Helwan is located on the bank of the Nile River, across from the ruins of Memphis. Helwan was part of Cairo Governorate, until April 2008 when it was made the capital of its own governorate. Helwan Governorate comprised of Helwan, and the suburbs that had recently been built, such as the Fifth Settlement, Medinaty, and Rehab City. In April of 2011, Helwan Governorate was broken down again and Helwan became part of Cairo Governorate once again.
Helwan has a relatively short history, only being around since the late 1800s. In just over 100 years, a few major sites have been constructed. The first was the Kedival Astronomical Observatory, built in 1903-1904, and used to observe Halleys Comet. The Behman Hospital, the countrys oldest, as well as largest, psychiatric clinic was built in Helwan in 1939. Helwan was also the site of a RAF (Royal Air Force) British airbase during the 20th century.
Helwan has been known for a few other things throughout the years as well. Though most are now fallen into disrepair, there used to be a few natural sulphur springs here as well. There was also the Helwan Japanese Garden that used to receive many visitors for its beautiful Japanese pagodas, though now is left unfrequented as it has not been maintained in quite a while.
Helwan was also the site of a summer rest house for King Farouk, right on the Nile, which was used only a handful of times before King Farouk was exiled to Italy. The rest house is beautiful, and is a must see if youre in Helwan.
Royal sign of King Farouk in Arabic at the entrance of His rest house
The citys economy strongly relies on local industries of iron, steel, textiles, and cement.
The city is also famous for being the home of one of Egypts largest universities, Helwan University. Opened in 1975, the university consists of 18 faculties and 50 research centers.
Last Updated: June 28th, 2011
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