Ismailia is located on Lake Timsah along the coast of the Canal, half-way between Port Said and Suez.
It was founded in 1863, during the construction of the Suez Canal, by Ismail the Magnificent, after whom the city is named. The head office of the Suez Canal Authority is located in Ismaïlia at the shore of Lake Timsah. It still has a large number of buildings dating from British and French involvement with the Canal.
Ferdinand de Lesseps was a French man and the director of the contruction of the Suez Canal, for which he received permission in 1854, from Said Pasha, viceroy of Egypt. Today his house and garden can be visited, to see how rich and powerful people lived at the turn of the century.
After the completion of the canal the town lost its importance but later enjoyed a revival as a British garrison town. In 1956, and again in 1967, Ismailia suffered severe damage during the military operations of those years, when most of the population had to be evacuated.
The town, laid out on a regular plan, lies to the north of the Ismailia Canal, which, accompanied by the Mohammed Ali Quay, extends along the north side of the harbor with its port installations, turns down its east side and, after a lock gate opposite the offices of the Suez Canal Authority, flows into Lake Timsah.
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