Visitors to Cairo likely pass this unique garden park on the bank of the Nile dozens of times when traveling to reach the Gezira Sporting Club, the Cairo Tower, or downtown Zamalek. But the park is hidden behind high walls, keeping it a peaceful oasis within the crowded city.
Built by Zulfugar Pasha in 1929 as a gift for his wife, this botanical-style garden on Gezira Island in the neighborhood of Zamalek is special among the parks in Cairo. The architect originally designed the landscape to be part of the royal mansion of Khedive Ismail, and its former grandeur can still be felt today.
The most unique aspect of the park are the preserved old structures designed in the traditional Andalusian architectural style, based on designs from Moorish Spain. The lush greenery is studded with colorful mosaic benches and steps surrounding a large fountain.
There are many interesting statues, depicting Pharaohs, lions, and the famous Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawky, the “Prince of Poets,” who was known for his love poems. Beautiful panoramic views of the Nile, and the city across, add to the already romantic atmosphere of the landscape. It’s a wonderful respite from the busy streets of Cairo, harkening back to a former era of the city.
Know Before You Go
The park is hidden behind high walls but the easiest way to spot it is that it's across from the Sofitel Hotel & Cairo Tower street entrance.