Medellin architecture gems: Egyptian Palace

Posted on Mar 31 2014 - 7:48pm by Rico
(Photo: Alexandra Jolly)

Built in 1928, the Egyptian Palace or Egyptian House is an unlikely gem within a typical line of ordinary Medellin houses. 

To say the Egyptian Palace looks out of place would be an understatement. In a uniform row of houses in the neighborhood of Prado, rise plinths and pillars covered in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The Egyptian palace was created by Fernando Estrada, who couldn’t leave his love of Egypt culture behind upon returning from his travels and decided to build his own Egyptian palace at home.

Fernando Estrada was an illustrious character, who was incidentally the first optometrist in Medellin, and had a fondness for Egyptian culture, which led to two trips to Egypt and the subsequent creation of Medellin’s own Egyptian Temple.

Estrada hired Nel Rodriguez to be lead architect and their combined vision led to the creation of the bizarre architectural masterpiece still standing today.

Construction began in 1928, with pink granite used to construct the pillars. The granite pillars were intended to create an impression of unopened rolls of papyrus, and hieroglyphics placed throughout the monument tell a hidden story. 

The Egyptian Palace became a family labor of love, with two of Estradas’ 14 children bringing back artifacts from trips to Egypt. One such relic was a prized replica of the bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.

The Estrada family lived within the palace for over 40 years. However after the death of Fernando Estrada in 1959 the house was sold, eventually becoming the education institute it is today.

Before becoming a school, the palace was used for a variety of purposes, including a restaurant and a nightclub. There were periods of abandonment, the longest of which was 10 years, and the damage suffered during that time is evident today.

How to get there: Not the easiest thing to find and not in the safest of neighborhoods, it is recommended getting a taxi.

Address: Cra 47 on the block between Calle 59 and 60.

The post Medellin architecture gems: Egyptian Palace appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.