Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza strip and Israel to the North East, the Gulf of Aqaba and, the Red Sea to the East &South, Sudan to the South & Libya to the west.
Emerged as one of the world’s first nation states in the 10th Millennium. Considered as a cradle of civilization through early developments in language,writing,agriculture,urbanisation, organised religion & central government as reflected in monuments such as the Giza Necropolis& its Great Sphinx as well as Memphis ruins, Thebes, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings.
Egypt was an early and important Center of Christianity but was largely Islamised in the 17th century and remains a predominantly Muslim country with a significant Christian minority(Coptic)
The country gained independence in 1922 from the British Empire as a monarchy. It is the most populous country in North Africa & the Arab World, the 3rd most populous in Africa after Nigeria & Ethiopia,& the 15th most populous in the world (considered as a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East & the Muslim world & a middle power worldwide)
SIZE & EXTENT
Situated on the north east corner of Africa, the Arab Republic of Egypt has an area of 1,001,450 sq.km, extending 1,572 km north west &1,196 km south west. However, the cultivated & settled area constitutes only about 3.5% of Egypt’s land area; the Libyan & Western Deserts occupy about 75% of the total area. Comparatively, Egypt’s size is slightly 3 times more than the size of New Mexico.
Egypt is a country with a rich historical background and most of her tourist attractions are based on the history of the ancient world and mostly these antiquities are thousands of years back. These signature attractions include but not limited to the following as below:
Giza Pyramid Complex:
This is an archaeological site on the Giza plateau. Includes the 3 pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a worker’s village and an industrial complex.
The signature item is the Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu) and this was constructed between 2560 – 2540 BC by tens of thousands of strong skilled men, for 20 years.
This is home to an extensive collection of the ancient Egyptian antiquities. The place holds 120,000 items with a representative amount on display & the remainder in storerooms.
Established in 1902, it is one of the largest museums in the world.
The museum hoses the Gold Mask of Tutankhamun, the Grave mask of king Amen-mope, statue of Menkaure, statue of Thutmose III, statue of Khafre and much more interesting antiquities.
Old Cairo (Historic Cairo):
Founded in 969 CE, contains the remnants of those cities which were once capitals such as Fustat, Al-Askar, Al-Quatta’I & these are locations of the Mosque of Amr & the Mosque of ibn Tulum.
It also encompasses Coptic Cairo, its many old churches & ruins of Roman fortifications& this is home to the following historical attractions.
- Port Alexandria:
- The Coptic Museum
- The Babylon Fortress
- The Hanging Church
- The Ben Ezra Synagogue
- The Mosque of Amr ibn Al-As
- Fort Babylon
This being the 2nd largest city in Egypt & major economic Center, it is an important industrial Center due to abundant natural gas & oil pipelines from Suez & also a popular tourism destination.
It was founded around a small ancient Egyptian town in April 332 BC by Alexanderthe Great. And was once the 2nd most powerful city of the ancient world after Rome.
While in Egypt, Alexandria should be part of your trip listing, due to the interesting attractions like:
- The jewellery
- Citadel of Qaitbay
- The Roman theatre
- Montazah gardens
- Bibliotheca Alexandria; the 2nd most important library in the world, established in commemoration of the library of Alexandria lost in antiquity.
The east bank is home to the;
Luxor city, which has Luxor temple; a large ancient Egyptian temple located on the east bank of the Nile River in the present Luxor city constructed approximately 1500 BC.
This temple was built by the New Kingdom Pharaohs Amenhotep III (1390-1353 BC) &Ramses II (1279-1213 BC)& is also known as The Southern Sanctuary, purposely for the statues of Amun, Mut & Khonsu brought in from Karnak along the avenue of Sphinxes & reunited here during the annual Opet celebrations.
Karnak Temple Complex; which comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons & other buildings. Construction begun during the reign of Senusret I in the middle kingdom & continued into the Ptolemaic period.
This was the main place of worship of the 18th dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head, & is part of the monumental city of Thebes (2000 years over)
While the west bank has; the valley of Kings, Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, temple of Edfu and many more interesting features. But Egypt has a multitude of tourism attractions awaiting your visit.