Cairo Vacations & Travel Packages!
Known as ‘the city of a thousand minarets’, Cairo is the capital of Egypt. It is locally known as Masr and its official name is Al-Q?hirah?that translates to ‘the victorious’ or ‘the defeater’ in Arabic. This name is springs from the fact that the planet Mars was rising at the time when the city was founded in the first millennium (Mars is the Roman god of war). Cairo has always been the epicenter of religious, political and cultural identity of the country and ditto later became true for its architectural heritage too. A polite reference should also be made for the nearby Pyramids of Giza and the city’s oldest standing fortress called Babylon, the two most prominent attractions in or near the city.
Places of Interest in Cairo
Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are the only two surviving monuments of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and are undoubtedly the country's most famous tourist attraction. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and was constructed over a 20-year period. Situated close to it is the next tourist attraction here- the enigmatic grand structure called the Great Sphinx of Giza whose reason of construction is still unknown to historians. It looks like a lion topped with the head of an Egyptian king or Pharaoh and is considered a symbol of royal might over the subjects. Summarily, there is nothing is more overawing to a visitor than a spectacular view of these two marvels together.
The Egyptian Museum
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities or the Egyptian Museum or Museum in Cairo is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has more than 100,000 prehistoric and historic artifacts across its two floors. On the ground floor, you will find an extensive collection of ancient papyrus and coins that date back to two thousand years, and thus the papyrus are usually in shreds. The coins are made of many different metals like gold, silver and bronze and belong to Egyptian, Greek and Roman origins, thus proclaiming Cairo’s massive impact over the regional trade and commerce. Also on display on this floor are many statues and coffins of Egyptian kings or Pharaohs. The first floor contains many invaluable artifacts like the tombs and mummies of Pharaohs and the royal family members.
Old Cairo encompasses Coptic Cairo, a prehistoric part of the city that is known for its exclusive Roman and Christian identity owing to its old churches and dilapidated Roman fortifications. Some prominent choices to start the day would be the Babylon Fortress, the Hanging Church, the Ben Ezra Synagogue and the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As. Out of them, the Babylon Fortress is most famous because of its immense historical value and its enclosure of other famous churches (like Church of St George) that were built before the advent of Islam in Egypt.