Top 10 Attractions in Egypt
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Giza Pyramids & The Sphinx
The first step in building a pyramid was to choose a suitable site.This had to be on the west side of the Nile because the west was where the sun set and where the dead were thought to enter the underworld.The pyramids also needed to be situated on the high ground, away from the danger of flooding at the time of the Nile's inundation.
However, it could not be too far away from the bank because the river would be used to transport blocks of fine quality limestone for the outer casing from Tura, on the other side of the Nile.The site chosen would be at a point on the desert plateau that would proved a firm rock base capable of supporting the great weigh of the pyramid without any risk of cracking .It would also need to be within easy reach of the capital, so that the king could go to inspect the building work whenever he wished.
Giza is best known as that part of Cairo closest to the world-famous Pyramids of Giza, situated high on the desert plateau immediately to the west of the urban district, itself located in the valley and centred around the Pyramids Road, linking central Cairo with the ancient wonders. One of the premier attractions of Egypt, if not the world, the Pyramids of Giza represent the archetypal pyramid structures of ancient Egyptian civilisation and - together with the Sphinx at the base of the Giza plateau - are the iconic image of Egypt.
The Giza Pyramids have become nearly synonymous with Egypt herself. Their incredible size continues to impress millions of visitors each year, as they struggle to comprehend how three kings, Khafre, Khufu, and Menkaure, could have constructed such huge structures so long ago.
Despite their fame, the Giza Pyramids represent only a short moment in the long history of Ancient Egypt. All three great pyramids, as well as the secondary pyramids next to them, were built during the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The Old Kingdom (c. 2686—2181 BC) was the first of the three major eras of Ancient Egypt’s history.. Archaeologists believe that the 4th dynasty (c. 2613—2493 BC) was the ‘golden age’ of the Old Kingdom because of the size and quality of the pyramids that were built during this time at Giza. Subsequent pyramids did not come close to rivaling the size or quality of construction of these huge structure. The huge blocks of limestone used in construction have stood the test of time much better than any of the other pyramids (and there are over 100) built before or after them.
Although they dominate the view, the pyramids are not the only site to see on the GIza Necropolis. Like the other pyramid fields in Egypt, the sites was used for less significant burials as well. The tombs of nobles have also excavated on the site and there is a Valley Temple, the processional entrance to the pyramids, associated with each structure. In addition, you can visit the Solar Boat Museum, to understand how the pharaohs’ bodies were transported to this site by boat thousands of years ago. Lastly, it is impossible to forget the giant statue of the Great Sphinx. This great sculpture has guarded the site of the Giza Pyramids for nearly 5000 years.
Perhaps the most interesting section of Cairo is Medieval (Islamic) Cairo.
One of The Most important of Islamic Cairo attractions is The Mosque of The Mosque of Amr Ibn el As , The first and the oldest mosque built on the land of Egypt 642 A.D by the commander of the Muslims army Amr Ibm-Als that conquered Egypt in the same year. The mosque is known as tajel jawamie (the crown of the mosques .The mosque is said to have been built in the same location of Amr ibn-als tent at el fusts .the mosque is not only the oldest mosque in Egypt but in the entire African continent ,located to the north of the roman fortress of Babylon .it is actually on the edge of el fusts the temporary city founded by the commander Amr , and it was not only the capital of Egypt but also a learning center long time before el Azhar , it could held up to 5000 students .The mosque was built on an area of 1,500 square cubits over looking the Nile.The initial structure was quite simple bare of any decoration or plaister. But without mihrab and ground cover .it had tow doors one located to the north and the others facing Amrs house.
3. Abu Simble
The temples of Abu simble lie about 280 km. (170 miles) south of Aswan in a region known to the ancients as Nubia this geographical term first appears in about 25B.cin the writings of the Greek historian and geographer Strabo, who used it to refer to the area of the African desert bisected by the Nile and extends from the first cataract to Aswan in the north to the fourth cataract in the south this area was traditionally divided into two parts each with its unique climate and topography. Lower Nubia is now under the Egyptian control which includes the area between the first cataract till the second cataract while upper Nubia which belongs to Sudan, extends from the second cataract to the fourth cataract .
Karnak temples are funeral temples were built to the god while luxour temple is cult temple was built to commemorate some kings.
Karnak temples re located to the east of the Nile and they are called the ( ipt-sut)which means the most selected place while the temple of luxour is called the (ipt-rsit)which means the southern house or the house of the harem house .
The relationship between the Karnak and the luxour temple is the festival of the opt which was one of the most important festivals in the Egyptian cleanders, and it took place in the second month of the flood season.
In which the barque of Amon the main god of luxour and the Karnak has to leave the temples of Karnak & go and visit luxour temple once a year & in the way back he is using the sphinx avenue which is connecting between the karnak temples and the luxour temple.
During the time of king Tuthmosis III the celebration of the Opet festival lasted for 11 days, the boat went by the Nile and it came back through the sphinx avenue.
We know the details of the festival from the scenes flanking the colonnade of luxour temple.
Karnak is great monument which no other monument can match it.
All the pharaohs of the new kingdom participated in the constriction of the temples which was built to hounour god Amon re & his wife Mut goddess of the sky & the sun khnso.
Temples of Karnak are a history book starting the history of Egypt from the middle kingdom to the Ptolemaic period.
The whole area of Karnak complex is covered with mud brick enclosure wall 550 mts in length.
The complex of Karnak covers area of 62 acres which has 8 entrances.
5. Feluca On The Nile
Taking a Felucca down the Nile is something you must do when visiting Egypt. Feluccas are sail boats that have been used on the Nile since antiquity. You can take short sunset sails in Cairo in Aswan. A Felucca is not quite as comfortable as a luxury cruise ship but nothing can beat sailing in a quiet rig that was designed thousands of years ago. Make sure you like and trust your felucca captain before you hop on board, it will really make a difference to your experience.
6. Valley Of The Kings
Kings of the new kingdom they chose Thebes to be their capital and they chose the hilly area of the west bank to be their tombs instead of the costal part of their capital and as they believed also that east is life and west is the city of the dead.
The choice of this area was mainly for two reasons:-
1-to ensure that tombs would not be robbed by the tomb robbers same as the previous kings of the old and the middle kingdom.
They realized that an old kingdom kings they chose the pyramids to be their tombs and them final burial, and these too huge constrictions were very obvious to the tomb robbers and they served the purposes of the tomb robbers.
Kings of the middle kingdom they built pyramids built smaller than those in the old kingdom to serve also as burial sand tombs for them and these pyramids they used to have many passages inside the pyramids inside to be as a kind of disorientate for the tomb robbers r to hide the eyes of the tomb robbers from the actual burial chamber of the kings.
So finally the kings of the new kingdom they had to find out a way to hide the mummy of the kings or the queens and his funeral furniture from the hands of the tomb robbers, this ay was to dug a tomb in the mountain which have never been inhabited before and keeping the place secret for ever.
The final numbers of tombs excavated in the Valley of the Kings are 62 for the 18th, 19th and the 20th dynasty.
-kings of the 18th dynasty they had a habit of hiding the mummies & the funeral furniture in those hidden tombs with hidden and un-decorated entrances , while religious and funeral rituals to be held in the funeral temples which are located in the west bank of luxour .
-kings of the 20th dynasty completely ignored this idea of hiding the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and they depend on the blocking of the entrance by big and huge slabs of stones and decorating the entrances as long as they would be guarded .
-After the new kingdom the Valley of the Kings was no longer used, but we could find a lot of mummies in the dier-el bahari cachet belongs to the kings of the 21st dynasty and also we discovered in the karnak list of the kings in karnak temples which is now in louver museum a lot of names of kings for them we never discovered tombs till now.
-the theory of the safety of the tombs during the new kingdom in the 18th dynasty proved to be wrong, cause we could see some tombs were robbed also queen Hatshepsut has taken the mummy of her father Tuthmosis I to be hidden by her own and also the tomb of king (tut) was interrupted by the tomb robbers twice.
-the tombs of the Valley of the Kings in luxour are consisting of corridors, passages, rooms. Carved in the mountains and protected by some deep shafts and wells
-the scenes are carved in the walls are representing the full imagination of what is mentioned in their holly books , like the book of the dead , of the gates, of the caves, earth and famous stories of the famous story of the end of the man kind.
Concerning the shafts and the wells which were discovered in the tombs in the Valley of the Kings we have a lot of ideas concerning these shafts:-
1-some of the scholars they said that they were made inside the tombs to deceive the robbers.
2-otheres they said no they were made to save the water of the rains.
3-a German archeologist said that after studying the text and scenes in the walls the shafts might explaining what is written in the book of the dead about the 5th hour of judgment in which god sokar the god of the two worlds will be transferred to be the god osiris, so maybe these shafts where symbolic tombs for the deceased who was considered to be osiris –sokar.