Places in Egypt
we we only here highlight the famous places in Egypt ,the Pyramids ,sphinx , Dahshur , Memphis , Sakkara, Luxor, Aswan ,Abu simbel , Sinai , red sea ,Hurghada , Sharm El sheikh .....etc
Modern Cairo is a dazzling varied metropolis that hums with activity all year round.
A city of contrasts, it is a place where donkey carts, jockey with Mercedes along the crowded streets where a thousand minarets adorn the skyline alongside a sea of skyscrapers.
Each of the pagan, Christian and Muslim civilizations which Cairo has hosted has left its imprint in the form of customs, celebrations, monuments and artifacts.
Monuments such as the Pyramids, Sphinx, lively bazaars, Famous Islamic Mosques and ancient Coptic Churches open a window of a glorious past.
A Center of cultural, social intellectual, economic and political activity, Cairo also holds a diversity of world famous hotel chains, glittering nightclubs, Casinos, and discos Cairo the city that never sleeps, being the cultural and commercial center of the Arab world and the largest in Africa and the Middle East.
Cairo is, Egypt s capital, where East meets west, combining the exoticism of one and the sophistication of the other, is the largest city in Africa and the heart of the Arab world.
Cairo strikes one as a land of vivid contrasts. Its ancient civilization, unique history and culture blend harmoniously with the modern refinements of the 20th century.
Sites in Cairo
The greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities is, without doubt, that of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo . It is a place of true discovery and, even after many visits, I continue to make new and delightful discoveries every time I venture into its many galleries.
To be sure, the museum can be daunting in the sheer numbers of its antiquities on show, but there is an order within its layout and it is a dream come true for anyone wanting to study Egyptian antiquities.
The Museum also comprises a photography section and a large Library. The Egyptian museum comprises many sections arranged in chronological order
The age of the first ancient wonders of the world began with the pyramids of Sneferu, he built three pyramids and may have had a hand in others. His pyramid at Medum began as a step pyramid and was then modified to form the first true pyramid. He built two pyramids at Dahshur one called the Bent Pyramid because its upper part has a shallower angle of inclination than the lower part.
Seneferu's Bent pyramid at Dahshur was originally planned as a true pyramid, but its geometry was altered at a point just above half its height. The angle of incline was decreased from 54º 31' 13'' to 43º 21'.
When Khufu, also known as Cheops, became pharaoh one of his first acts was to curtail the growing power of the priesthood. He "shut up all the temples and forbade sacrifices". As a priest’s living came from performing these rituals it is not surprising that Khufu was unpopular with the religious orders.
Khufu's pyramid at Giza showing the plan of passages and burial chamber.
Some believe that his pyramid at Giza was built by slaves but this is not true. One hundred thousand people worked on it for three months of each year. This was the time of the Nile's annual flood which made it impossible to farm the land and most of the population was unemployed. He provided good food and clothing for his workers and was kindly remembered in folk tales for many centuries.
There are three pyramids at Giza, each of which once had an adjoining mortuary temple. Attached to this temple would have been a covered causeway descending down to a valley temple, near the Nile. The 'great' pyramid itself is truly an astonishing work of engineering skill - for over four thousands years, until the modern era, it was the tallest building in the world.
The sides are oriented to the four cardinal points of the compass and the length of each side at the base is 755 feet (230.4 m). They rise at an angle of 51 52' to a height , originally, of 481 feet (147 m) but nowadays 451 feet (138 m). It was constructed using around 2,300,000 limestone blocks, weighing, on average, 2.5 tons each. Although some weigh as much as 16 tons. Until recently, relatively speaking, it was cased in smooth limestone but this was plundered to build Cairo.
Is it conceivable that by bringing together so many people and giving them a common goal, that of making a mountain, a national identity is forged in their hearts. From Upper and Lower Egypt communities would have got to know each other and a common bond would have been manifest in the object of the pyramid. If this is true it is unique because all other forms of nationalism have grown out of war. For example England and France in the Hundred years war and the USA through the revolutionary, civil and Indian wars.
In a depression to the south of Chephren's pyramid sits a creature with a human head and a lion's body. The name 'sphinx' which means 'strangler' was first given by the Greeks to a fabulous creature which had the head of a woman and the body of a lion and the wings of a bird. The sphinx appears to have started in Egypt in the form of a sun god. The Egyptian sphinx is usually a head of a king wearing his headdress and the body of a lion . There are, however, sphinxes with ram heads that are associated with the god Amun.
The Great Sphinx is to the northeast of Chephren's Valley Temple. Where it sits was once a quarry. Chephren's workers shaped the stone into the lion and gave it their king's face over 4,500 years ago. The sphinx faces the rising sun with a temple to the front which resembles the sun temples which were built later by the kings of the 5th Dynasty. The figure was buried for most of its life in the sand. King Thutmose IV (1425 - 1417 BC) placed a stela between the front paws of the figure. It describes when Thutmose, while still a prince, had gone hunting and fell asleep in the shade of the sphinx. During a dream, the sphinx spoke to Thutmose and told him to clear away the sand because it was choking the sphinx. The sphinx told him that if he did this, he would be rewarded with a kingship. Thutmose carried out this request and the sphinx held up his end of the deal.
The sphinx is built of soft sandstone and would have disappeared long ago had it not been buried for so long. The body is 200 feet (60m) in length and 65 feet (20m) tall. The face of the sphinx is 13 feet (4m) wide and its eyes are 6 feet (2m) high. Part of the uraeus (sacred cobra), the nose and the ritual beard are now missing. . The beard from the sphinx is displayed in the British Museum. The statue is crumbling today because of the wind, humidity and the smog from Cairo. Attempts to restore it have often caused more harm than good. No one can be certain who the figure is to personify. It is possible that it is Chephren. If that is so, it would then be the oldest known royal portrait in such large scale. Some say that it was built after the pyramid of Chephren was complete. It may have been set as a sort of scarecrow to guard his tomb. Still others say it is the face of his guardian deity, rather than Chephren himself. The image of the sphinx is a depiction of royal power. Only a pharaoh or an animal could be shown this way, with the animal representing a protective deity.
Sakkara is one section of the great necropolis of Memphis, the Old Kingdom capital and the kings of the 1st Dynasty as well as that of the 2nd Dynasty. are mostly buried in this section of the Memphis necropolis. It has been of constant interest to Egyptologists.
Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime minister’s tomb, a queen’s pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty-founding king. Each discovery has a fascinating story, with many adventures for the archaeologists as they revealed the secrets of the past.
Sakkara is best known for the Step Pyramid, the oldest known of Egypt's 97 pyramids. It was built for King Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty by the architect and genius Imohotelp, who designed it and its surrounding complex to be as grand as it was unique and revolutionary. Imhotep was the first to build stone tombs in honor of the king's majesty. His many titles included 'Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt', 'Administrator of the Great Palace', and 'Imhotep the Builder, the Sculptor, the Maker of Stone Vessels'. Imhotep may have also designed the pyramid of Djoser,s successor , Sekhemkhet .
Located in South Saqqara stand the pyramids of Dhashur (Dahshur). The Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid are about 2 km south of the Mastaba Faraoun. The constructor of these pyramids is thought to have been Snofru (2575 - 2551 BC), who was the first ruler of the 4th Dynasty. Snofru built these two pyramids and is thought to have built the pyramid at Maidoun. His son was Cheops who continued his constructive tendencies.
The Red Pyramid is thought to be older and is the only one that can be entered at this time.. The Bent Pyramid was built out of limestone which was quarried locally. The casing was of polished Turah limestone. This pyramid is also known as the Southern Shining Pyramid. The casing blocks are very stable and very difficult to remove because they slope inwards. The base of the pyramid is 188.6m and is 105m high. Because of the bend in construction, the original angle would have made it 128.5m high.
The Bent Pyramid is unique for two reasons. The first is the angle change. There are two theories for this change. The first is that the builders may have gotten tired and wanted to reduce the volume and to finish faster. Another is that when the pyramid at Maidoun collapsed, the architect lost his nerve and changed the angle. The angle at Maidoun was 52 degrees as is the base of the Bent Pyramid. At the bend, the angle is changed to 43.5 degrees up to the peak.
The second reason is that it has two entrances. The first is in the middle of the northern side and is about 12m above the ground. It leads to the upper chamber. The second entrance is on the western side and is just above the ground. It leads to the lower chamber. The floors of both chambers were built 4m deep with small stone blocks.
The Citadel :
The Citadel, also known as the Saladin Citadel of Cairo, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cairo and throughout all of Egypt. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and also the 13th largest city in the world. About 16 million people live in the city and enjoy it not only for its thriving modern society but also for its historical significance.
The Citadel is part of the Muqattam Hill near the center of the city. It was once renowned for its breezes and beautiful scenery, as far back as Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din, who built it and then fortified it against attack. The estimated construction date is between 1176 and 1183.
The Mosques Inside
You may notice that the Cairo Citadel is also referred to as the Mohamed Ali Citadel because inside, it holds the actual Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, built in the 19th century. The mosque was constructed in honor and in memory of Muhammad Ali's oldest son who died young. There are two other mosques to see at the Cairo Citadel: the Hypostyle Mosque of al-Nasir Muhammad and the Mosque of Suleyman Pasha.
Other sights to see include Al-Gawhara Palace, the National Military Museum and the Police Museum. There are also music events that are held in various areas of the citadel.
The Citadel of Cairo has been called a grand castle and still contains many artifacts and surviving properties of ancient civilization. For example, water pipes that used to carry the water from the Nile River to the citadel can still be seen.
The View is Spectacular
What have tourists said regarding the experience? The scenery is definitely the best feature of the Citadel. Some tourists have remarked that it’s as if nothing has changed in the Saladin Citadel for century. There are still medieval decorations, wooden bay windows and decorative arches. Many tourists have commented that the view from the terraces is the most exciting and inspiring aspect of the experience.
In addition to the scenery, remember that there are also several museums to enjoy as well as historical buildings, mosques and other “ancient” style amenities. Experienced tourists suggest that you wander around at your own pace and preferably away from the crowds, as there are a lot of people coming in and out.
The Citadel is not only one of Cairo Stop attractions but also one of the most iconic images in the world. Come experience the beauty of the Saladin Citadel of Cairo!
We begin our journey into Old Cairo just opposite of Rhoda Island and below it's southern tip.The area is known to the Egyptians as Masr al-Qadima and stretches down to the sub-area often called Coptic Cairo. Again, appropriate dress covering the body including shoulders and legs is required for entering both Coptic and Islamic monuments.
Old Cairo is so named because it is the oldest part of Cairo, and in fact, predates what is now Cairo. Some Egyptologists believe that there was a settlement here as far back as the 6th century BC. Later, the Romans built a fortress here which we call Babylon . Some of these Roman walls still exist. Later, it became a Christian stronghold, with as many as 20 churches built within an area of one square mile. There are only five remaining, but these are certainly a must see when visiting Cairo, along with the earliest Mosque ever built in Egypt. In addition, after the fall of Jerusalem in about 70 AD, the area also saw an influx of that religion into the area, where the oldest synagogue is also located. Most of Pharaonic Egypt is a relic of one of the Worlds first and grandest religions, including the great Pyramids outside Cairo. Yet if the modern world can be said to have four major religions consisting of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, then three of those are represented by some of their most ancient relics in this section of Old Cairo.
The Coptic Museum Here is
founded in 1908 and it is advisable that we visit this first, for an orientation of the area. Just southwest of here is the Hanging Church .
The Church of the Virgin Mary
built into the walls of the Water Gate of the Roman fortress. It is possibly the oldest Christian church in Egypt, dating to around the 4th Century. From here, the possibility exists that one must exit the first entrance due to construction work in the area and head up Mar Girgis north a few steps to a second entrance. This entrance leads into the Monastery and Church of St.George (3). This is not an old church, dating only from 1909, but there has been a church in Coptic Cairo dedicated to he Martyr since the 10th century. Turn left outside the door to St. George and the path leads to the Church of St, Sergius (4) (Abu Serga), which legend has it is built atop one of the sites where the Holy Family rested on their flight from Herod. Continuing on this path brings one first to the Ben Ezra Synagogue (5), which is Egypt's oldest and dates to the 9th Century. Past that is St. Barbara (6), named for the young girl who was martyred for trying to convert her father to Christianity. There is also a gate that leads to the Greek Orthodox cemetery, which surrounds the complex to the east.
The largest port in Egypt, And the most important summer resort in the Middle East. Its lies on the Mediterranean, west of the Nile Delta, 220 Km from Cairo.
Alexander the great, it was built at his orders on the site of small village called Racotis ,in 332 B C to be the capital of his realm in Egypt, and a sea port close to his homeland, as well as a center of Greek culture and civilization.
Alexandria remained for centuries, a beacon of cultures from the world ove, and left its mark on the history of mankind.
Today, Alexandria is the second capital of Egypt.
Its ideally situated has temperate climate and soft sandy beaches.
Landmarks of Alexandria
An approximately 25m red Aswan granite column with a circumference of 9m, was constructed in honor of the Emperor Diocletain. Originally from the temple of the Serapis, it was once a magnificent structure rivaling the Soma and the Caesareum. Nearby are subterranean galleries where sacred Apis bulls were buried, and three sphinxes. After his defeat by Julius Caesar in the civil war, Pompey fled to Egypt where he was murdered in 48 BC; mediaeval travelers later believed he must be buried here, and that the capital atop the corner served as a container for his head. In fact, the pillar was raised in honor of Diocletain at the very end of the 4th century. Diocletain captured Alexandria after it had been under siege. The Arabs called it "Amoud el-Sawari", Column of the Horsemen. The Pillar is the tallest ancient monument in Alexandria.
The Roman Theatre :
Abou Abbas Mosque :
The Museum of Fine Arts :
Known as "Thebes, the city of the thousand gates," Luxor was the center of the power for the Pharaohs for almost 1500 years.
Luxor reflects its rich array of magnificent temples and tombs. During the seventh century BC 2700 years ago, the Assyrians invaded Egypt and left the "city of the thousand gates" in ruins.
Today the new invaders are visitors who frequently arrive on Nile cruises or by airplanes to view the remnants of the truly magnifcoent civilization.
Land mark in Luxor
This metropolis of worship is a 50,000 square meter complex of towering pylons, mammoth statues, vast columned halls, sanctuaries, shrines, and obelisks. It was built by successive rulers over the period of 2000 years. The most awesome of its many wonders is the great hypostyle hall with its forest of 134 columns. At the far end of the Karnak is the Secret Lake with seating tiers for spectators to view the breath-taking sound and light show spectacle during the final phase of the tour.
Once linked to the Karnak Temple by a 2 km long avenue of ram-headed sphinxes of which many still stand. The Luxor Temple was built by Amenhotep III in the 15th century BC, hereto the statues, obelisks and hypostyle halls are of a colossal scale.
Valley of the Kings
In deep tunneled galleries glowing with colorful mural portraiture and inscriptions, over sixty of Egypt's most famous pharaohs were entombed. The most famous is the most modest in size tomb of the boy King Tut Ankh Amen. It was discovered in 1922 with its treasures found more or less intact. Valley of the Queens Less imposingin dimensions than the tombs of the Kings but certainly not in artistic depiction. The most beautiful is that of Nefertari, Ramsis II Queen.
The mortuary temple belongs to one of the greatest peacetime pharaohs. Queen Hatshepsut (1503-1482 BC) it rises in terraced tiers with the sheer cliff as a backdrop. One of its walls chronicles pictorially the trading expedition sent by the Queen to the land of Punt (present day Somalia).
Know as Egypt's winter resort (10oc to 24 oc) offering a delightful, natural beauty with a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of warm and dry climate.
A wide variety of ancient monuments and peaceful beauty of the countryside draw visitors to Aswan through the winter months.
Lying 890 km south of Cairo, it has long been known as the "Gate to Africa" and the contact point between Arabian North Africa and sub-Saharan cultures.
Land mark in Aswan
The Temple of Philae
This superb assemblage of temples dedicated to the mother-goddess Isis, they once stood and that was wholly submerged beneath the water of Lake Nasser. A spectacular rescue operation sponsored by UNESCO was begun 1962 and completed in 1970 whereby the entire island complex was methodically dismantled and re-erected on the higher island Aglika.
The Unfinished Obelisk
Still attached to the quarry-bed with its three other sides and apex already carved, this graceful granite monument nearly 24 meters in length would have weighted 1164 tons if completed, It demonstrate the technique of detaching rock from a quarry by boring holes along prescribed lines, driving wedges into the holes, soaking the wedges with water causing them to expand and thus crack the rock face.
The main one of many islands that make up the Nile at Aswan , The Elephantine Island is richly vand overgrown with luxuriant palms. It was the home of two Nubian villages whose inhabitants still preserve their old traditions. It is also the location of the ancient nilometer and Aswan museum.
The High Dam
The High Dam has a massive accumulation of 42.7 billion cubic meters (17 times the volume of the great pyramid) of stones, sand, clay core and concrete casing, extending 3.6 kms in length and 111 meters in height. Inaugurated in January 1971, after eleven years of work, it has created an immense reservoir, Lake Nasser, covering an area of 5250 kms (510 km in length and 5 to 35 kms in width) and is the second artificial lake in the world.
Abu Simbel is a set of two temples near the border of Egypt with Sudan. It was constructed for the pharaoh Ramesses II who reigned for 67 years during the 13th century BC (19th Dynasty).
he temples were cut from the rock and shifted to higher ground in the 1960s as the waters of Lake Nasser began to rise following completion of the Aswan High Dam.
The Great Temple is dedicated to Ramesses II and a statue of him is seated with three other gods within the innermost part of the rock-cut temple (the sanctuary). The temple's facade is dominated by four enormous seated statues of the Pharaoh (each over 20 metres or 67 feet high), although one has been damaged since ancient times.
The Small Temple was probably completed ahead of the Great Temple and is dedicated to Ramesses' favourite wife, Nefertari. At the entrance stand six 10-metre-high (33 feet) rock-cut statues - two of Ramesses and one of Nefertari on either side of the doorway.
The temples can be reached by road, or by air .
One of the remaining places on earth that is almost untouched by modern civilization,"Sinai the land of turquoise" is a ragged triangle of holy places, pilgrim routes and military outposts. Visitors come and follow in the foot steps of legendary gods and goddesses and ancient warriors and Biblical prophets and heroes.
It is a land of verdant oases, flat deserts and towering mountains. The goddesses Isis crossed this wedged shaped desert peninsula in search of the god Osiris and where Alexander the Great and Cleopatra and Antoney armies fought. It was in Sinai that Moses received the Ten Commandments and the holy family traveled through to Egypt.
Land mark in Sinai
Sharm El Sheikh
the southern tip of Sinai peninsula and situated between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, Sharm el Sheikh has some of the finest snorkeling and diving sites in the world. It is also popular for its weather, fishing, diving and pure relaxation.
Ras Mohammed is designated as parks and nature reserves with strict laws and regulations to protect and preserve it. Ras Mohammed lies in the narrowest strip between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Scientists, explorers, scuba divers and campers alike seek Ras Mohammed for adventure and excitement as it is the richest area for marine life in the Red Sea.
Saint Catharine village is an admirable place to be visited. You should not miss the climb of Mount Sinai where Moses received the ten commandments. The monastery of St. Catharine has been a holy spot throughout history. The modern basilica that is in perfect condition dates back to the reign of the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.