Tahrir Square did not assume its current shape until the latter part of the 19th Century when Ali Pasha Mubarak was charged with remodeling Cairo after Paris at the behest of ruler Ismail Pasha.
The Square ("midan") was known as Midan Ismailiya until the 1952 revolution and overthrow of the monarchy. It was renamed Midan Tahrir - Liberation Square - under President Gamal Abdul Nasser, who redeveloped it again, tearing down hated barracks which had once housed occupying British troops, and "liberating" the square and the city from its past.
Six months before the 1952 Revolution broke out, Tahrir Square was torched and many historical buildings were set on fire including the old Shepherd Hotel.
In November of 1956, following the Tripartite Aggression, the Square witnessed the mobilization of millions of Egyptian volunteers seeking to drive out the occupation troops from Port Said.
In 1964, the First Arab Summit was held in the Arab League premises, which stands on Tahrir Square.
On June 9, 1967, when President Gamal Abdulnasser resigned after the 1967 setback of June 5, millions of Egyptians poured into the Square from they marched onto Abdulnasser's place of residence to discourage him.
In September 1967, demonstrators poured into Tahrir Square protesting sentences passed against those responsible for the 1967 defeat and calling for greater freedom and democracy.
On September 28, 1970, i.e. a few days before Abdulnasser's death, one of the most famous Arab summits was held in the Hilton Hotel, which stands on Tahrir Square. The main topic on the summit's agenda was dissolving differences between Jordan's King Hussein and the Palestinian resistance.
In January 1972, students demonstrated in the Square accusing President Anwar al-Sadat of reneging on his promise to wage a war against Israel.
In October 1973, the Square was the scene of one the largest gatherings the purpose of which was to salute President Sadat as passed through to deliver his victory speech at the People's Assembly.
Demonstrators took to the streets pouring into the Square in January 1977 protesting price rises under President Sadat.
In April of 2003, demonstrators poured into Tahrir Square protesting the war against Iraq.
The Square is surrounded by some of the most important buildings in Cairo –
- The Egyptian Museum
Following are the streets and squares leading to the Tahrir Square:
- Mahmud al-Basyuni Str.