El-Haram Street

September 4, 2021

The Pyramid Road, also known as Haram Street by the locals, is Giza’s oldest street. It was established in the 4th century B.C. by the final ancient Egyptian king Nektanebu II as a trees avenue leading to the Giza pyramids, where his grandfathers’ tombs from the 4th dynasty can be found. The road runs from a location near the river channel – today’s Giza square – to the city’s closest desert, the Giza desert, in the middle of the rich area of the Nile’s western bank.

Alexander the Great invaded Egypt and established Alexandria as his capital. He didn’t care for Cairo or Giza, which is why he didn’t touch the street of the pyramids, and even his leader Ptolomy, when he ascended the Egyptian kingdom, didn’t add to the Haram street.

In 641 A.D., the Arabs conquered Egypt and built the city of Foustat as the Egyptian capital, complete with a large mosque known as Amr Ibn El-Aas on the Nile’s eastern bank. When the Fatimids established their capital in Cairo, it was likewise on the Nile’s eastern bank. Giza and Haram Street remained unchanged as a result, with the exception of the private additions.

Rich Pachas erected lovely villas and luxury residences and buildings along the avenue throughout the Ottoman period, transforming it into a thoroughfare with buildings on both sides. Between world wars, the development of new structures on the Boulevard proceeded until 1952, when the Egyptian revolution of the free officers occurred.

Following the 1952 revolution, the government began nationalizing these structures, and as the country became more populous, the majority of these structures were sold to individuals who converted them into money-making projects, the most common of which were nightclubs and cabarets for belly dancing. The Boulevard is known across the Middle East for belly dancing and nightclubs, and it draws visitors from all over the world to witness Egyptian belly dancers.

The street is 7.5 kilometers long and runs east-west. The Mena House hotel, which is located near the entrance to the Giza pyramids, is one of the most well-known attractions of the neighborhood. The structure was formerly a palace built by Egyptian ruler Khedive Ismael when he chose to throw a great party to commemorate the inauguration of the Suez canal and invited all of Europe’s kings and queens. However, that palace was erected specifically for the princess of France, “Eugenie,” since Khedive Ismael adored her.

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