunting Lodge
The Salamlek Palace is the older of the two Montazah palaces and was built in 1892 by the last ruler of the Mohammad Ali Dynasty. Interestingly, the palace was built to function purely as a hunting lodge. At no time throughout its history has the palace served as a royal residence. It has however been renovated on several occasions and subsequently been used as a presidential residence.
Today the Salamlek Palace has been turned into a luxury hotel which has become increasing popular among tourists and well healed Egyptians. Coincidentally, a second hotel has also been added to the property.
Al-Haramlik Palace And Royal Gardens
The Al-Haramlik Palace was built on the same grounds in 1932 by King Fuad, along with the royal gardens which today are known as the Montaza Royal Gardens. The palace was originally built to serve as a seaside summer palace. The building is easily distinguishable by its two towers, one of which is considerably taller than the other.
The architectural design is also very unique, and has often been described as being a seamless blend of Turkish and Florentine styles. Today the Al-Haramlik Palace serves as a casino and also as royal museum, displaying works of art and various objects that trace the history of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty.
Beautifully Manicured Botanical Gardens
The Montazah Palace and Royal Gardens cover an area of approximately 150 acres, stretching all the way to the nearby beach. Despite the vast size, the gardens are beautifully maintained, and as a result the area is very popular among locals.
Its close proximity to the beach also means that there is usually a pleasantly cool breeze blowing in from the Mediterranean Sea, and there’s also easy access to the beach, should visitors feel like going for a swim.
Montazah Palace Gardens are unique in that there are also a number of wading pools and swimming pools on the grounds which visitors are free to use while they’re there. All things considered, it’s quite surprising that so many tourists arriving in Alexandria are unaware of the gardens, or the fact that they are open to the public.
The Montazah Palace and Royal Gardens might not be one of the most exciting attractions in the area, but certainly worth a visit, particularly if you want to enjoy a nice relaxing day out.
Not all Egypt tour packages will include a visit to the Montazah Palace and Royal Gardens, and the same applies to Alexandria tours, so it is something you should confirm when making your reservation.