People are overwhelmed with awe and astonishment at the foot of this wonder of the world. They rise majestically... above the sea of houses of Cairo. Graves in the perfect form of the equilateral pyramids were built for the god-like rulers. The Cheops Pyramid, 480 ft (146,4 m) tall, consisting of a mass of 83 million ft³ (2.34 million m³), outshines all others.
The reconstructed cedar boat, on which Cheops will go on his journey through the underworld, awaits you in the Sunboat Museum.
The mighty lion body of the Sphinx unfurls at the eastern edge of the pyramid plateau: This mysterious god of the eternal place is a king and a god at the same time. In the afternoons, when the sun sets, Cheops', Chephren's and Mykerinos' graves look nicest when you look at them from the panorama spot in the west.more
The big sanctuary at the Nile is dedicated to the mighty God of the Empire Amun and his family. The rulers... of Thebes had started building the temple around 2000 BC, and almost every succeding pharao extended the chapel. Two major axes cross each other in the middle of the sanctuary. They consist of yards, pillar halls and pylons. The big pillar hall, with 134 up to 24 meter high papyrus bundle pillars, is very impressive.
Not only Amun, but also his wife Mut and the Moon God Chons were worshipped in Karnak. Once, thousands of statues were put up here, and obelisks sored towards the sky from the pylons.
Business spaces, accomodation for priests and stalls for the holy gooses of Amun were situated beyond the holy lake. Today centuries of building are being continued by archeologists: The ancient sanctuary rises from the debris, turning into a new completeness.more
The facade of the three-story terrace temple is integrated in the precipice of Luxor's western mountains.... Pharaoh Hatshepsut had it built in commemoration of herself and her father. Holy chapels were also dedicated to the gods Amun, Hathor and Anubis. Miss Pharaoh had to fight for her claim to the throne. She did this by displaying proof of her descent from the great God Amun with the reliefs in the birth hall. The seemingly modern architecture makes this temple one of the most impressive in the country. Her successor Thutmosis the Third destroyed most of it, still some 100 years later the Ptolemaics used some of the chapels.more
City: Abu Simbel in/near Egypt Category: Sightseeing
Ramses the II was the biggest builder of Egypt. His rock temples of Abu Simbel display this impressively.... He had mighty testimonies of Egpyt built outside of the Egyptian mainland in Nubia.
The four colossal figures of the divine ruler rise 20 meters high in front of the Ramses temple. Inside, reliefs of the battle of Kadesch against the Hittites depict the military power of Egypt.
The Pharoah sits enthroned next to the mightiest gods of the country, Amun, Re and Ptah in the holiest part of the tempel.
The smaller temple of Abu Simbel is dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of love in the shape of Nefertari, the wife of Ramses.
Inside, the goddess steps self-confidently in front of the gods and accompanies her husband during the offering procedures.
The building of the temple was a masterstroke: they were about to sink in the Nasser Sea because of the construction of the Aswan High Dam. With a spectacular operation, from 1965-68, the holy sites were cut out of the sand stone and rebuilt 64 cemtimeters higher.more
The Nubian City - this is the surname of the most southern city in Egypt. Its nucleus was on Elephantine,... a large granite island amidst the Nile. Already in the early days, the goddess Satet was honored as the bringer of the Nile water. The ancient Egyptians considered the gurgling whirls of the Cataract Mountains as the source of the Nile.
A sailing tour around the island offers the best views. The governors of Elephantine, rulers of the border city, had important military duties and also controlled commercial routes to inner Africa. Up to this day, the Aswan bazar shows clear Nubian influences. The history of modern-day Aswan is influenced by the construction of the tremendous High Dam, during which the temple of the goddess Isis was relocated to a higher situated neighboring island. The Nubian Museum is Aswan's newest gem, documenting the Nubian history from early ages to modern times.more
A whole series of freshly renovated historical buildings shine in the northern part of Khan el-Khalili.... In the direction of Bab el-Futuh the street Muizz li-Din-Allah leads to the Mosque of the Mamluk Sultan Qaitbay. The Mosque, a maristan (hospital) and a mausoleum belong to this magnificent building. Beautiful stonemason arabesques decorate the facades, archways, the shaft of the minaret and dome of the mausoleum. The mausoleum's wood carvings and its freshly gilded ceiling painting are enchanting. The way up to the minaret is accomplished in two stages. Those who do not dare to climb up the narrow minaret completely, can stop at the dome because this venue alone offers a great view of the Islamic historical district.more
The tremendogus graveyard of Egypt's former capital spreads out in Western Thebes. Egypt's elite set... up magnificent graves here, especially during the New Kingdom (1540-1075 BC).
Impressive funerary temples were built at the border of the green land to grant the supply of the dead Pharaohs in the afterlife. The Valley of the Kings with its graves of the rulers entices with mysterious images of the afterlife and divine eternity. Howard Carter found the funerary treasure of Tutenchamun in 1922. At the Sheikh Abd el-Qurnah hamlet and the antique craftsmen settlement Deir el-Medina, the grave paintings and reliefs depict the lives of the people and their faiths in bright colors. The grave of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, completely covered with wall paintings, is world-famous and was closed again after extensive restorations.more
The oldest pyramids of all can be found in the south western part of Cairo. It was in Saqqara where Pharaoh... Djoser ordered his genius architect Imhotep to build him a tomb made of stone. It soars six steps and 66 meters towards the sky. Imaginary palasts, chapels made of stone and a huge yard, in which different ritual acts were performed, belong to this impressive final resting place. The French archeologist was responsible for reconstructing the entrance area. Once a massive wall with numerous niches encircled the entire area. Take your time for a visit to Saqqara and bring along a pair of comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking to be done in the stone desert. The facility is most appealing in the afternoon light.more
The seated figures made of stone tower tremendously above the fertile land. They once graced the facade... of the funerary temple of the Pharaoh Amenophis the third, which has vanished almost completely due to stone robbery and weathering. Nevertheless, archeologists are still finding enormous objects in the soil behind the figures. The northern statue was worshiped in a special way during ancient times: to the Greeks it was the hero of Memnon who had died during the battle with the Trojans. The ancient spectators were fascinated with Memnons voice. Cracks in the statue make it seem like a steam organ, air heated up by the morning sun made the colossus chime. Today this wonder cannot be marveled at anymore. The emperor Septimius Severus had the statue restored - putting it to silence.more
Egypt is famous for its antiquity. But hardly anybody knows much about the lively modern art scene which... is fostered in many galleries across downtown Cairo. Its origins date back as far as the beginning of the 20th century. An own museum has been dedicated to this lively art when the big culture venue was built in the southern part of the Gezira Island located in the Nile River. Across from the opera house is the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art. This modern art was initiated by sculptors the like of Mahmoud Mokhtar whose school of “Neo-Pharaonists” takes up the antique art scholars. In the meantime, Plastic arts as well as painting have found their place between European and Arabian influences and the legacy of the pharaohs.more
In the surroundings of the Djoser in Saqqara lies a huge burial ground that has been used for many centuries.... Many high officials, priests and officers of the Pharaonic period were buried here. Ti was the custodian of the royal funerary temple and was considered part of the elite of the fifth dynasty (2400 BC). The very fine reliefs of his burial chamber display him on a boating through a papyrus thicket, as well as inspecting estates and workshops. These reliefs are one of the highlights of Egyptian art. Small slits on the southern part of the wall reveal a small chamber, in which statues of Ti are set. As perpetual replacement bodies, they were supposed to host the souls of the masters of the burial grounds. Images of sacrifices are placed in between, which were brought to supply for the deceased on the other side.more
There is another pyramid burial ground south of Giza and Saqqara. In Dashur Pharaoh Snofru, the father... of Cheops, had two pyramids built for himself. The older Bent Pyramid was built in a noticeably shallower angle, while at the same time the construction of the Red Pyramid started, which also served as Snofru's coffin. Steep steps lead the way to the entrance approximately half way up - you continue the descending path crouched. A modernly built staircase leads the way from an antechamber up to a small casket chamber which had been destroyed by tomb raiders. Further king pyramids for Sesostris the Third and Amenemhet the Third were built in the neighborhood round about 700 years later. Their facilities were made of air-dried mudbricks. This made them weather much faster.more
The temple of Dendera built during the Ptolemaic dynasty (ca. 320-330 BC) rises at the transition between... the fertile country and the desert. It is dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, who had head horns and personified love, beauty and motherhood. She is depicted along with her divine partner Horus and their son Ihi on the reliefs of the temple. The astronomical ceilings in the big portico in a little new year's chapel next to the Holy One and in the atrium of the chapel of Osiris are particularly beautiful. Remnants of the “Holy Sea” as well as remnants of a Roman sanatorium with antique bathtubs can be found in the surroundings of the temple. The “Mamisi” at the entrance of the holy district is dedicated to the birth of the Divine Child. Exceptionally beautiful reliefs can be found on the exterior walls.more
The city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean is the second largest city in Egypt and the favorite city... of most Egyptians. This is a place to come to during the summer to escape the sweltering heat of the heartland and to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. If you go to Alexandria, you will not see much antiquity except for the Ptolemaic-Roman grounds, but you will experience a lively city. Stroll along the corniche from the new library to Fort Qaitbay, which was built from the remains of the old lighthouse. Let your imagination run free while looking at the eastern harbour, where divers had found the ruins of Cleopatra's Palace. The old coffee houses of Alexandria are legendary and an obligatory culinary enjoyment just like the numerous fish restaurants!more
City: Oases Farafra and Bahariya in/near Egypt Category: Sightseeing
This spectacular landscape is located on the west coast of Egypt between two little oases. Bizarre apparitions... of nature emerge from the eastern Sahara on the way from Baharija to Farafra. Winds and sand made this fantasy-stimulating piece of art in the white desert from bright white limestone. The mushroom-shaped, sharp-edged pillars or cones, which are up to ten meters high, are particularly nice to look at when the silvery moon light shines upon them. The best way to reach this spot is by off-road vehicles, or just book a camel tour at the oases. If you sleep in a tent or simply under the star-spangled sky, this outing will be an unforgettable experience. Traveling here is best between October and January, but do not forget warm clothes for night times.more
City: Marsa Alam in/near Egypt Category: Sightseeing
300 kilometers south of the popular tourist destinations lies Marsa Alam, which is still regarded a refuge... for scuba divers and lovers of nature. The coral riffs along the coast are not overcrowded yet and at night the starlit sky sets the mood. The best diving spots are offshore at the Brother Islands, the Elphinstone Reef and at the nature reserve of Wadi Gimal. The nature ashore is also worth more than only a quick side trip. The Saket emerald mines, for exapmle, or the Gebel Igla which is 900 meters high. If you are lucky, you might see some gazelles and other shy animals. Fans of the sky will get their money's worth in the deep south. No street lights will outshine the stars, the air is clear and the Milky Way is an overwhelming sparkling belt!more
25 years ago, the little fishing village Ghardaqa was an insider's tip for scuba-diving freaks, who were... able to do without fancy hotels. In the meantime, Hurghada has blown out of proportion and keeps growing and growing. Hotels of all price categories are waiting for guests thirsting for sun and ocean. For those of you who find the ocean too cold or salty, the pool is just the right thing. Nevertheless, scuba-diving and snorkeling are still very popular. You can reach the magnificent underwater world straight from the beach or by boat. Onshore, amusement parks, water parks, malls, discos and clubs offer a variety of opportunities apart from diving and swimming. Dahar is the downtown area. The touristic center can be found further south near Sekalla.more
Ten years ago, the last oasis that became a tourist attraction was Siwa. The oasis in the northwest of... Egypt, close to the Libyan border, was able to preserve its remarkable features. The inhabitants speak Siwa, a Berber dialect and an eco-friendly tourism is displayed by the hotels, plain hostels as well as fancy eco lodges, built like the traditional dwellings. Fascinating trips to the surrounding deserts, walks through the vast palm gardens as well as detours to the ruins of the times of Alexander the Great are worth their while. It was here after all that the oracle of Amun announced him the legitimate king of Egypt.more
This beautifully designed museum is a must-see in Luxor. It features highlights of the Pharaonic art... history. The Cachette statues from the times of Amenophis the Third and Horemheb discovered in the 1980s in the Luxor temples can be found on the ground floor. The statues of the Goddesses Junit and Hathor are made of granite and appear to be nearly perfect. One wing is dedicated to the New Kingdom of Egypt (ca. 1600-1100 BC) when the pharaohs from Thutmosis the Third to Ramses the Second reigned over a tremendous kingdom. The mummies of the ruler Ahmose, who was slayed during battle, and of Pharaoh Ramses rest at this venue as well. The wall of Echnaton's Aton temple, which can be seen on the upper floor, resembles an antique puzzle.more
The monastery of Saint Catherine in the southern part of the Sinai is surrounded by high granite mountains.... Mighty defence walls protect the monastery. The Greek orthodox monchs had to defend them themselves against attacks of the Bedouins. Early on, during the search of the Exodus Route, it was believed to have found an important sight of biblical history at the foot of the Djebel Musa. Allegedly Moses received the Ten Commandments at the top of the 2285 meter high mountain - this is where God showed himself guised as a burning bush. Empress Helena had a chapel built for the holy bush in 324. An impressive basilica was built in the 6th century on instructions from the emperor Justinian. The glorious golden mosaics still adorn the apsis. A rich collection of icons, the oldest deriving from the 4th century, and rolls enhance the importance of the church and monastery. Parts of the splendid treasures are shown in the museum within the area of the monastery. Visitors should take into account that the place does not exclusively serve touristic purposes - proper attire and discreet photographing (not allowed in the church and museum) are imperative.more
The capital of Egypt is a challenge for every visitor. Centuries of changes in culture and religion are... embedded in a chaotically growing, lively metropolis! The Egyptian Museum at Midan et-Tahir, in the heart of the city, is a good starting point for a journey to the past of the pharaos. The subway leads to the Mari Girgis station in the south, the Christian-Coptic quarter. The Coptic Museum and the ancient church bring early Christianity back to life.
Islam has influenced the city since 641. Cairo's landmark raises impressingly on the ancient citadel, founded under Salah ed-Din in 1171: the Muhammed-Ali or Alabaster Mosque. It domniates the old town, which is charcterized by palaces, mosques and mausoleums. People are eagerly hammering, sewing, knitting and bargaining in the countless stores situated in its alleys.
Frankincense and perfume clouds tickle the nose, while deliciously smelling mint tea entices the visitors to stay at Khan el-Khalili.more
It was built as the little temple of Amun south of the Karnak sanctuary parallel to the Nile. It was... considered to be the "southern harem of Amun" or a Mamisi - birth house -, where the birth of the divine child was celebrated. In front of the temple entrance, to which a 3 km long alley of aries sphinxes led, sits enthroned a huge figure of Ramses II, an obelisk towers the Pylon. A hideout of statues was found in the second yard during constructions. They are considered to be the most beautiful works of Old Egypt.
Once priests, the entire court, military, dancers and musicians went on a tremendous procession with the divine images, from Karnak to the temples of Luxor. This parade is depicted lively on the walls of the long halls towered by mighty bundles of papyrus pillars. They seem to come to life in the evening lighting.more
Sharm el-Sheikh, short Sharm, is a holiday resort on the southern tip of the Sinai. With its own international... airport, this is the touristic center of the peninsula. By now, hotel facilities crossing several bays reach from Old Sharm over Na'ama Bay to the nature reserve of Nabq in the east. The oldest nature reserve is located at Ras Mohammed at the southern tip of the Sinai. The attractions of Sharm are underwater - fascinating coral reefs and a variety of colorful fish draw in snorkelers and divers. Ship wrecks can be seen at the Straits of Tiran on special diving trips or at the entrance to the Gulf of Suez. Sharm offers a variety of activities - beach parties, cool clubs and discos offer a splendid night-time activity.more