Being Egypt’s capital, Cairo embraces a lot of tourist attractions and historical sites that are worth visiting. You can look up any list online, stating the best destinations to stop at in Cairo. However, it is not guaranteed that these lists will not miss any of the important landmarks. The Orman Garden is usually one of the places that are taken for granted. It surely has its own visitors too, but it does not receive the same hype that other places in Cairo do. For nature lovers, this Garden will be way beyond a regular patch of greenery and plants. The garden is a blotch of plant life and vegetation that tell a tale of history. Take the time to scroll down and read the article, so you learn that missing out on this place is such a great loss.
An Abstract about the Orman Garden
Before digging into the details of the existence of the garden, it is always interesting learning about the name’s origin. Mistakenly, a lot of foreign tourists tend to believe that the Orman is an Arabic word. In fact, it is not; it is a Turkish word that means “The Forest.” The Orman Garden came into existence during the Ottoman reign in Egypt. Khedive Ismail Pasha was the one behind the existence of this garden. He built it in 1875, back when he was the ruler of Egypt.
Originally, the garden was part of the Khedive Ismail Pasha’s Palace. It occupied a large area. The reason behind the establishment of the garden was Ismail Pasha’s desire to build an Egyptian forest. He wanted it to bear a great resemblance of the Bois de Boulogne Park; a park that sits in place of the Lemon Garden in Paris. Consequently, Ismail Pasha had decided to hire a French expert, Delchevalerie, for that matter. The designer succeeded in designing a French-styled park within the private area of Khedive Ismail Pasha’s Palace. However, it ceased being a private garden in 1910. The Ministry of Agriculture included the garden under its own management, making it a botanical garden that has been available to the public.
Khedive Ismail Pasha
Ismail Pasha was commonly known as Ismail the Magnificent. The reason behind such naming remains unknown. He was the grandson of Muhammed Ali Pasha. Ismail Pasha became the ruler of Egypt after he left the behest of the United Kingdom. Besides, his dynasty was a result of his elder brother’s death, so he spontaneously became the heir. Khedive Ismail Pasha had ruled Egypt and Sudan for almost over a decade, 16 years, to be precise. Following the footsteps of his own grandfather, he wanted to modernize the societies of Africa; North Africa, that is. Ismail Pasha highly contributed in transforming Egypt and Sudan into modern communities during his reign.
Read about Muhammed Ali Pasha’s Palace.
Besides the Orman Garden, Ismail Pasha had contributed to more than a few structures. Ismail Pasha was of a great assistance in building the community of modern Egypt. His contributions were either direct, like building the Orman Garden, or indirect, for he supervised the establishment of the Suez Canal. During the opening of the canal, Ismail Pasha invited prestigious public figures from around the world.
All You Need to Know about the Orman Garden
The Orman Garden is located in the Dokki Street in the Giza governorate. It is just a few miles away from the banks of the River Nile and it sits fairly close to Cairo University. Above and beyond, the garden covers an area as large as almost 28 acres. It takes account of several types of gardens and features. These gardens include a rose garden, cactus garden, and rocks garden. Regarding the features of the garden, it contains a herbarium building along with a lotus pond.
Since the garden consists of more than a few gardens, it is usually referred to as Giza Royal Palace Gardens. The Orman Garden is divided into three main sections known as the Haramlik Garden, the Salamlik Garden, and Lemons Garden. The latter was a constant producer of citrus fruits that were provided for the Royal Palace.
Major Changes Took Place
On the other side, today’s garden is one that is a lot more different than it used to be. Of course, most, if not all, of the structures built during the modern times underwent more than a few renovations. The total area of the Orman Garden has significantly been reduced to a much smaller area. It went down to 28 acres after the Haramlik Garden was walled off, giving a room for the Giza Zoo. Seemingly, the garden still seemed too large, so another part of it was diminished. Currently, the Egyptian Survey Authority- previously the Public Surveying Authority- houses the northern part area of the Orman Garden.
Sadly, the Salamlik Garden left the building too; it gave up its area for the sake of education. The western side of the Salamlik Garden currently houses the School of Engineering. Those major changes kept going on so that Cairo University would be brought up. The Salamlik Garden was no longer there because a new street appeared in that area; El-Nahda Street. The latter links Cairo University with a bridge- the University Bridge is its name.
That alteration escorted to separating the Salamlik Garden from the Orman Garden. This new area sits right to Cairo University and too close to the Zoo, which was part of the garden as well. Subsequently, the Orman Garden was inevitably left with only the 28 acres it currently covers.
The Significance of the Royal Garden
The Orman Garden has become one of the greatest structures in the value of Egypt. That is because it is a wide botanical garden that is a home to a wide collection of plant species. Besides being an eye candy to the nature lovers, it embraces lots of different forms of plant life. The garden holds shrubs, cacti, herbs, trees, succulents, palms, and climbers within the borders of its fence.
The Orman’s Botanical Plants
The Orman’s botanical plants are not only appealing to the eye, but they also make the garden one of Egypt’s iconic gardens. More interestingly, the garden has been a home to rare species of plants. These species aren’t scattered all over Egypt; in fact, they only exist in this garden. They include Erythrina Poe Ppi Giana, Aeschynomene elaphroxylon, and Cassia roxburghii. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that in spite of the beauty of these plants, they still need to be highly protected and well-looked-after. Especially the endangered rare species such as Latania lontaroides and Cycas beddomei.
Above and beyond, the Orman also embraces astonishing features as the Orman Herbarium Building. The building includes assemblies of conserved samples. There is also a herbarium; it is a wide collection of dried samples that are kept in order to file up the characteristics of each plant and fungi. Herbaria are also responsible for keeping a record for the researches that state the identification and the function of each plant.
The Orman’s Flower Festival
The Orman Garden is an iconic landmark for lots of different reasons. It surely contains rare species of unusual plants that can’t be found elsewhere in Egypt, but there are other factors. These factors include the fact that Egyptians rarely pay attention to the beauty of flowers. The floral and plant life all across Egypt does not grab that much attention. They usually pick the flowers up and leave them to die or they ignore them all in all.
On the other side, the Orman’s botanical plants receive a different kind of treatment. It may even be the only place where Egyptians enjoy the beauty of flowers and other kinds of vegetation. For the reason, Egyptian celebrates the existence of such iconic nature on an annual basis. They hold a flowers and plants exhibition every year. This event takes place every spring on March 22 and it lasts until May 2. It is known as either the Spring Festival or the Orman’s Flowers Festival.
This Spring Festival allows companies to display their flowers within the fence of the garden. Their plant offering is a wide diversity of more than a few kinds and forms of plants and flowers. This may include cactus, cut flowers, ornamental plants, fertilizers, and pots. They also include seeds of growing plants of every kind.
An Obvious Call to All Nature Lovers
Definitely, there are lots of Egyptian people who are fond of nature in all its forms. They appreciate whatever nature has to offer, including plants with all of its kinds. If you happen to be one of those people, then you have been at the right place. This article may give you an insight into what the Orman Garden looks like, but things, in reality, are quite different.
Pay a visit to the astounding garden that happens to be one of its kind. Behold the beauty of the floral and plant life that the garden dearly embraces. Take the chance to dive into a brand new world and come to terms with Egypt’s hidden beauty.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might love reading about the historical sites of Alexandria too.