A Special Spiral Staircase Story: The Baron’s Palace in Heliopolis, Egypt
Not every spiral staircase in the world has its very own unique story. Some simply provide an interesting and aesthetically pleasing way to get from one floor to another. Perhaps your young child painted the stairs with nail polish while you weren’t looking and you have a story of that type to share. However, there is a palace in a place called Heliopolis, Egypt, that certainly has a spiral staircase story worth sharing with the world.
Known as the Baron Palace, this outstanding piece of architecture was built in 1910 by a Belgian businessman, industrialist, and amateur Egyptologist by the name of Baron Édouard Empain. In fact, he built the entire city of Heliopolis; it was intended to provide Egypt with a city of luxury and leisure.
Heliopolis was built with broad avenues, necessary convenience shops, water drains, electricity, and hotels. Empain additionally built recreational facilities such as golf courses, racetracks, and parks. Houses, apartments, terraced villas, and more were available for rent in this fine city, offered in innovative designs which appealed to a variety of social classes.
There are a few interesting myths about both the palace and the spiral staircases, such as:
- The palace was built on a rotating base so that the Baron could see the entire city without moving from his seat.
- Some people claim that the palace had a secret tunnel which connected to the Basilica Church. Another part of this rumor is that the Baron had a customized vehicle to take him from one part of the tunnel to another.
- There are rumors that the Baron Palace had an enchanted chamber. The Baron’s daughter and sister were not allowed to enter the pink bedroom at the basement of the palace, which is where the door that took him to the tunnel in Basilica was located.
- The Baron’s daughter, Mariam, suffered paralysis since birth and grew up to have psychological issues. They were mostly related to her father’s firmness and his cold behavior. Some people say he imprisoned her at times. She was found dead at the service elevator which connected the kitchen to the roof, but some speculate that it was a suicide attempt after a love affair with one of the servants.
- It is believed that the spiral staircase caused the death due to the palace’s revolving base where his wide fell to her death.
- When Baron died, it is said that the mirrors covering the walls of the pink room in the basement turned red.
- Currently, it is believed that the Baron’s Palace is extremely haunted. Bats, stray dogs, and ghosts are said to wander about the palace. Others believe that the Baron’s daughter lingers in the palace. There have been multiple stories of ghosts in the palace, mysterious music playing as though the days of palace partying had never ended, and the sounds of furniture being swept from one room to another during midnight have been heard.
Although the Baron’s Palace is full of horror, it is an incredible piece of historical architecture containing a beautiful spiral staircase inside.