The Pyramids of Giza
When visiting Egypt, you should never miss the Pyramids of Giza, which is composed of the Pyramid of Kafhre, the Pyramid of Menkaura, and the Pyramid of Khufu. The Pyramid of Khufu is also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza, and it is the only surviving structure listed in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The pyramids were built as tombs for the great pharaohs of Egypt, after whom they were named. In the past, when these pyramids were not yet highly guarded, many looters took the opportunity to steal valuable treasures found inside each pyramid. Today, the Egyptian government is trying its best to maintain and preserve the sacredness of these pyramids.
Right beside these three pyramids is the Sphinx, which is known to the Arabs as the Abu Al-Hol, or the “Father of Terror.”
Cairo is Egypt’s capital and the country’s most chaotic city. Definitely, not everything in Egypt is old and historic. During the summer months, visiting this area can really be troublesome, with the scorching heat of the sun, dust, and noise from almost every corner of the city. However, this part of Cairo known as Medieval Cairo doesn’t paint the chaotic picture the rest of Cairo has. In fact, there are a lot of good things to see here.
Medieval Cairo is filled with mosques, Coptic churches, medieval gates, and bazaars or souks that sell everything from framed grains of sand to swords to carpets – all of which are great deals for shopaholics.
One of the world’s largest mosques, the Mosque of Mohammed Ali, and one of the world’s oldest universities, the Al-Azhar Mosque, are also found in Medieval Cairo.
The temples at Abu Simbel are truly a sight that you should never miss when visiting Egypt. They just make you wonder how the ancient Egyptians managed to carve statues out of the side of a mountain, considering that they did not have high-tech tools back then.
The two temples were carved out during 1274 BC to1244 BC by the order of Ramses II, who dedicated the bigger temple, the Temple of Ramses, to the sun gods Amon-re and Re-horakhte. On the other hand, the smaller temple, the Temple of Hathor, Ramses II dedicated to his favorite wife, Queen Nefertari. The Temple of Ramses was rediscovered by Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burkhart.
From 1964 to 1966, the Egyptian government reconstructed both temples 200 feet above their original location due to a possible submersion caused by the construction of a nearby dam.
The most amazing thing in Abu Simbel happens precisely on February 22 and October 22 every year. These are the only two days in the year when the sun, as it rises from the east, illuminates all four statues of the Temple of Ramses.
Being the mother of all religious buildings, the Karnak Temple complex was known as the Ipet-isut or “the most chosen of places.” The complex covers over 200 acres and is filled with numerous temples, which were considered a place for the gods over two thousand years ago. The three main temples, namely, Mut, Monthu, and Amun are the names of the Theben triad to which the Karnak Temple was dedicated.
The temple of Amon, which is located in the center, already occupies 61 acres and can house over ten European cathedrals. Inside the Amon temple, you will find several smaller temples and a sacred lake. The temple of Monthu is located to the north of the temple of Amon, while the temple of Mut is to the south.
The construction of the Karnak Temple started in the Middle Kingdom and was only completed 1,600 years later, during the New Kingdom, with every Pharaoh adding on to the temple at least five acres of land for himself.
The Nile River – the Bahr el-Nil, as locals would call it – is the longest river in Africa and the second longest in the world. The Nile River has played an important role in the formation of Egyptian civilization. But it is not only a historical place, it also provides new and modern activities that visitors can enjoy.
For history buffs, a cruise along the Nile River is recommended. As the cruise ship travels down the river, a local tour guide will tell tales and stories of the different events that occurred in the Nile. For the young and adventurous tourists, numerous water activities, such as kayaking, rafting, fishing, and even bungee jumping, can be arranged.
The Nile River has long been a source of food and water for the locals and their ancestors who lived by the river. Today, Nile has also become a valuable source of electricity, since one of the country’s major electricity dams is built on it.