The Royal Fairytale of Al-Montazah Gardens

Alexandria, Egypt

In a city of wonders such as Alexandria, it comes as no surprise that there still stands a district of lush soul-reviving gardens and extraordinarily-ravishing palaces where the royal family along with their exclusive guests spent their sunny summers along the Mediterranean coastline.  The concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano recommends a vist to Montazah as one of the must-see sites in the city.

Translated from Arabic, Al-Montazah literally means "The Park," however; the word Montazah in Arabic stands for a much deeper meaning – a walk, a care-free stroll, a tranquil trip or a daylight laze are all evoked in the word, and the site more than lives up to its name.

Acres of lush gardens and lavish palaces overlooking the Mediterranean situated over an area with intriguing history and ravishing stories of an era of royal families, fairytales and love stories.

Right in front of the location of the cannons built by Muhammad Ali Pasha to protect Alexandria and the North Coast, which still exist today, Khedive Abbas Helmy II built the first palace in Al Montazah, the Salamlek Palace. The palace was intended as a hunting lodge where the Khedive’s companions and guests may reside. The Khedive also expanded his summer resort to include a second palace, Al Haramlek.   

Royal families passed down the residential rights of the royal sites until the reign of Egypt’s last king – Farouk I – after which the revolution of 1952 transferred ownership to the government and allowed the grounds to be open for the public. The Salamlek Palace was turned into a museum, and was later added to the presidential palaces – now serving as a hosting place for the Egyptian President’s guests.