The grand re-opening of Baron Palace


Baron Empain Palace, also known as Le Palais Hindou, first opened in 1911 and is a mansion inspired by a Hindu temple and is located in northeast of central Cairo, Egypt. The palace has been closed to the public since 1997 due to Satanists allegedly holding rituals there. Now after almost 2 years of restoration, the palace has become a cultural centre and has opened its doors to the public on June 29th, 2020.

Baron Empain launched his company for the purpose of creating a railway connecting Mansoura to Matariya, and after losing the contract, he stayed in Cairo and created Heliopolis, which is Greek for the City of the Sun. The palace was a solitary structure among concrete buildings, specially constructed to serves as Empain’s mansion.

With the president as an attendee to the inauguration, everything was made sure to be ready for the grand opening. The grand opening of Baron Palace will include artifacts to enrich citizens about ancient suburban inhabitants. You can check out things like drawings, maps and telephones from centuries ago, all available in the Baron Empain Palace. Exhibitions will be held with historical viewings narrating many important events about Heliopolis.

The entrance fee is very affordable to the access of the palace, while there can be extra fees including that of gaining access for the palace’s roof where a panorama can be found with breathtaking views, as well as extra fees for using a camera and/or taking photo sessions. The fee for foreigners is 100 EGP and 50 EGP for foreign students. Another plus is that a cafeteria and dining area have now opened in the palace’s garden so you can take a break or have a meal after a day well spent exploring the palace.

Visit the Mansion of Heliopolis

The architecture of this magnificent palace was designed by Alexandre Marcel, a French architect. It was inspired by the Hindu temple of Angkor Wat, which was built between 1907 and 1911. Ever since the opening, the Baron Palace has welcomed many visitors every day since the opening, so much that it sells out very fast for the entire day.

Take a journey to the past when you visit the Baron Empain Palace for the first time. There will also be an amazing film series played at the palace for Baron Empain himself with his partner Nubar Pasha, former prime minister of Egypt and Alexandre Marcel, the French architect who was responsible for the design of the palace. It explains the architecture of all of Heliopolis, its heritage, famous places and lifestyles people were living at different ages.

Although the palace’s opening has been delayed many times, we can confirm that it was truly worth the wait. If you’re visiting Egypt, make sure to include a visit to Baron Palace during your trip after the grand re-opening, where you will learn about the history of Heliopolis and check out many ancient artifacts.

Sherif Khalil is Owner of Dunes & Beyond. Dunes & Beyond offers luxury tours, Nile cruises and desert safaris in Egypt.

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Comments (15)

  1. Andy says:

    After a couple of visits to Cairo I knew that it is a city where you come to expect the unexpected.

    This place is like a Hindu temple meeting an Egyptian Palace with touches of Art Deco style stirred into the mix too.

    I’m not sure that I would have wanted to live in it, might have been sensory overload, but it must be a fascinating place to visit.

    • Sherif Khalil says:

      Hi Andy,

      Many thanks for your comment. Totally agree with you, hopefully you will have the chance to visit this place in the near future.

      Best,
      Sherif Khalil
      Dunes & Beyond

  2. Roger says:

    What an incredible piece of architecture and it has been a tragic loss to Cairo for the last two decades. I haven’t been to Cairo for over 30 years. It’s one of the places that I want to get to in 2021 especially if the new museum by the pyramids is open by then.

    • Sherif Khalil says:

      Hi Roger,

      Many thanks for your comment.

      You are totally right, you should not miss the Grand Egyptian Museum.

      Best,
      Sherif Khalil
      Dunes & Beyond

    • Amanda says:

      Wow that’s really fascinating that you were in Cairo that long ago. I can imagine that it must have been such a different place back then. I’ve been wanting to go there for such a long time. This post reminded me that of that, maybe one day.

  3. Sherif Khalil says:

    Hi Andy,

    Many thanks for your comment. Totally agree with you, hopefully you will have the chance to visit this place in the near future.

    Best,
    Sherif Khalil
    Dunes & Beyond

  4. MAALIQ says:

    when i lived and worked cairo i one day walked the baron palace and walked up to the fence close to where the security guards were positioned i asked them if i could go go inside and expecting a stern no they said hop over wow being an architect i was in heaven guys at work told me that the building was haunted but it was broad daylight even though it was pretty bruised and battered it was still in its element in a way showing that the baron was a pretty crazy guy i like what you guys have done with the restoration work this bldg deserved it i miss egypt especially aiwa ziada down in korba

    • Sherif Khalil says:

      Many thanks Maaliq for your comment. You should come back someday and watch it after renovation.

      Best Regards,
      Sherif Khalil
      Dunes & Beyond

  5. Leo says:

    When you’ve got a Palace you’ve gotta have a statement staircase and that sure is a special staircase!

  6. Megan Buchanan says:

    This is the first I’m hearing of this place, but then again my knowledge of Egypt is rather minimal. I’ve only known one person to visit there and they said it was a once in a lifetime kind of experience you simply won’t come close to anywhere else. I’m curious about the Satanic rituals part that resulted in this palace initially being shut down. I’ll have to Google that and see if there are anymore details at all. Sounds like an intense 2 year restoration project but I’m sure it was well worth it to be able to open this back up again. It’s a beautiful building that’s as interesting on the inside as it is on the outside. That winding staircase is amazing! I like places with a rich history too, so you can feel like you’re learning as you go. I had to do a currency conversion for the Egyptian pounds and it looks like it’s under £5 for the entrance fee, which isn’t too bad at all. Actually, if there are artefacts too it’s like a stately home plus museum, so that’s pretty cheap. Well worth the wait indeed.

    • Sherif Khalil says:

      Many thanks Megan for your comment, hopefully you can visit Egypt soon.

      Sherif Khalil
      Dunes & Beyond

  7. Phil says:

    Trying to get my head round this one. French architect. Hindu style. Inspired by Angkor Wat. Then maybe used by Satanists. What a mix! Some story.

    • Frank says:

      Haha, I’m glad I wasnt the only one that caught that cultural mix. Reading the word “Satanists” really raised my eyebrows. And I could for sure see the influence from Ankor Wat as soon as I saw the pictures.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, that is some amazing architecture. It does look a bit like Angkor Wat with those tower and pillar carvings. Intricate details both outside and inside and that red facade certainly makes the whole palace striking. Looking at those stairs is making me dizzy, though. I wonder how this will fare compared to the the other Egyptian monuments. It has a relatively cheap entrance fee and is probably the most accessible since it is in the middle of Cairo. But then there’s also the new Grand Egyptian Museum. I do hope with its history and beautiful architecture, the restoration and opening of the Baron Empain Palace will make people take notice.

  9. Peyton Bevan says:

    The architecture is stunning. I like the close up photo to show some of the stone carving detail. IT makes you wonder how so much was possible back then before all of the tech and tools and machinery we have today. It’s great to see it’s reopening and that much of the place is open for tourists like with the cafeteria and dining area. It’s got to be disappointing travelling at the moment only to find so many places are only half open so your experience is limited by what’s safe or not to have available. It’s not surprising Baron Palace sells out quickly, it looks like one of those must see touristy places when in Cairo.

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