CAIRO – 18 October 2020: El-Mounira Palace in Sayyida Zeinab area is one of the most distinctive royal palaces built in the era of the Alawite family. The palace is built in an area, which was later named El-Mounira after the palace.
Twitter users shared a rare picture of El-Mounira Palace (Sayyida Zeinab area) that dates back to the 1870s, and was at the time owned by Princess Mounira Sultan (1844-1862), daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid I.
She married Prince Ibrahim Elhamy Pasha, son of the ruler of Egypt Abbas I, in 1857 AD.
It is said that Mounira gave her name to the whole neighborhood. It is also said, in another account that may be closer to the truth, that the neighborhood was known as El-Mounira (The bright) because it witnessed lavish celebrations that lasted for 40 days in 1873. Rockets were launched, on the occasion of the marriage of four of the children of the Khedive Ismail.
In what was called "The joys of the children", the palace itself, located on Sheikh Ali Youssef Street, received the envoy of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in the year 1892, upon the appointing of Abbas Helmy II, the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.
Its lush gardens surround the ancient building, which currently contains the most important library and printing press around the world, specialized in Egyptology.
El-Mounira area was famous for embracing the three palaces that Khedive Ismail built for his daughters. They exist until now and are occupied by a number of important ministries.
Ismail built two palaces, each on an area of 9 acres. The first was built for his adopted daughter Faiqa, who married Mustafa Pasha bin Ismail Siddiq, known as the inspector. It is currently occupied by the Ministry of Education.
The second was built for his daughter, Princess Jamila, wife of Muharram Pasha bin King Shaheen. It is now occupied by three ministries: Housing Ministry in the palace building itself and the ministries of scientific research and supply on the land of its outer garden.
As for the third palace, it was owned by Princess Tawhida, the wife of Mansour Pasha, a member of the Special Council. For a period of time, it was occupied by the Ministry of Defense and Military Production on Falaki Street.