Last days of the Semiramis


The caption for this vintage news photo, issued by the Associated Press in January 1976, reads, “Nile landmark to go: The Semiramis Hotel, for years a landmark along the Nile River in Cairo, will soon disappear. The hotel, named for an Iraqi princess and built by Europeans in the the early 1900s, closed last summer and will be pulled down and replaced by a pyramid-shaped, 850-room, $18 million hotel.”

The Swiss-built Semiramis, opened in 1907, was demolished in 1976, and it was replaced by a new 800-room hotel – thankfully, however, this did not take the form of a pyramid. That was left for Las Vegas.



Filed under Grand hotels, Lost Egypt

7 Responses to Last days of the Semiramis

  1. Alexander Hed

    Why couldn t this old hotel be renovated instead??

  2. Alexander Hed

    Many old hotels around the world has been renovated and kept the “old world charm” Cairo its only the Mena house left..Shepheard and Semiramis hotels gone, both of them becoming concrete and glass hotels with no charm in either case..its like demolishing the Ritz in Paris, the Oriental in Bangkok, the Peninsula in Hong Kong or Grande Bretagne in Athens..the world would be an empty place without them..who remembers all these Sheraton and Hilton Towers or Intercontinetals??..They have made hotel stays as memorable a s a meal at Mcdonalds?

  3. Alexander Hed

    The Semiramis Intercontinental hotel standing there today has no charm except being a modern hotel, a hotel for Saudis…inpersonal..

  4. Michel M

    I have been in Semiramis hotel when i was 15 yo, in 1967.
    It was just a dream luxury place, even if it was just after the six day war.
    I returned in Cairo in 1995, and I was really shocked to see this big mass of concrete that is the new hoteL
    I entered to drink a beer in one of the monstrous bars, in the cold and impersonal hall which looks like a shopping mall for saudien.

    • Alexander Hed

      I fully agree with you Michael M. The Semiramis Intercontinental is inpersonal,cold and charmless..a place for Saudis??

  5. Hi Andrew,
    Please contact us, we have unpublished information on the Semiramis and the swiss who built it…. and original 1906 stereo pictures. I was at the Semiramis last October (2019) to admire Dina and noticed the chairs of the theater, am not sure if they are not still from 1907….
    And for all the nostalgic comments I red on this page, I agree, check our website, we save the culturel heritage of the swiss hotels and we can document a lot.

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