Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain (20 September 1852 – 22 July 1929), was a wealthy Belgian engineer, entrepreneur, financier and industrialist, as well as an amateur Egyptologist. During World War I he became a known Major-General.
Édouard Empain arrived in Egypt in January 1904, intending to rescue one of the projects of his company S.A. des Chemins de Fer de la Basse-Egypte; being the construction of a railway line linking Mansourah (on the Nile river) to Matariya (on the far side of Lake Manzala from Port Said). Despite losing the railway contract to the British, Empain stayed on in Egypt.
In 1906, Empain established the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company, which bought a very large stretch of desert (25 square kilometres) to the northeast of Cairo at a low price from the Egyptian government. Commencing in 1906 this company proceeded with the building of the new town of Heliopolis, in the desert ten kilometers from the center of Cairo. It was designed as a “City of luxury and leisure”, with broad avenues and equipped with all necessary conveniences and infrastructure; water, drains, electricity, hotel facilities, such as the Heliopolis Palace Hotel (formerly the presidential palace of ex-President Hosni Mubarak) and Heliopolis House, and recreational amenities including a golf course, racetrack and park. In addition, there was housing for rent, offered in a range of innovative design types targeting specific social classes with detached and terraced villas, apartment buildings, tenement blocks with balcony access and workers’ bungalows.
Today, Baron Empain is perhaps best known by modern visitors to Egypt for the building of a palace (the Palais Hindou) in the Avenue des Palais (renamed Orouba Avenue following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952) Heliopolis, Egypt. Inspired by Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Hindu temples of Orissa,, the Baron Empain palace was designed by French architect Alexandre Marcel (1860–1928) and decorated by Georges-Louis Claude (1879–1963), with construction being completed in 1911.
In 1905, Empain assisted the Belgian government in the purchase of an Old Kingdom mastaba for the royal museum in Brussels, of which he was a benefactor. In 1907 he received the title of Baron, and also suggested to Belgian Egyptologist Jean Capart that he excavate at Heliopolis, where his building constructions were underway.
The extra thick coin measures 70 by 45 MM in size .
The front and back are a 3D cast zinc alloy with all 3 sides polished and with antique copper plating.
The coin comes in a black velvet pouch!
The antique copper plating is a limited edition – 100.
The tracking codes have the BE prefix.
This item has a unique icon, and is trackable at geocaching.com.