Geometry: Andalusian Garden, Cairo

As the Nile flows through Cairo it is divided in two for a short space by Gezira Island.  And on this island there’s a public green space with a geometric layout called the Andalusian Garden.  It was designed by the architect Mahmoud Zulfiqar Bey in 1929 as a gift to his wife, and was originally used as a roller skating rink by members of the royal family.  In 1935 it was opened to the public, and in 1941 when my father was in Cairo during the war he visited this Moorish garden.  The park is now protected by a heritage classification.  Unfortunately the pool in the photo is now dry, but the terraces are still decorated with coloured mosaics which are not evident in this black and white photo, but photos on this blog site show the beautiful colours of the tiles and the excellent design of the garden.

Thank you Ahmad Omar for telling me the name of this garden.  The photo is from my father’s collection which he brought back from Egypt in 1942.

Andalusian Garden, Gezira Island, Cairo, Egypt, 1941

7 Replies to “Geometry: Andalusian Garden, Cairo”

  1. Thanks for the compliment. The photos might be interesting to Egyptians who are interested in their heritage. A comparison of my photos of the Japanese Gardens and those taken recently show a completely different layout – in the 1940s it was all open and people could wander anywhere, but now there are fences around all the sculptures.

  2. It seems that here in Australia, sculptures in a garden are still touchable. A European friend commented to me that in the National art gallery here in Canberra the artworks don’t have electronic barriers as they do in Europe. Perhaps in Egypt the population is so large that anything can happen, so they’re doing what’s needed to protect what they have.

  3. You’d hardly know it was the same place, would you? He probably lost his head because of the injunction not to represent human figures (though I wonder if someone made money out of selling it) but it could have been worse, the whole thing could have been destroyed, like Bamiiyam. What I find interesting is how clean and cared for it is today. Kills you doesn’t it?

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