Antiquities Minister, Mamdouh Al-Damaty, announced on Sunday the momentous discovery of a secret crypt underneath Alexandria’s Montazah Palace. Yes, a crypt.
It's largely believed that this crypt was used as King Farouk or Fouad’s secret dungeon/prison – as evidenced by the tiny cells and iron bars outfitted in the chamber.
The secret chamber was discovered approximately a month ago by workmen cutting down trees on the palace grounds, and is believed to date back as far as 1920. according to a government spokesman speaking to Al-Masry Al Youm.
Most of us don’t know much about the sprawling Montazah complex that was home to Egypt’s last monarch, King Farouk, for most of his adolescent years. Farouk was famous for driving ridiculously expensive cars within the Palace walls, and 'entertaining' female guests in the gardens.
The complex was built in 1892, by Khedive Abbas II, to function as a hunting lodge on the coastal city, before being expanded upon by the late monarch, King Fouad I, who added the famous gardens and Al-Haramlik Palace. Montazah Palace and the surrounding area belonged to Farouk up until the 1952 coup deposing him and was subsequently seized, as assets, by the state. Montazah was initially utilised as a presidential residence, and more recently, its gardens have been converted into a public park open to the public and tourists for a fee.
The Minster has ordered a report on the historical significance of the super-secret-dungeon, and it is still unclear whether it will ever be open for public viewing.