A trip to Egypt would be incomplete without visiting Cairo , the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa. With its rich historical background the city is proud of its many monuments and pyramids.
The major tourist site being the The Pyramids of Giza' is worth seeing. In total there are three main Pyramids, which were built in the 4th Dynasty . The largest and the oldest of the Pyramids of Giza weigh about 6,000,000 tons and have a height of 482 feet . The Chephren's pyramid was designed more modestly than Khufu's . It was originally 10 feet shorter and 48 feet narrower at the base. The Pyramid of Menkaure' is the smallest of the three Pyramids of Giza and shows the beginning of the decline in workmanship in the Egyptian pyramid construction. The attention to detail is much less than the earlier pyramids. The three pyramids have always been associated with Egypt.
Egypt is rich with many museums holding collections of its rich treasures. The first museum, the Egyptian Museum was ordered by Mohamed Ali in Al-Azbaquia and in 1858 August Mariette built the museum in Bulaq , which opened in 1863 . In 1902 the present museum was built with about 120,000 objects on display, and several hundred thousand are still in the vaults. It's situated at Tahrir Square in Cairo , built during the reign of Khedive Abbass Helmi II in 1897 , and opened on November 15, 1902 . With 107 halls at the ground floor, there are huge statues and in the upper floor houses small statues, jewels, Tutankhamon treasures and the mummies. The Museum also comprises a photography division and a large library.
Located on a high hill that overlooks the old city of Cairo , t he construction of the Citadel of Saladin was started by King Saladin in 1170 A.D , and completed by his brother, King El-Addel . Built to protect the old city of Cairo, it consists enclosure walls and watchtowers, as well as countless gates.
Some other places of interest include:
The Step Pyramid at Sakkara
The Hanging Church
The Old Market "Khan El-Khalili"
Luxor Temple, or The Temple of Luxor , is one of the most beautiful Temples in Egypt. It's a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes). In the New Kingdom period as it was known as Ipt-Rsyt , which means the southern shrine . Build by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II ; it seems that the temple's purpose was to form a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival of Opet . The temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun , Mut , and Chons.
The Karnak Temple at Al-Karnak , a small village in Egypt, located on the banks of the River Nile some 2.5 km north of Luxor is twice the size of the build-up village area.
The temple area is an enormous open-air museum and the largest ancient religious site in the world. It's certainly is the second most visited historical site in Egypt, second only to the Giza Pyramids near Cairo.
The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where for nearly 500 years , from the 16th to 11th century B.C. , tombs were constructed for the kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile River, across from ancient Thebes now Luxor , within the heart of the Theban Necropolis . This was the royal cemetery for about 62 Pharaohs , and the entrance to this secret place was through a long narrow winding path. The Egyptian belief that To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again' is definitely carried out in building this tombs, with the king's formal names and titles inscribed in his tomb together with his images and statues.
Located on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt, the Temple of Medinat Habu is one of the largest memorial Temples in Egypt. Measuring about 320m in length and 200m in width it was built to commemorate Ramses III , after his death, by orders of the King himself. It's decorated with battle scenes of the King's wars in Syria and the most extraordinary of them is on the southern tower depicting an oxen hunt by Ramses III in his chariot.
Luxor is also famous for
Valley Of The Queens
Valley Of The Nobles
Temple Of Abydos
Situated near Aswan , the world famous High Dam was an engineering miracle built in the 1960s . It's a great project and an important achievement of the last century in Egypt and a symbol of the New Era of the Revolution of 1952 . The Dam is 11,811 feet in length, 3215 feet thick at the base and has a height of 364 feet , containing 18 times the material used in the Great Pyramid of Cheops and providing irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt.
The Temples of Abu Simbel are one of the most interesting Pharaonic Temples . Situated is an archaeological site containing two massive rock temples in southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser about 290 km southwest of Aswan, it's also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments". These twin temples were initially carved out of the mountain side during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC , as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari.
The Temple of Kom Ombo stands on the eastern bank , built on a high dune overlooking the Nile River about 28 miles north of Aswan. It's actually two temples, dedicated to two Gods, Horus and Sobek , the Temple of Sobek and the Temple of Haroeris . Ptolemy VI started the construction with limestone and Neos Dionysus finished most of the building, while the Emperor Augustus added the final touches. The Temple was largely dedicated to the God Sobek , the crocodile God and his wife and the left side of the temple was dedicated to the God Horus , God of victory.
Other interesting places here are:
The Temple Of Edfu
The Unfinished Obelisk
The Pompey Pillar , the biggest memorial in Egypt is a huge column or red granite with a total height of 28m , with a diameter at the base of 2.7m and towards the top it tapers to 2.3m . There is an inscription in Greek at the upper part of the pillar to the west which reads, To the most just Emperor, tutelary of Alexandria Diocletian, the invincible, Postumus, the Prefect of Egypt (has erected this monument). During the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian , the Roman ruler of Egypt erected this memorial column between 284-305A.D in honor of the Roman Emperor, as a sign of gratitude and appreciation.
The Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is situated at the entrance of the eastern harbor on the eastern point of the Pharos Island . Considered to be one of the most important defensive strongholds, in Egypt, and also along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea , it was established on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria , which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World . With two huge harbors, the Fort was built in the 1480's by Sultan Qaitbey . Inside is a Naval Museum which contains artifacts from the Roman and Napoleonic sea battles.
One must also take a tour to:
The Catacombs of Kom El-Shouqafa
The Amphitheatre of Kom El-Dikka
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