Baron Empain, was a Belgian millionaire who visited Egypt in 1906; it was when he made his decision to spend the rest of his life in Egypt and established a new city in the middle of the desert (the current city of Heliopolis or the city of the sun). I will not overstate when I say that Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis is one of the must-see architectural masterpieces to visit in Cairo. The palace was designed by the French architect Alexander Marcel and decorated by Georges Louis Claude. The design of this exceptional palace was inspired by the Hindu Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. It is embellished by ivory from inside out, balconies are ornamented with elephant statues, and windows are stimulated by the Islamic style & decorated with Hindu and Buddhist statues. It is said that the Palace once had an old watch which can only be compared with the watch in Buckingham Palace, precisely showing the time in minutes, hours, days, months, years, moon phases and temperature. The Palace is also characterized by the spacious garden where rare plants were planted for the Baron. It is a place where history meets mystery! There are a lot of fairy tales related to the palace. One of the legends is that palace's tower used to spin 360 degrees every hour, and it suddenly stopped after Baroness Helena, the Baron’s sister died after slipping off from the second floor, others say Baron Empain felt guilty for his sister’s death and stayed inside the palace until his death in 1929.
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