El Korba
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The Baron Palace
Multiple generations ago, when the suburb of Heliopolis really was a countryside destination, the man responsible for the urban planning of the district was given his own plot of land to build his home on. Fascinated with the Indian culture and its artwork, he began a stone structure with ornate carvings....and never finished it. Inheritance squabbles ended up in court and the building was left to the bats. Until a few years ago it was the hangout for goth teens and the occasional tourist trespasser. In a fit of urban renewal around the time of Heliopolis' 100 year anniversary, Susanne Mubarak led the effort to restore the grounds and clear out the interior. Now-a-days its reserved for private functions within the garden, even though the insides are still empty. Its not as easy to bribe the guards anymore but you might be able to walk around the fenced perimeter and get close enough to see the details within the carvings. Tourists have the opportunity to see it as they arrive in Cairo and take the road from the airport to downtown, where most of the hotels are located. You can also wait to catch a glimpse on your way out of town. The road its located on is the main path to and from the airport. But if you're interested in a walking tour of the old Heliopolis neighborhood of Korba, you'd do well to stop by the elephant adorned gates and take a few moments to appreciate this beautiful egg shell of a monument to excess.
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