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Baron Empain Palace

Explore the captivating Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, Cairo, renowned for its rare oriental Hindu design and rich history. Plan your visit and discover the allure of this unique attraction.

Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal
Overview
Baron Empain Palace
Former names Baron Empain
Status Intact
Architectural Style Indian
Location Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt
Material Reinforced concrete
Floor count 3
Architect(s) Alexandre Marcel

Summary

  • The Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, Cairo, stands out due to its unique oriental Hindu design, making it an attractive and historic monument.
  • The palace's history dates back to 1904 when Baron Edward Empain embarked on a project to develop Heliopolis, an artistic and cultural hub in Cairo.
  • The palace was designed using an innovative Hennibique reinforced concrete technique and has undergone extensive restoration.
  • The palace is open from 9 AM to 4 PM, with varying ticket prices for different nationalities, and offers rooftop access for panoramic views.
  • The palace has a mysterious and haunted reputation, with various myths and ghost stories linked to its past, making it a unique attraction for ghost tourism.

The Baron Empain Palace is a wonder out of its place like a fish out of water showcasing a highly rare oriental Hindu design that has equal in all of Egypt. The Baron Palace is a true gem that acts as one of the most attractive monuments in all of Cairo in the immortal city of the sun Heliopolis and the source of countless myths and history.

The entire palace is a complete milestone and an epic piece of art that offers a different aspect of architectural design that offers a great sense of curiosity to seekers of beauty and wonder.

Location of the Baron Empain Palace and How to Get There

The golden Baron Empain's palace became known as the "Heliopolis Palace" as it is found in the magnificent district of Heliopolis in Cairo. In order to reach the palace, everyone should use a number of ridesharing services which include Uber, or simply book with a travel agency that will provide all the means to arrive at this magnificent milestone.

History of Baron Empain Palace

History of Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal
History of Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal

The glorious history of the palace started around 1904 AD when Baron Edward Empain arrived in Cairo with a dream to build an intricate and advanced railway network that connected many regions across the lands of Egypt plus built a number of works of artistic architecture which include the beautiful Baron Palace. Baron Empain hired a highly acclaimed and skilled French architect called Ernest Jaspar who was tasked with creating the architectural vision of the new city of Heliopolis. Ernest designed Heliopolis suburbs to feature a new art form known as the "Heliopolis Style" which is crafted by merging neoclassical European elements with Persian elements. The enchanting city of Heliopolis with time transformed into an artistic and cultural hub that draws travelers from all over the world with its array of amazingly designed amenities which include restaurants, hospitals, stores, banks, and other important infrastructure.

Baron Empain established a very spectacular Hindu-Khmer architectural style which was made for the design of the palace. The baron hired a talented French architect known as Alexandre Marcel who used an innovative and groundbreaking Hennibique reinforced concrete technique in the building process which was the first of its kind. Marcel also played a great role in the creation of the shining city of Heliopolis which can be seen across the famous French Quarter, the Basilica, and the magical interior of the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. The palace building process spanned between 1907 and 1911 to be the main residence for Baron Empain, his wife, daughter, and two sons.

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The palace with time began to crumble with time after the demise of the baron in 1929 and completely in the 1952 coup where the entire palace fell into complete abandonment and disuse. In the 90s, the palace saw a number of acts of trespassing and vandalization by young people. The palace was auctioned by the owner “the Empain family” in the 50s, and it was sold to the Ministry of Housing in Cairo which gave the family a new piece of land in New Cairo. Around 2007,  the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of Antiquities took control of the palace after many years of vandalism and neglect. Around 2017, a comprehensive restoration project was underway, and in 2022, the renovation process was declared completed.

Opening Time and Ticket Prices of Baron Palace

Opening Time and Ticket Prices of Baron Palace - Egypt Tours Portal
Opening Time and Ticket Prices of Baron Palace - Egypt Tours Portal

The marvelous Baron Palace is open daily from 9 AM to 4 PM, so it is advisable to visit early to avoid the rush hour and the intense Cairo sun.

Entrance Fees for the Baron Palace:

Ticket prices vary based on nationality and access:

  • Entry tickets for Egyptian and Arab visitors are EGP 20 for adults and EGP 10 for students.
  • Foreign travelers pay EGP 100 for adults and EGP 50 for students.
  • To enter the palace's rooftop for an enchanting panoramic view, separate tickets are required: EGP 20 for Egyptians and Arabs, and EGP 50 for foreigners. Keep in mind that the children are not allowed on the rooftop.
  • Professional photographers with DSLR cameras pay EGP 50, with an additional EGP 20 for tripods. Keep in mind that mobile photography is free for all nationalities.

Who Was Baron Edouard Louis Joseph Empain

Who Was Baron Edouard Louis Joseph Empain - Egypt Tours Portal
Who Was Baron Edouard Louis Joseph Empain - Egypt Tours Portal

The Baron Palace was built by Empain who was a gifted engineer after he returned to Egypt in 1904 from India after the opening of the Suez Canal. He decided to make Egypt and the city of Cairo his main and final residence and when he passed away he wished to be buried in the lands of Egypt. The palace was completed by him in Heliopolis in 1911. Empain was given the title of Baron by the King of France due to his appreciation and hard work in constructing the Metro of Paris. 

He is credited with establishing the modern neighborhood of Heliopolis in the east of Cairo. It was his idea to build a metro line within the neighborhood leading to the city to attract as many Egyptians as possible to the new location, so he commissioned Andre Barcelona, a Belgian engineer to make his dream a reality.

Architecture and Design of Baron Empain Palace

Architecture and Design of Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal
Architecture and Design of Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal

The Interior design of the Palace has two floors and a small extension which is topped by a roof plus surrounded by a massive garden filled with exotic vegetation, ascending green terraces, and marble statues. The windows are studded with pieces of Belgian glass so the sun will always be present in the place.

There is also a residence place in the basement for the palace servants that is made up of a number of rooms connected by doors and corridors. The baron himself designed the spiral staircase that surrounds the palace building plus holds an elevator that connects all the floors with the basement. The ground floor is made up of a dining room, a reception room, and a billiard room, the first floor contains four rooms; each room has its own bathroom and balcony.

The Palace of Baron Empain sits on 6000 acres (4000 m2) in eastern Cairo and the baron himself built the city to hold all the needed infrastructures like electricity, water, and drains. He also filled the city of Heliopolis with a number of hotels like the Heliopolis House and the Palace Hotel which is filled with recreational luxuries such as a park, racetrack, and golf course.  

Alexander Marcel the French architect built the place within Heliopolis Avenue of Palaces which was mainly inspired by the Hindu temple of Orissa and the Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat. Georges Louis Claude added the shapes of various human figures, Indian dancers, snakes, elephants, Shivas, Buddhas, and Krishnas into the external design.

Within the palace is an exhibition of a number of archival photos, documents, maps, and plan plus there are a number of panels that narrates the long history of the legendary city of Heliopolis and the daily urban life of certain time periods.

Baron Empain Palace Scary Story

Baron Empain Palace Scary Story - Egypt Tours Portal
Baron Empain Palace Scary Story - Egypt Tours Portal

The beautiful Baron Empain Palace has many mythical stories which have a number of incredible scary stories and legends that hold a very special architectural style and a past filled with mystery. Many great tales surround the palace claiming it to be haunted and filled with great strange occurrences, mythical phenomenon, and supernatural voices that comes from all the incredible walls and windows. Many of the speculation and tales were surrounded around the Baron's daughter Mariam who many believe has suffered from a medical complication such as paralysis or even a psychological condition. Her mysterious illness led her to become isolated from the entire outside world which led her to transform into a strange mysterious creature. There are many stories stating that the deceased body of Mariam was found inside the service elevator.

A lot of stories tell that there was a secret affair with a servant who worked for their family. She would later commit suicide because her father did not approve of their marriage and her tormented spirit was left hunting the palace. There is also another mysterious tale that surrounds the death of the baron’s sister who died from falling off the balcony while the palace was rotating. The death of his sister was speculated to be his fault as he hesitated in saving his sister which in turn led to his death when the tower’s rotation led it to be completely suspended thus causing his death. Many of the residents in the area near the palace explain that the ghosts could be hunting the palace and are the reason behind all the voices coming from it. He was later buried in the Heliopolis desert which sparked many speculations and tales till this very day.

There are a great number of mythical stories regarding the mysterious death of Baron Empain as there is a theory of secret tunnels leading from the palace to the basilica where he was buried which explains that his ghost came to life after the passing of the Sun. The beautiful and famous spiral staircase found in the palace is famous for being made of the finest Italian marble and magnificent craftsmanship which became associated with heart-breaking tragedy with the death of Baron Empain's wife Helena who fell to her death from this magnificent staircase which led her spirit to haunt the palace. All these stories and tales caused the palace to earn the reputation of becoming a haunted place thus transforming it into a unique national treasure and a magnet for ghost tourism. his magnificent staircase which led her spirit to haunt the palace. All these stories and tales caused the palace to earn the reputation of becoming a haunted place thus transforming it into a unique national treasure and a magnet for ghost tourism.

What to See Inside Baron Empain Palace

What to See Inside Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal
What to See Inside Baron Empain Palace - Egypt Tours Portal

This magical Palace contains architectural inspiration from oriental temples of Hindu, Indian, and Cambodian origins which is evident in its design. Across the entrance guarding the palace are Dragon-like creature statues which were influenced by Buddhist and Hindu temples in both southern Asia and India. The palace is filled with beautiful ornate rooms that showcase marble floors, stained glass windows, and intricate chandeliers. This magical palace contains a marvelous hall of mirrors which are adorned with magnificent mirrors that reflect divine light from all angles thus creating a magnificent visual spectacle that reflects the incredible and marvelous artifacts that are displayed within the beautiful inner museum. 

The Baron Palace holds a great basement plus two floors with a great rooftop which features an incredibly beautiful garden filled with exotic floors. The basement acted as living quarters for the palace’s servants which explains why it held a number of interconnected rooms connected by corridors and doors. It is filled with a majestic elevator that connects all the floors together and an epic spiral staircase. The marvelous ground floor holds an enchanting reception area, a magical billiard room, and a spectacular dining room. The incredible 1st floor is made of 4 rooms each one with its own bathroom and beautiful balcony showcasing the most amazing and enriching views.

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The rooftop contains a magnificent open space found next to the grand tower which is able to shed light on the epic allure of new Cairo. The magnificent colossal tower of the building has been created on a 360-degree rotating base which offers the most magical panoramic views of the golden city of Heliopolis which is able to track the sun. The interior has an Italy-imported marble staircase and a spiral pine wood staircase that is paired with a dazzling chandelier.

Baron Empain Palace Photos

From Baron Palace to Bustling Cairo: A Fascinating Tours

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Old Is Baron's Palace?

The magnificent Baron Empain Palace is about 112 years of 2023 as it was built around 1911 in the heart of the golden city of Heliopolis.

Why Did The Baron Palace Have A Rotating Base?

The epic Baron Empain Palace was constructed on a rotating base in order to follow the celestial path of the sun across the day which led the palace to enjoy the most magical natural light and a number of different views of the magical city of Heliopolis without leaving any of the rooms of the palace.

Who Lived In The Baron's Palace?

The incredible palace was the main residence of Belgian industrialist Baron Empain who worked in Egypt at the time. Over the years, the palace was bought and sold by various owners over the years.

Why Was Baron Palace Built?

The great Palace was constructed to become the main residence for Baron Empain and his family while he was living in Cairo working to establish a railway network connecting many regions across the lands of Egypt.

What Are the Finest Destinations to Visit in Egypt?

The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.

What Are Egypt's Visa Requirements?

If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.

What Is the Top Traditional Egyptian Food?

Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.

What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.

What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?

You should pack everything you could ever need in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.

Why Book With "Egypt Tours Portal"?

We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 20 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort to make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the finest atmosphere until you return home.

Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.

What to Wear While in Egypt?

Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.

What are the Best Activities to Do in Egypt?

The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.

What are Egypt Festival and Public Holidays?

There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.

What are Special Advice for Foreign Women in Egypt?

Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

What are the Official Languages of Egypt?

Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.

What is the Transportation in Egypt?

The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.

What is the Weather is Like?

The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

What are the Reasons That Make You Visit Egypt?

It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.

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