Baron Empain’s Palace

Baron Empain’s Palace

An almost forgotten, and possibly haunted, Hindu masterpiece in Cairo.

Baron Empain was not born in the country of Egypt, but moved there from Belgium when he fell in love with the culture.  Being a real estate investor, he bought up large areas of land and built a home for himself and his family in the middle of what he sought to make into a massive urban development project.  Though he would eventually leave and Empain’s Palace pass beyond his family’s hands, it still stands in Cairo as an amazing historical building with a unique Hindu design.  It is also rumored to be haunted by the spirits of Empain’s dead wife and daughter.

It took three years to build the palace, which consists of two floors, an underground chamber and a large tower built on a revolving base.  The exterior is covered in Hindu elements of design, including many carvings of things such as elephants, buddhas, snakes and dancers.  It is distinctively out of place in the city of Cairo and has, unfortunately, fallen into disrepair over the years.

The reported hauntings consist of lights going on and off in the backyard and in the house and voices that can be heard in the dead of night.  These are said to be caused by the baron’s wife, who fell to her death from one of the interior 

balconies, and his daughter, who was found dead for unknown reasons shortly after the death of her mother.  Caretakers and many passers-by have attested to the strange going-ons in the building, though none, to my knowledge, have fully investigated.

After leaving the Empain family, the building was neglected.  In 2005 the government of Egypt obtained control over it and began a slow restoration process.  They’ve only fixed up the gardens, where events are sometimes held, and the main building still remains a costly and unfulfilled project.  Despite being unable to explore the interior, Empain’s Palace is still a magnificent piece of architecture that most are unaware of.  If Egypt manages to fix the place up, they could have quite the tourist destination, particularly for those interested in the supernatural.