Qasr al-Nil Bridge
|Qasr al-Nil Bridge|
|Designer||Ralph Anthony Freeman|
|Engineering design||Dorman, Long and Co. Ltd.|
|Total length||1 932 m|
|Number of spans||7|
|Construction cost||308,000 EGP|
|Opened||June 6, 1933|
|Replaces||Kobri el Gezira Bridge (1872)|
The Qasr al-Nil Bridge (originally named Khedive Ismail Bridge) spans the Nile River in central Cairo, Egypt. It connects downtown Cairo to Gezira Island and the Zamalek district. At the bridge's east and west approaches there are two large stone lion statues flanking each entrance, they are late 19th century works by Henri Alfred Jacquemart; French sculptor and animalier. The newer and wider 6th October Bridge parallels its route 0.8 kilometres (0.50 mi) to the south.
Qasr el-Nil Street crosses over the Nile on the bridge, from the east bank area Tahrir Square—Liberation Square (Midan Tahrir) in downtown Cairo, past the huge The Mogamma government building and the Headquarters of the Arab League, then onto the Qasr al-Nil Bridge over the river to Gezira Island. There it passes Opera Square and the Cairo Opera House, with connections to the Cairo Tower and other places in the Zamalek district, and then crosses on the Al-Tahrir Bridge from the island to the west bank's Agouza district.
Construction and name
The previous bridge on the site, Kobri el Gezira Bridge, was built between 1869 and 1871 by Linant de Bellefonds with the participation of France's Five-Lilles Company. The foundation stone for the present Qasr al-Nil Bridge was laid by King Fuad I on February 4, 1931. After over two years of construction, undertaken by Dorman Long & Co. Ltd, King Fuad inaugurated the bridge's opening on June 6, 1933.
The bridge was originally named Khedive Ismail Bridge after King Fuad's father, Khedive Isma'il Pasha. After the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the name of the bridge, as well as other Egyptian buildings and bridges, were changed. This bridge was renamed Qasr al-Nil in Arabic, which translates as Palace of the Nile.
Public use and demonstrations
The Qasr al-Nil Bridge, with sidewalks, is popular for strolling in the evenings. The bridge offers views of the river, as well as landmark buildings, hotels, and other structures on the island and along the Corniche Al-Nile on the west bank. The bridge is popular as location for young Egyptian friends and couples to have an inexpensive outdoor date.
2011 Egyptian Revolution
The bridge has been an ongoing site in the 2011 Egyptian revolution, along with the nearby 6th October Bridge, for public demonstrations on it and as a major route east to the Midan Tahrir—Tahrir Square protest gatherings.
- Kasr el Nil Bridge - Structurae
- A bridge misunderstood
- Fleishman, Jeffrey (August 14, 2007). "Cairo’s bridge of dreams". Los Angeles Times.
- BBC News: "Egypt protests: curfew defied in Cairo and other cities" 29 January 2011. accessed 2011.01.29.
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