When in Cairo, most tourists will most likely visit the Egyptian National Museum in Tahrir Square, the Giza Plateau and Khan el-Khalili. What about the lesser known places? The hidden museums and the places that tell the story of decades of modern history? Al-Manial Palace, on Rhoda Island, is one of the eccentric, lesser known, but must-see attractions in the Egyptian capital.
The palace was built between 1899 and 1926 by Prince Mohammed Ali, the uncle of King Farouk. The nearly 30-year long project resulted in an imposing palace combining a number of different architectural styles including Ottoman, Andalusian, Persian, and European rococo.
Nowadays, the palace is divided into numerous sections, halls and museums. These house valuable collectibles that were amassed by Prince Mohammed and King Farouk during their lives, and include medieval manuscripts, clothes, jewels, carpets, textile, furniture and brass work. There’s also a hunting museum where King Farouk’s hunting trophies and equipment are displayed. A nice addition to the palace is a rare plant garden, where the prince planted tropical and exotic plants and flowers brought back from his frequent voyages.
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