To be able to analyze and trace such influences one must be aware of the contextual development of landscape architecture of the nineteenth century. A major factor was the designer himself, Jean Pierre Barillet Deschamps, and his assistant Gustave Delchevalerie, both of whom influenced greatly the landscape architectural development of nineteenth-century Cairo. To be able to evaluate their work in Cairo, their original works in Paris must be evaluated first. Deschamps’ most noted works in Paris are the Bois De Boulogne (1855-60) and the Park Monceau (1860). In this thesis, I research the double impact of Ottoman landscape design and Western landscape design on the nineteenth and early twentieth-century development of landscape architecture in Cairo. I aim to trace the characteristics of Islamic gardens within the layers of development added by the Westernization process in nineteenth-century Cairene gardens and to prove that nineteenth-century Cairene gardens were neither French nor a pure Islamic or Egyptian product, but a very special outcome of accumulated centuries of cross-cultural exchange of ideas and building traditions. The final aspect of these gardens stems from the layering of historical landscaping traditions. This thesis will use comparative analysis methodology to study the Islamic and Western features that formed the complex character of the nineteenth-century Cairene landscape. The second layer will be traced through studying Ottoman gardens, since the Ottoman Empire dominated Egypt even during the Khedival era. Ottoman gardens to be compared are the Yildiz (1877) and Beylerbeyi (1826-1832) Palace Gardens in Istanbul, as well as Taksim Park (1865) in Pera, Istanbul. The third major point of comparison is the only documented Mamluk garden, Azbakiyya, reflecting the Cairene community and its development, which was also a garden redesigned by Deschamps himself. The Gezira Palace Gardens and Azbakiyya garden will be used as comparative material. Since Deschamps and his assistant were working on the design of Cairene landscapes based in the middle of an authentic Islamic community which clearly affected their designs and procedures, one must also study earlier examples of Islamic gardens. The most famous and well-preserved in the nineteenth century were the Alhambra and Generalife Palace gardens. They represent the best known and preserved Islamic gardens existing in the nineteenth century which Jean Pierre Barillet Deschamps may have studied before starting his projects in Cairo. Based on the above there is still a significant headway to be made regarding the recognition of the vigorous character of nineteenth-century Cairene landscape architecture. Thus, with the aid of this visual comparison stated previously of Ottoman, Hispano-Umayyad, Parisian, and Cairene parks, this thesis will take a closer look at nineteenth-century Cairene parks and the cultural and architectural layering resulting in its diverse character. The three areas mentioned above are the background to Deschamps’ projects which define the characteristics of all the famous Parisian gardens that he designed. After summarizing the basic guidelines Deschamps worked with, I hope to analyze the works he did in Cairo with better recognition of the origins of every element framing his methodologies and techniques of design. His most important Cairene gardens were the Gezira Gardens and Azbakiyya Park on which he worked with his assistant Gustave Delchevalerie. Their Cairene projects were laid out in Delchevalerie’s book Les promenades et les jardins du Caire. Two other volumes dealing particularly with Gezira and Azbakiyya gardens are: Flore exotique du jardin d’acclimatation de Ghezireh et des domaines de S. A. le Khedive and Le parc public de l’Ezbékieh au Caire which represent the main textual sources of this research.


Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department

Degree Name

MA in Arabic Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2018

First Advisor

O'Kane, Bernard

Committee Member 1

Bacharach, Jere

Committee Member 2

Kenney, Ellen


136 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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