Bulaq (also spelled Boulaq and Bulak); Arabic: بولاق, is a district of Cairo, Egypt. It neighbours Downtown Cairo, Azbakeya, and the River Nile. There are claims that the name Boulaq comes from the French 'Beau Lac', which literally means 'Beautiful Lake', however, the name is much older than the period of French influence starting in the late 18th century. It might be from Uzbek word "buloq" that means "water source". The very location of the district that neighbors with Azbakeya (Uzbakiyya) supports this claim.
Bulaq is a dense indigenous district filled with small-scale workshops of industries such as the old printing press, metalworking and machine shops, which supported the early stages of building Cairo. It is populated with a mixed working class from all parts of Egypt, who migrated to the city during the 19th century to work on Muhammad ‘Ali’s projects. To the north of the district is located the bulk of the city’s newer industrial plants. The history of Bulaq goes back to the Mamluk rule of the fourteenth century when the site was the main port of Cairo filled with several Wikalas, mosques and houses for merchants near the port.
The new Egyptian Museum of Antiquities was established at Bulaq in 1858 in a former warehouse, following the foundation of the new Antiquities Department under the direction of Auguste Mariette. The building lay on the bank of the Nile River, and in 1878 it suffered significant damage in a flood. In 1892, the collections were moved to a former royal palace, in the Giza district of Cairo. They remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square. The Museum's former location is indicated by the continued existence of a 'Maspero Street', named after the second head of the Antiquities Department.
Following the building of the Nile Corniche, with a road running along the river front, the Bulaq area ceased to be a port; it is now home to various organisations, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Television and Radio Building, Ali Baba Movie Theater (dilapidated), and the Al-Ahram newspaper.
Schools in Bulaq:
- Google Translate
- Selim, Gehan (2016). Unfinished Places: The Politics of (Re)making Cairo’s Old Quarters. Routledge.
- "The Ali Baba Movie Theater, 1946". naoumshebib.com. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- "Home" (Archive). International Italian School "Leonardo da Vinci". Retrieved on October 25, 2015. "Address: 26th of July Str. No. 40 - Boulac - Cairo - Egypt" - Address in Arabic: "العنوان: 40 شارع 26 يوليو - وسط البلد - القاهرة - جمهورية مصر العربية"
- Media related to Bulaq at Wikimedia Commons
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