Cities in ancient Egypt grew out of the development of agriculture and the emergence of the state as the unifying and principal form of political organization.
The following is a list of the major cities in Egypt:
• Port Said
Cairo: The name of which means "The Vanquisher" or "The Triumphant" , is the capital city of Egypt. Though Al-Qahirah is the official name of the city, in Egyptian Arabic it is simply known by the name of the country, Masr (Egypt). Cairo which can be traced back to 1000 years was founded on the site of Babylon near the ruins of ancient Memphis . With a population of about 16.1 million people, it's the largest city in Africa having a rich historical past. Being in the heart of the city it encompasses many former cities and monuments like the pyramids of the Pharaohs ; early Christian monasteries and churches; Salah Al-Dins Citadel ; mosques of the Mamluk and Ottoman Sultans.
Alexandria: The second largest city of Africa, and named after ‘Alexander the Great' , it extends about 20 miles along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in north-central Egypt. Alexander came to Egypt in 331 BC after conquering Greece and found this small fishing village on the Mediterranean coast to establish his new capital, Alexandria . It's Egypt's most important sea port and industrial centre because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from the Suez . It is home to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina , the New Library of Alexandria, and the once famous legendary lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In ancient times, the city was known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Giza: Situated on the west bank of the Nile River , some 20 km south-west of central Cairo , it's now a part of the greater Cairo metropolis. Capital of the Al Jizah Governorate, Giza is a vibrant city and an administrative, cultural, and commercial centre with about 2.7 million inhabitants. Industries here include chemicals, machinery, movies and cigarettes. Well-known as the location of the Giza Plateau for some of its most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx , the Great Pyramid of Giza, that is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, it's a must visit tourist destination.
Luxor: A city in Upper Egypt and the capital of the Al Uqsur governorate , with population approximately 200,000 , has often been called the world's greatest open air museum. One of Egypt's favorite tourist destinations it's built on the site of the ancient city of Thebes . Just opposite the Nile River on the West Bank , stands the spectacular tomb of Nefertari and Tutankhamun , the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and also the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens . These monuments, temples and tombs all attract tourists round the world.
Aswan: Egypt's southernmost city and the capital of the Aswan Governorate, it's located about 81 miles south of Luxor. Aswan, the sunniest southern city and the driest in the world, has a distinctively African atmosphere and has long been the country's gateway to Africa. With a population of 200,000 , the pace of life here is slow and relaxing. People visiting are all spellbound by the beauty of the Nile, flowing through amber desert and granite rocks, round emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants.
Port Said: Situated on the Mediterranean Sea , and at the northern end of the Suez Canal , Port Said has a population of about 650,000 inhabitants . Founded in 1859 as a harbor, the city is considered quite young by Egyptian standards. Being geographically remote from other places, it's situated on a low, sandy ground west of the Suez Canal and east of Lake Manzila . The economic base of Port Said is fishing and industries such as chemicals, processed food, and cigarettes. It's an important harbor not only for exports of Egyptian products like cotton and rice, but also for fuelling station for ships that pass through the Suez Canal.
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