Egypt travel to cairo








Travel to Cairo


Travel to Cairo


Travel to Cairo

Like so many parts of Egypt, Cairo's appeal is a product of its history, its network of districts and communities the only remnants of a thousand years of being conquered and re-conquered by different groups. Cairo didn’t originate, as you might expect, with the pharaohs; they quartered themselves in nearby Memphis and Heliopolis, areas only currently overtaken by Cairo's outward urban spread.

The Pyramids at Giza, on the Nile’s west bank, mislead the eye in search of Cairo's beginnings because this has always been an east-bank city, even though it is one that moved west. It is only in the last 40 years that the city has changed faster than the river, leaping the banks and drawing in the endless new suburbs on the west bank.  


Cairo's history begins with a Roman trading outpost called Babylon—now known as Old or Coptic Cairo—at the start of an ancient canal that once connected the Nile to the Red Sea.

The Arab invaders of the 7th century can be credited to have founded the city we know today with their encampment at Fustat, just north of Old Cairo. Under their famous leader Amr Ibn al-As, the Arabs conquered a land that had already been settled by the Greeks, the Persians, and the Romans.

In the millennium that followed Amr's conquest, Cairo was ruled by the Fatimids (969-1171), the Mamluks (1250-1517), and the Ottomans (1517-1798), and then went under 150 years of French and British colonial administration until the revolution of 1952 finally gave power back to Egyptian hands.

What makes Cairo different is that each new ruler, rather than getting rid what he had conquered, chose to build a new city away from the old one.


Thus, from an aerial perspective above the Nile, you can follow the progression of the historic center of Cairo cutting a question-mark-shape avenue from Old Cairo in the south, curving north through Fustat, east to Islamic Cairo, and then west to the colonial Downtown district until you reach Maydan Tahrir (Liberation Square), where it has stopped for the moment.




But as the city continues to progress, the center might need to relocate again, perhaps to Maydan Sphinx, or Boulaq, or somewhere in Giza.

Travel Cairo

Cairo's towns have changed, since the time when they were founded, and with 10 million new residents having settled here since the revolution of 1952, many more new districts have grown around them. Still, each district maintains a distinct identity, not only in its buildings, but also with its residents and their way of life. Pre-Islamic Babylon is, even today, a largely Christian area, with more crosses visible than crescents. And the medieval precinct of Islamic Cairo remains the place where families still go during Ramadan to spend the night eating and smoking after a day of abstinence. Indeed, one of the charms of Cairo is that its historic areas are still alive, and vibrant and not open-air museums.


The past in Cairo is more a matter of perspective than a historical fact—and that, really, is the way in which the city is truly amazing.



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