The Beginning:
Following the return of Khedive Ismail to Egypt after visiting the French Capital during Egypt’s participation in the International Paris Fair in 1867 AD., and after his introspection of his throne’s dilapidated capital, with its crumbling buildings, the Khedive thought of creating a new layout plan for his Cairo, which he named “The Oriental Paris”. His vision entailed constructing new districts to become the new western front of old Cairo, and thus the place he could then receive his guests. In order to implement that manifold program, it was included in a plan project which was named the “Seven Projects” program. It consisted of 7 projects, each dedicated to an area and several axes. The most important of those projects was the diversion of the Nile’s flow to the east of its original site, and the construction of the Giza and Dokki residential districts, as well as the Orman Gardens and the Giza Palace in its place on the river’s bed, in addition to connecting the two banks with a number of bridges. Attesting to the great interest of the Khedive in the development and beautification of Cairo, is his involvement and the care he lent to planting trees on the sides of the roads in Cairo, Giza and El-Gezira. Most of those trees were ficus trees and sycomores, which are among the most beautiful shade and ornamental trees suitable for the Egyptian environment. The Khedive Ismail’s great infatuation with the beautification of Cairo was such, that he issued a law in 1865 A., encouraging the people, residents, farmers, those leasing lands and owners of houses and shops to plant sycamore, tamarisk, willow and Ficus trees in their lands and in front of their shops.
Jumping to the Western Side of the Nile:

After the success of the project to divert the flow of the River Nile, several bridges were then built to connect the eastern and western banks of the river, particularly, the Kasr El-Nil Bridge, and the Galaa one. Both bridges facilitated access to the western bank of the Nile. Khedive Ismail built several Palaces and gardens, which by then began to have a constructional boom in the form of the construction of the Giza Palace and the Giza and Orman Gardens. The Giza Palace was originally a small palace owned by Saiid Pasha. Following his death, it was purchased along with its affiliated lands by Khedive Ismail from the owner, Toson Pasha who was Saiid Pasha’s son. He demolished the Palace and built the big palace in its stead. It cost at that time about a thousand thousand, and three hundred ninety-three thousand and three hundred and seventy-four pounds (1,393,374 pounds).
The Giza Palace Gardens

Khedive Ismail had commissioned a French company in the period from 1863 to 1865 AD., to fill in the residual part which remained after diverting the River Nile eastwards; where he built the Giza Palace whose gardens sprawled all the way to the site of Abbas Bridge. The gardens and orchards of the palace were a total of 186 acres at the time of its construction, after the land was covered in a depth of 2 meters by the Nile silt. A private railway line was extended and dedicated only for the palace and its orchards. The gardens were designed by Barillet Deschamps, who was called Barillet Bek, and was the engineer specialized in rural landscaping. Its design included three parts, which represented three gardens interconnected by gates, and enclosed by land surrounded by one brick wall, which are:
1- The Orman Garden:

It was established in 1875 AD., to replace the fruit garden that was founded in 1873 AD., and was about 95,2 acres. It was originally established to supply the Royal Palaces with citrus seedlings, whereby it contained 100,000 lemon, orange and mandarin seedlings, it was thus named the Lemon Garden.
2- The Selamlik Garden:

It was established in 1872 AD, its area was 54.7 acres, and it contained 85,000 plants which represent more than 900 species. It was to the west of the fruit garden, and it simulated the natural landscapes represented in dips and knolls, plains and hillocks with aqueducts passing over valleys as well. The garden was illuminated by gas lighted crystal lanterns on iron columns, and it contained all kinds of plants cultivated in both the Azbakia and Gezira Gardens.
3- The Haramlek Garden:

It was established in 1868 AD, its area was 29,7 acres and it contained 50,000 plants, which represent more than a 1000 species. It lies to the west of the two previously mentioned gardens. Paved lanes and roads were laid in the garden, and were made of all colours and forms of coloured gravel, such as the mosaic brought over from Rhodes Island. The garden included the most marvellous plants imported from India, South America, and Central Africa. As for the coach roads, they were paved with sandstone, and the sides were adorned with white marble. Besides all of the above mentioned, there were small hills, artificial ponds, in addition to the wooden bridges and the iron bridges built by Gustave Eiffle to cross those ponds.
The Giza Zoo Garden
The area where the zoo and the Orman Garden are located nowadays was once a part of the Saray El Giza Gardens “The Royal Gardens”. Those gardens were considered as a botanical garden which used to provide the royal palaces with trees and plants. It also contained a number of rare plants from different parts of the earth. In the year 1890 AD, 50 feddans were separated during the reign of Khedive Tawfiq from the southern part (Haramalik Garden) to establish the Zoological Garden. It is affirmed for us that Khedive Ismail was the first to think about the establishment of a zoological garden, and he also hoped to open it on the occasion of the celebrations of the inauguration of the Suez Canal in 1869 AD, but he did not have enough time to do so; do he was urged to collect a number of animals and birds in the El Gezira Palace which is the Marriott Hotel in Zamalek nowadays. On the first of March 1891 AD, these Zoological Garden was opened to the public, and was called at that time by "The Crown Jewel of the Zoological Gardens in Africa". When the University Street was planned in 1934 AD, Nahda Street was likewise extended to connect the University Street to the University Bridge. The Nahda Street separated the Orman part from the Selamlik part (38 feddans), which had been joined to the Zoo zone to make its area 80 acres approximately. The Zoological Garden exhibits mammals, birds and reptiles of different species distributed within fourteen regions, representing 360 different strains of more than one hundred species of pythons, snakes (poisonous, semi-poisonous and non-poisonous), serpents, turtles, lizards, monitor lizards, geckos, also, the Egyptian and American crocodiles, jerboas, hedgehogs, scorpions and chameleons. The Garden also acts as a scientific institute where scientists study the behavior of animals and birds. Currently, five NGOs are conducting campaigns to encourage people to preserve wildlife and develop environmental awareness in Egypt. The Zoological Garden in Giza is not only one of the most beautiful zoological gardens in the world as well as one of the most densely populated zoos and variety of species and types of animals in them, but it is also a great exhibition of many historical monuments, such as the five grottoes with a magnificent glamor that decorate the garden and a number of other features such as:
1- Al Qala’a Grotto “The Citadel Grotto”:

Al Qala’a Grotto “The Citadel Grotto”: or the Royal Grotto; which is composed of five areas in the form of hills. The most important of these is the hill, that was built in 1867 AD., and was then called “Al Qala’a Grotto” or the Citadel Grotto. This part is decorated with a collection of statues of extinct dinosaurs, crocodiles and birds of strange shapes. The grotto contains pathways that are covered with plants, a range of waterfalls and an area in the middle that serves as a resting place and also it contains a collection of figurines for birds and reptiles made of cement and gravel. The waterways flow through a group of caves containing white coral rocks suspended in waterfalls leading to a small lake with two islands connected together by a wooden bridge. The grotto is built in a unique way that makes it air-conditioned naturally and amplifies sound without the need for loudspeakers.
2- Al Shame’dan Grotto “The Candelabrum Grotto”:

The grotto was built in the same style as the Citadel Grotto, and the types of rocks used in the construction of this grotto were the same as those used in the previous one. The Candelabrum Grotto is characterized by the presence of limestone sediments in the form of candelabra hanging from the ceiling of the caves; this may be the reason for calling it by this name.
3- Geziret El Shai Grotto “Tea Island Grotto”:

it is similar to the previous grottoes and characterized by a large group of caves.
4- The Suspension Bridge:

It is also called the Swinging Bridge. The bridge was built by the famous French architect “Eiffel”. The purpose of building that bridge was to link the Khedive’s Palace with the Harem’s Palace in the royal palaces of Giza. The bridge is composed of a wooden floor and is loaded from each side with steel wires and the bridge swings upon walking onto it. Khedive Ismail ordered for the construction of a suspension bridge in the zoo in Giza to connect the Khedive’s Palace with the Harem’s Palace in the royal palaces in Giza. He charged the engineer Gustave Eiffel of constructing the bridge and his company “Eiffel et Cie” had implemented it between the years1875 and 1879 AD, i.e. before the construction of the Eiffel Tower by more than ten years. This happened when the Zoological Garden was once a part of the Saray El Giza Gardens, and of course before its official inauguration in 1891 AD. The Suspension Bridge is considered as the world's first high stage in a zoological garden. The logo of Khedive Ismail, which is composed of IP letters (referring to the initials of “Ismaiel Pasha”).
5- The Antique Gates:

They are located in front of the old dogs’ house and represent the entrance to the Khedive’s Palace and his mother’s (Walda Pasha) Palace.
6. The Japanese Kiosk:

The Japanese kiosk was established during the reign of King Fuad in 1924 AD, on the occasion of the visit of the Crown Prince of Japan to Egypt. The Japanese kiosk is considered as a small museum inside the Zoological Garden. It contains some old and recent holdings and photographs of the Zoological Garden.
7. The Animal Museum:

In addition to the number of animals in the garden, there is a museum that was built in 1906 AD. It consists of three large halls and displays large groups of birds, reptiles, fish and stuffed animals as well as a set of skeletons. There are also two exhibition halls showing different sets of reptile skins, and birds, and there is an embalming laboratory attached to the museum and located behind it. The museum possesses more than five thousand mummified specimens, the most important of them are; a mummified crocodile since the ancient Egyptians for more than five thousand years, and whale which was once thrown by the waves towards the city of Alexandria.
Of the oldest constructions in the garden:

- The house of bears, which was established between 1891-1896 AD.
- The house of hyenas, which was established in 1896 AD.
- The house of the elephants, which was established in 1900AD.
- The birds’ kiosks established in 1901 AD.
- The main house of lions which was established in 1901 AD.
- The old reptiles’ house, which was established in 1902 AD (the house of experimental animals now).
- The antelopes’ barns, which was established between 1905 and 1911 AD.
- The hippopotamus pond, which was established in 1911 AD.
- The Zoological Museum, which was established in 1914 AD and then opened in 1920 AD.
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