Cairo is a world city that filled the soul, heart, and mind of every traveler with the warmth of thousand suns, filled with heavenly ancient wonders, modern attractions, remarkable culture, and the chance to witness the essence of beauty, class, and true magic. The purpose of this article is to offer every traveler all the information and details about the legendary city of Cairo. This article was written by a team of very skilled and knowledgeable tour operators, tour guides, and travel consultants.
Cairo city has acted as an infinite time capsule, a guardian, and a center for culture, art, and beauty for thousands of years. It is quite famous for being the capital of Egypt, and the largest metropolitan area in Africa, The Middle East, the Arab world, and the 15th largest city in the world. Cairo (Al Qahirah) means “The Vanquisher” in Arabic and it is one of the few cities in the world that was able to stand the test of time Cairo occupies an area of about 528 square kilometers in northern Egypt, 120 km (75 mi) west of Gulf of Suez & Suez Canal, 165 km (100 mi) south of the Mediterranean Sea, and lies on both banks of the Nile River near the Nile delta.
Cairo has always been associated with the ancient city of Memphis which history goes back 5,000 years. Memphis is 24 km southwest of Cairo, very close is the Giza pyramid complex that holds the only remaining one out of the world’s ancient seven wonders the Great pyramid of Khufu. The early traces of Egypt can be traced to the Romans 2000 years back when they took over Egypt and constructed a fortress called Babylon which was the center of the orthodox community during the Coptic era in the late 4th century. The true history of the city started in 641 BC when Amr ibn Al-as conquered Egypt and constructed the new Islamic capital of Egypt Al-Fustat north from the ancient fortress of Babylon. From this point on, a series of spectacular immortal constructions took place in the city like the mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulane in 878 BC.
In 970, during the rule of the Fatimid dynasty, a general by the name of Jawhar established a new city called Al Qahirah (Cairo) northeast of the current settlements and in that dynasty which became the official capital of Egypt along with the magical Khan el Khalili Bazaar after the destruction of the city of Fustat by flames in 1168 during a battle against the crusaders. During the 11th century, Egypt became under the rule of Salah El-din who transformed the city into an imperial metropolis and constructed the powerful Cairo citadel. In 1340, Cairo officially became the biggest city in Africa, Asia Minor, and Europe plus a center of the Spice trade. Al-Azhar university became the center of Islamic studies which were constructed to be one of Cairo’s greatest architectural masterpieces at the hands of the Mamluk dynasty.
In the modern era at the beginning of the 19th century, a man by the name of Muhammed Ali sought to regain Egypt’s beauty to its former glory, so He constructed the Mohamed Ali Mosque which is one of Cairo’s most enchanting moments. The descents of Mohammed Ali continued his great work as his grandson Isam’il Pasha (1863-1879) build many maidens, avenues, and a modern area called downtown Cairo which was influenced by Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. From the 1950s till now, many developments took place as new cities, museums, massive art galleries, and projects are still constructed every single. Plus many developments are being done to prepare for the expanding population and provide the necessary transportation and infrastructural services everyone in Cairo will need in the current present, and future.
Throughout history, there was always a capital for Egypt but the city of Cairo we know today was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty where it became the heart of the region’s political and cultural life. The city became known as "The City of A Thousand Minarets" due to the numerous mosques, castles, and churches located within the city, along with the world’s second-oldest institution of higher learning Al-Azhar University and the home of the headquarters of the Arab League.
In the heart of Cairo exists the sound the freedom of the Tahrir square and the house of magic the Egyptian Museum that holds many artifacts and monuments dating back to the 26th dynasty. The city is the headquarters of the government and the core of all sectors of financial and political control. Also, it holds the biggest mass media center and production of film & music in the Middle East, many culture centers, museums like the Grand Egyptian Museum, artistic institutes, sports clubs, and universities.
Its climate is quite different as it has 8 months of summer and 4 months of winter, that’s why from November to April is the best time to check it out. The city is home to 9 million residents who provide a super busy environment all across the city.
Cairo's historic center was awarded World Heritage Site in 1979. The city of Cairo has a population of over 9 million spread over 453 km2 (175 sq mi) and it is by far the largest city in Egypt. Cairo is a city found in Egypt part of the African continent in the shape of a fan, narrowest in the south, where the river valley is found flowing between desert escarpments, and widest in the north, where the valley blends into the delta. Across history, Cairo expanded westward, as a receding river channel left land flood-free.
Cairo has been stretched to the north and south and has developed an expanding annex on the Nile’s western shore. The population of Cairo is known both ethnically and religiously diverse who predominantly Muslim. A significant number of Egyptian Christians are the majority of whom observe the Coptic Orthodox faith. Cairo is a true cultural capital of the Middle East and a major center for mass media. Cairo still remains the region’s major religious and cultural institution.
The city is most famous for containing the famous Giza Pyramids Complex that holds one of the Seven Wonders of the World the Great Pyramid of King Khufu, the world’s oldest and biggest statue the Sphinx and the house of mummification the Valley temple. The city’s location has witnessed many important events as 24 km from Cairo lies the ancient capital of Egypt "Memphis" during the new kingdom (2686-2181 BC).
Within the city of Cairo 2000 years ago used to lay the fortress of Babylon which later became the center of the Orthodox community in the late 4th century AD and many churches were built around it on the route which the holy family took through Cairo like the infamous Hanging church, St George Church, Abu Serga Church, and many more; Read more about the best attractions in Cairo.
The city became known as the city of minarets due to the preponderance of Islamic architecture and the massive number of Islamic attractions such as the largest Islamic center and second oldest university in the world Al-Azher University, Ibn Tulan Mosque, Amr Ibn Alas Mosque, Hassan Mosque, the golden Khan El Khalili Bazaar, Muizz street, and many more majestic Islamic monuments.
Cairo is known among the locals as Umm al-Dunya — the mother of the world, the cradle of civilization, and merrymakers call it a city that never sleeps. The heavenly city of Cairo is one of the few cities that stood the test of time and was able to protect and expand the heritage and legacy of the ancient city of Cairo. There are countless ways of truly exploring the magic of the city through a series of activities like a nightly dinner cruise, exploring all the Pharaonic, Coptic, and Islamic monuments, shop at Khan El Khalili Bazaar, visit all the museums and cultural centers.
You can read more about the best things to do in Cairo. Cairo is filled with amazing tourist attractions, so if you are interested in witness greatness, you can check our Cairo day tours, and if you are not in Egypt and prefer to visit the Land of Pharaohs, you can check our Egypt tour packages and choose your favorite trip.
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