Egypt / Cities and Towns /
City in northern Egypt with 320,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) on the Lake Timsa, midway in the Suez Canal, capital of the Ismailia governorate.
House of Ferdinand de Lesseps in Ismailia.
The economy of Ismailia is still much depending on the Suez Canal, and the administration of it. Modern industries have diversified the economy, and includes food processing, construction of tractors and engines, a shipyard work and a power plant.
Ismailia is well-connected with other urban centres by rail and road. There is also a ferry crossing the canal.
The centre of Ismailia has a distinct 19th-century style with British and French Colonial houses, broad avenues, tree-lined squares, parks and gardens. Most of the Colonial houses are still used by Canal authorities.
The Suez Canal University was opened in 1975.
1863: Founded and designed by the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps as a base camp for the construction of the Suez Canal. It is named after the khedive of Egypt, Ismail Pasha.
1869: The Suez Canal opens, with the operating headquarters located to Ismailia.
1952 January 25: The Battle of Ismailia, where British troops disarm the main military barrck outside Ismailia, killing 50 Egyptians. Reactions to this were fierce, and much with the initiative of the Muslim Brotherhood, a process began that would culminate with the Egyptian revolution and the overthrow of King Faruk.
1967: Ismailia is shelled by Israeli forces during the Six-Day War.
The canal is closed, depriving the city of most of its revenues, and many of the inhabitants were relocated other cities in Egypt.
1975: The canal reopens, and the inhabitants return. A tax-free industrial zone is established here.