In fact,the Gezirah Palace (Arabic: قصر الجزيرة) was one of the Egyptian royal palaces of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty. It is located in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island in the Nile, just west of Downtown Cairo.
The Gezirah Palace, designed c. 1868, was up by Khedive Ismail for entertaining visiting international dignitaries during the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.
At the palace’s opening ceremony, guests saw the first performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida, commissioned for the opening of the Suez Canal.
Ismail Pasha fell into debt and sold the Palace ten years after its construction to Michel Lutfallah who turned it into his private residence. The palace was famous during that period as the Lutfallah Palace.
During the Veiled British Protectorate, the palace was sold to Paul Draneht and Commander Oblieght in 1889, and converted by the Compagine International des Grands Hotels into The Ghezireh Palace Hotel in October 1894. During World War I it was put into service as the No.2 Australian General Hospital, after the Mena House was unable to cope with the huge number of casualties from the attle of Gallipoli.
The Gezira Palace is a neoclassical structure with an alhambresque style that is for interior decorations. The portico façade, and a monumental garden pavilion. The landscaped gardens surrounding the palace included a zoo.
Renowned European architects were commissioned for the project: Julius Franzof Germany designed the palace. In fact,Owen Jonesof Britain did the interiors, and Carl von Diebitsch of Prussia designed the portico and the garden pavilion.