El-Korba Square, an open-air museum
El-Korba Square with its distinctive architectural style is the precious
jewel of Misr El-Gadidah area in Cairo. The square has the shape of a triangle
with huge buildings on each side uniquely designed by the Belgian industrialist
baron Edwar Empain, and it was the inception of the famous Misr El-Gadidah with
its historical arcades in El-Korba Square.
The triangle-shaped square extends from Al-Ahram Street starting from
Heliopolis Hotel (now Presidency palace) to Nazeeh Khalifa Street (previously
Baron Street) which intersects with El-Thawra Street to Baron Empain Palace.
La Courbet, the square's history
The square was named La Courbet because of the unique rotating design of
its street unlike other streets at that time as La Courbet means in Italian
"the bow". In the past days, the tramway used to take this round road
on its route starting from Fouad Street and during the journey, the Belgian
tram conductor used to announce the arrival calling the street el-Korb, hence
it became its common name.
El-Korba Square, historic arcades and architectural
masterpieces El-Korba square is the home to some of Cairo's
historic landmarks like the Baron Empain Palace and Boghos Nubar Pasha
Palace. It also houses the Basilica
Church, the Korba Church and Heliopolis Hotel (now presidency palace), the
jewel of Korba Square. The hotel was
built in 1906 and inaugurated in 1910, and it was the first building in
El-Korba. The hotel was externally designed by the Belgian architect Ernest
Jasper and internally designed by the French architect Alexander Marcel. The
hotel consisted of 400 rooms and reception halls decorated luxuriously.
Basilica Church, a miniature model of Hagia Sophia
Cathedral in Istanbul
Housing more than one architectural masterpiece, you can't miss the
Basilica Church in El-Korba Square which was built by the French architect
Alexander Marcel in 1910 at the request of the Belgian businessman Baron
Empain. The church's architecture is a unique blend of Egyptian and byzantine
styles. The Baron was buried in the church on November 13th 1930,
and his family donated the church to the Catholic Church in Egypt.