Karlos Anis

The Stories Behind Cairo’s Oldest Bridges… Over 100 Years Old

Cairo lives on with a rich and long history, and its bridges are living proof of that, some being over 100 years old. Having been a passageway for kings and presidents over the years, Cairo’s bridges still stand tall today with thousands of stories to tell.

1. Qasl El Nile Bridge

The first bridge to be built on the Nile in 1871. It was initially named after Khedive Ismael considering it was his decision to build the bridge as a channel between Cairo and Giza to ease trade and transportation. At the time, it cost almost 114,000 EGP and was done by a French company. It was 406 meters along and it took around 3 years to complete. Today the bridge is 148 years old.

2. El-Galaa Bridge

Some people refer to it as El Dokki bridge, but in the past it was commonly known as ‘the English Bridge’ or ‘Badia’s Bridge’ because it stood next to Casino Badia Masabni, which launched some of Egypt’s biggest stars like Farid Al Atrash. However after the Egyptian revolution in 1952, it was renamed to El-Galaa bridge, referring to “galaa” or the evacuation of the English. Although it’s one of the shortest bridges in Cairo, it has a very long history. Built during 1914, the bridge lived through WW1. It was recently renovated and is currently 105 years old.

3. Imbaba Bridge

One of Cairo’s most prominent landmarks, this bridge was the setting for many films. The steel bridge was built to connect Bulaq and Rod El Farag to the Imbaba neighborhood in Giza. Founded in 1892, the bridge was built by French engineer David Trambley in the era of Khedive Abbas II of Egypt and is 127 years old today.

4. Abbass Bridge

Today, it’s known as the Giza bride. It was built in 1908 to connect between Cairo and Giza and it’s closest to Cairo University. Filled with plenty of stories, the bridge was built by English engineer Sir William. 535 meters long and 20 meters wide, the bridge cost 180,000 EGP and is now 111 years old.

5. Al Malik Al Salih Bridge

Since there was supposed to be an extension to the Abbass bridge, Sir William chose Rawdah Island as his destination and built and opened the bridge to the public in the same year in February 1908. It cost 19,000 EGP to complete. When WW1 was declared and the English protection was forced on Egypt, the old bridge was taken down and another was rebuilt in the same place. Today it is 111 years old.