Cairo possesses an architectural heritage that only a few cities in the world can compete. There are cafes, hotels, movie theatres that have been functioning for more than fifty years and still have not lost their original charm. Visiting these is like travelling to a bygone era. Here are some of the best works of architecture in the capital of Egypt with a history of their own.
Best Historical & Architectural Wonders in Downtown Cairo
Café Groppi was opened in 1890 by a Swiss man named Giacomo Groppi. During those times, it was a highly regarded tea room in the city of Cairo where people from the highest strata of society such as nobles, aristocrats, and politicians used to come together and indulge in discussions of all sorts.
This café is in Talaat Harb Street just a short walk away from Tahrir square. Presently, it is undergoing construction but will be soon open to the public.
The café was constructed in 1908 and in the coming years became a hotspot for politicians, intellectuals, and poets to connect. It has an interesting history behind it. Café Riche is said to be owned by a French man by the name of Henry Riche in 1914 who gave the café its name. However, not much information is available about the café before 1914. In the year 1962, it was bought by Abdel-Malak Mikhail Salib who passed it down to his sons Magdy and Michael.
It is now run by Michael’s wife and sons. Despite so many years, this old café still retains its vintage charm and aura.
This was constructed by Max Edrei, a French architect in the art deco style during the 1930s. It used to be one of those avant-garde movie theatres that were spread all across Egypt for the screening of major films. Many film stars and top celebrities used to visit these often.
It was vacant for a few years but was then was brought back to life by Bassem Youssef for his program El Bernameg. Moreover, Cinema Radio was also the venue for Abla Fahita, a well-received puppet show.
Situated in Alfy Bey Street in Cairo, this architectural beauty was constructed in 1893. Initially, it was used a part of the royal family’s bathhouse complex, but during the WWI, it was turned into the British officers’ club.
Windsor Hotel underwent renovation in 2010 but still has its original charm.