Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses II at Mit Rahina
Remains of a circular Roman tower at the Babylon Fortress (late 3rd century) in Old Cairo
Memphis and its necropolis Saqqara as seen from the International Space Station
Excavated ruins of Fustat (2004 photo)
Ritualistic object depicting the god Nefertem, who was mainly worshipped in Memphis, The Walters Art Museum
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, built by Ahmad Ibn Tulun in 876–879 AD
Rameses II flanked by Ptah and Sekhmet
A plan of Cairo before 1200 AD, as reconstructed by Stanley Lane-Poole (1906), showing the location of Fatimid structures, Saladin's Citadel, and earlier sites (Fustat not shown)
Sculpture from the Middle Kingdom restored in the name of Rameses II
The Cairo Citadel, seen above in the late 19th century, was begun by Saladin in 1176
Relief representing the High Priest of Ptah, Shoshenq
Mausoleum-Madrasa-Hospital complex of Sultan Qalawun, built in 1284–1285 in the center of Cairo, over the remains of a Fatimid palace
Ruins of the palace of Apries, in Memphis
Funerary complex of Sultan Qaytbay, built in 1470–1474 in the Northern Cemetery (seen in lithograph from 1848)
Alexander at the Temple of Apis in Memphis, by Andre Castaigne (1898–1899)
Map of Cairo in 1809, from the Description de l'Égypte.
Artist's depiction of the western forecourt of the Great Temple of Ptah at Memphis
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933). On the Way between Old and New Cairo, Citadel Mosque of Mohammed Ali, and Tombs of the Mamelukes, 1872. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum
Column depicting Merenptah making an offering to Ptah
Qasr El Nil Bridge
The ruins of the temple of Hathor of Memphis
Aerial view 1904 from a balloon where the Egyptian Museum appears to the right side.
A statue of the sacred bull, Apis, found at the Serapeum of Saqqara.
A panoramic view of Cairo, 1950s
Ankhefenmut kneels before the royal cartouche of Siamun, on a lintel from the Temple of Amun in Memphis
Everyday life in Cairo, 1950s
The colossus of Rameses II in the open-air museum
A protester holding an Egyptian flag during the protests that started on 25 January 2011.
The famed stepped Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, the Memphis necropolis
The river Nile flows through Cairo, here contrasting ancient customs of daily life with the modern city of today.
The ruins of the palace of Apries, overlooking Memphis
Aerial view looking south, with the Zamalek and Gezira districts on Gezira Island, surrounded by the Nile
James Rennell's map of Memphis and Cairo in 1799, showing the changes in the course of the Nile river
Cairo seen from Spot Satellite
Statue of Rameses II, uncovered in Memphis by Joseph Hekekyan
Cairo weather observations by French savants
Museum worker in the process of cleaning the Rameses II colossus
View of the 6th October Bridge and the Cairo skyline.
Depiction of Ptah found on the walls of the Temple of Hathor
Cairo University is the largest university in Egypt, and is located in Giza.
The alabaster sphinx found outside the Temple of Ptah
Library building at the new campus of the American University of Cairo in New Cairo
Statue of Rameses II in the open-air museum
The interior of Ramses Station
Closeup of the sphinx outside the Temple of Ptah
The Autostrade in Nasr City
Colossus of Rameses II
Cairo International Stadium with 75,100 seats
Cairo Opera House, at the National Cultural Center, Zamalek district.
Khedivial Opera House, 1869.
Solomon Schechter studying documents from the Cairo Geniza, c. 1895.
Statue of Talaat Pasha Harb, the father of the modern Egyptian economy, in Downtown Cairo
The NBE towers as viewed from the Nile
View of Tahrir Square (in 2008)
Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum, located at Tahrir Square
Cairo Tower at night
The Hanging Church in Old Cairo
Al-Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo
Al-Azhar Mosque, view of Fatimid-era courtyard and Mamluk minarets
Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan and the al-Rifa'i Mosque, seen from the Citadel
The Citadel of Cairo, with the Mosque of Muhammad Ali
A medieval gateway in Khan al-Khalili
Smog in Cairo
Traffic in Cairo
View of the Nile and the Cairo skyline.
6th October Bridge in Cairo
Cairo International Stadium with 75,100 seats
View of Tahrir Square (in 2020)
Smog in Cairo
Traffic in Cairo

Cairo is associated with ancient Egypt, as the Giza pyramid complex and the ancient cities of Memphis and Heliopolis are located in its geographical area.

- Cairo

The city of Memphis is 20 km south of Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile.

- Memphis, Egypt

10 related topics

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Egypt

Transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

Transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

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Temple of Derr ruins in 1960
The Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
Egyptian soldier of the Achaemenid army, c. 480 BCE. Xerxes I tomb relief.
The Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera
The Amr ibn al-As mosque in Cairo, recognized as the oldest in Africa
The Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, of Ahmad Ibn Tulun
The Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth caliph, as renovated by Dawoodi Bohra
Napoleon defeated the Mamluk troops in the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, painted by Lejeune.
Egypt under Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali was the founder of the Muhammad Ali dynasty and the first Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.
The battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War
Female nationalists demonstrating in Cairo, 1919
Fuad I of Egypt with Edward, Prince of Wales, 1932
British infantry near El Alamein, 17 July 1942
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in Mansoura, 1960
Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Egypt, 5 November 1956.
Egyptian tanks advancing in the Sinai desert during the Yom Kippur War, 1973
Celebrating the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat
Cairo grew into a metropolitan area with a population of over 20 million.
Women in Cairo wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt in March 2020.
Egypt's topography
The Qattara Depression in Egypt's north west
The Eastern Imperial Eagle is the national animal of Egypt.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the current President of Egypt.
Egyptian honor guard soldiers during a visit of U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
President el-Sisi with US President Donald Trump, 21 May 2017
The High Court of Justice in Downtown Cairo
Protesters from the Third Square movement, which supported neither the former Morsi government nor the Armed Forces, 31 July 2013
Prominent Egyptian dissident Alaa Abd El-Fattah was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in December 2021.
1. Matrouh
2. Alexandria
3. Beheira
4. Kafr El Sheikh
5. Dakahlia
6. Damietta
7. Port Said
8. North Sinai
9. Gharbia
10. Monufia
11. Qalyubia
12. Sharqia
13. Ismailia
14. Giza
15. Faiyum
16. Cairo
17. Suez
18. South Sinai
19. Beni Suef
20. Minya
21. New Valley
22. Asyut
23. Red Sea
24. Sohag
25. Qena
26. Luxor
27. Aswan
Change in per capita GDP of Egypt, 1820–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.
Smart Village, a business district established in 2001 to facilitate the growth of high-tech businesses
The Suez Canal
Tourists riding an Arabian camel in front of Pyramid of Khafre. The Giza Necropolis is one of Egypt's main tourist attractions.
An offshore platform in the Darfeel Gas Field
The Cairo Metro (line 2)
The Suez Canal Bridge
Green irrigated land along the Nile amidst the desert and in the delta
Egypt's population density (people per km2)
St. Mark Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria
Cairo University
Egyptian literacy rate among the population aged 15 years and older by UNESCO Institute of Statistics
Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt
Al-Azhar Park is listed as one of the world's sixty great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces.
The "weighing of the heart" scene from the Book of the Dead
Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature
Salah Zulfikar, film star
Soad Hosny, film star
Tanoura dancers performing in Wekalet El Ghoury, Cairo
The Egyptian Museum of Cairo
Tutankhamun's burial mask is one of the major attractions of the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.
Kushari, one of Egypt's national dishes
A crowd at Cairo Stadium watching the Egypt national football team

Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt, while Alexandria, the second-largest city, is an important industrial and tourist hub at the Mediterranean coast.

Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest.

Nile

Major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa.

Major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa.

The Nile's drainage basin
Spring at Lake Victoria
White Nile in Uganda
Nile Delta from space
The Blue Nile Falls fed by Lake Tana near the city of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Annotated view of the Nile and Red Sea, with a dust storm
Map of Nile tributaries in modern Sudan, showing the Yellow Nile
Reconstruction of the Oikoumene (inhabited world), an ancient map based on Herodotus' description of the world, circa 450 BC
An aerial view of irrigation from the Nile River supporting agriculture in Luxor, Egypt
A felucca traversing the Nile near Aswan
John Hanning Speke c. 1863. Speke was the Victorian explorer who first reached Lake Victoria in 1858, returning to establish it as the source of the Nile by 1862.
A map of the Nile c. 1911, a time when its entire primary course ran through British occupations, condominiums, colonies, and protectorates
The confluence of the Kagera and Ruvubu rivers near Rusumo Falls, part of the Nile's upper reaches
Dhows on the Nile
The Nile passes through Cairo, Egypt's capital city.
Hydropower dams in the Nile (plus huge dam under construction in Ethiopia)
View of the Qasr El Nil Bridge in Cairo, with Gezira Island in the background
El Mek Nimr Bridge in Khartoum
Henry Morton Stanley in 1872. Stanley circumnavigated the lake and confirmed Speke's observations in 1875.
Composite satellite image of the White Nile
Village on the Nile, 1891
Riverboat on the Nile, Egypt 1900
Marsh along the Nile
A river boat crossing the Nile in Uganda
Murchison Falls in Uganda, between Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga
The Nile in Luxor
The Nile at Dendera, as seen from the SPOT satellite
The Nile flows through Cairo, here contrasting ancient customs of daily life with the modern city of today.
Nile in Cairo

The northern section of the river flows north almost entirely through the Sudanese desert to Egypt, where Cairo is located on its large delta, and the river flows into the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria.

'the mouths of the front parts'), which referred specifically to the branches of the Nile transversing the Delta, and would have been pronounced ni-lo-he in the area around Memphis in the 8th century BCE.

Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC

Alexandria

Mediterranean port city in Egypt.

Mediterranean port city in Egypt.

Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC
Alexander the Great
The Lighthouse of Alexandria on coins minted in Alexandria in the second century (1: reverse of a coin of Antoninus Pius, and 2: reverse of a coin of Commodus).
Alexandria in the late 18th century, by Luigi Mayer
Entry of General Bonaparte into Alexandria, oil on canvas, 365 x,, Versailles
The Battle of Abukir, by Antoine-Jean Gros 1806
Alexandria: bombardment by British naval forces
Map of the city in the 1780s, by Louis-François Cassas.
Macedonian Army, shown on the Alexander Sarcophagus.
Engraving by L. F. Cassas of the Canopic Street in Alexandria, Egypt made in 1784.
Satellite image of Alexandria and other cities show its surrounding coastal plain
Lake Mariout
Egypt – Obelisk, Alexandria. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection.
Roman Amphitheater
Roman Pompey's Pillar
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
Side view of The Temple of Taposiris Magna.
Citadel of Qaitbay
Jewish girls during Bat Mitzva in Alexandria
Collège Saint Marc
Lycée Français d'Alexandrie
Borg El Arab International Airport
Alexandria port
Misr Railway Station
An Alexandria tram
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria Stadium
The Italian consulate in Saad Zaghloul Square
Shalalat Gardens
Montaza Garden
Alexandria Art Centre
Alexandria Opera House
Fawzia Fahmy Palace
Alexander the Great's statue
Monument of the Unknown Navy Soldier
Montaza Palace
Al Qa'ed Ibrahim Mosque

Founded in c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great, Alexandria grew rapidly and became a major centre of Hellenic civilisation, eventually replacing Memphis, in present-day Greater Cairo, as Egypt's capital.

The city extends about 40 km along the northern coast of Egypt, and is the largest city on the Mediterranean, the second-largest in Egypt (after Cairo), the fourth-largest city in the Arab world, the ninth-largest city in Africa, the ninth-largest urban area in Africa, and the 79th-largest urban area by population on Earth.

Giza

The Giza pyramid complex
Giza and the bridge from Roda Island in c.1800 Description de l'Égypte
Sunset in Giza.
The Cairo Metro (line 2)
Grass farm near the Nile.
Cairo University

Giza (sometimes spelled Gizah, Gizeh or Jizah; الجيزة al-Jīzah, ) is the second-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and fourth-largest city in Africa after Kinshasa, Lagos and Cairo.

Giza lies less than 30 km north of Memphis (Men-nefer), which was the capital city of the first unified Egyptian state from the days of the first pharaoh, Narmer.

The three main pyramids at Giza, together with subsidiary pyramids and the remains of other structures

Giza pyramid complex

Site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

The three main pyramids at Giza, together with subsidiary pyramids and the remains of other structures
Giza pyramid complex (map)
Aerial view from north of cultivated Nile valley with the pyramids in the background
Pyramids of Ghizeh. 1893. Egypt; heliogravure after original views. Wilbour Library of Egyptology. Brooklyn Museum
The Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx of Giza in 1914 (Autochrome Lumière).
The complex in 1955
The Great Sphinx partially excavated, photo taken between 1867 and 1899
The Giza pyramid complex at night
One face of the Pyramid of Khafre in Giza, as seen from Khafre's valley temple
Giza pyramid complex seen from above
The Dream Stele between the Sphinx's front legs

The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 km west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 km southwest of the city centre of Cairo.

Along with nearby Memphis, the site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

Coptic diaspora

Copts

Copts ( niremənkhēmi; الْقِبْط al-qibṭ) are a Christian ethnoreligious group indigenous to North Africa who have primarily inhabited the area of modern Egypt and Sudan since antiquity.

Copts ( niremənkhēmi; الْقِبْط al-qibṭ) are a Christian ethnoreligious group indigenous to North Africa who have primarily inhabited the area of modern Egypt and Sudan since antiquity.

Coptic diaspora
Coptic icon of St. Mark
The Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo.
President Nasser welcomes a delegation of Coptic bishops (1965)
Egyptian Coptic monks at the American Colony, Jerusalem, between 1898 and 1914.
Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Khartoum.
St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Bellaire, Texas (Greater Houston). There are about 1–2 million Egyptian born Copts living outside of Egypt, and are known as the Coptic diaspora.
Coptic and Arabic inscriptions in an Old Cairo church.
Coptic Orthodox Cross with traditional Coptic script reading: 'Jesus Christ, the Son of God'
Halim El-Dabh at a Cleveland festival in 2009.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali

This Mycenaean form is likely from Middle Egyptian ḥwt kꜣ ptḥ (reconstructed pronunciation /ħawitˌkuʀpiˈtaħ/ → /ħajiʔˌkuʀpiˈtaħ/ → /ħəjˌkuʔpəˈtaħ/, Egyptological pronunciation Hut-ka-Ptah), literally "estate/palace of the kꜣ ("double" spirit) of Ptah" (compare Akkadian āluḫi-ku-up-ta-aḫ), the name of the temple complex of the god Ptah at Memphis (and a synecdoche for the city of Memphis and the region around it).

His name was selected from a glass bowl containing the three shortlisted candidates by a blindfolded boy at a ceremony in Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral.

Fustat

The first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule, and the historical centre of modern Cairo.

The first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule, and the historical centre of modern Cairo.

The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As. Though none of the original structure remains, this mosque was the first one built in Egypt, and it was around this location, at the site of the tent of the commander Amr ibn al-As, that the city of Fustat was built.
Lustreware Plate with Bird Motif, 11th century. Archaeological digs have found many kilns and ceramic fragments in Fustat, and it was likely an important production location for Islamic ceramics during the Fatimid period.
The ruins of Fustat in Old Cairo
Indian textile fragment, circa 1545 – 1645, found in Fustat. Old, discarded textile fragments are commonly found in the area, preserved in the dry climate of Egypt.

The remains of the city were eventually absorbed by nearby Cairo, which had been built to the north of Fustat in 969 when the Fatimids conquered the region and created a new city as a royal enclosure for the Caliph.

For thousands of years, the capital of Egypt was moved with different cultures through multiple locations up and down the Nile, such as Thebes and Memphis, depending on which dynasty was in power.

Deshret, the Red Crown of Lower Egypt

Lower Egypt

Deshret, the Red Crown of Lower Egypt
Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes

Lower Egypt (مصر السفلى ; ) is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur.

The capital of Lower Egypt was Memphis.

Statue of Ramesses II, the ‘Younger Memnon’. From the Ramesseum, Thebes, Egypt, 19th Dynasty, about 1250 BC. British Museum, London.

Ramesses II

The third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

The third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

Statue of Ramesses II, the ‘Younger Memnon’. From the Ramesseum, Thebes, Egypt, 19th Dynasty, about 1250 BC. British Museum, London.
Ramesses II as a child (Cairo Museum)
African prisoners in the temple Abu Simbel
A relief of Ramses II from Memphis showing him capturing enemies: a Nubian, a Libyan and a Syrian, circa 1250 BC. Cairo Museum.
Color reproduction of the relief depicting Ramesses II storming the Hittite fortress of Dapur
West Asiatic prisoners of Ramses II at Abu Simbel.
Tablet of treaty between Ḫattušili III of Hatti and Ramesses II of Egypt, at the İstanbul Archaeology Museums
Kolosstatue Ramses II Memphis
Part of Gerf Hussein temple, originally in Nubia
Image: 800 pixels
Ramesses II with Amun and Mut, Museo Egizio, Turin, Italy
Colossal Statue of Ramses II in the first peristyle court at Luxor
The Younger Memnon: part of colossal statue of Ramesses from Ramesseum, now in British Museum
Scattered remains displayed in front of Osirid statues
Facade of the Great Temple at Abu Simbel
Mummy of Ramesses II, now in Cairo Museum
The mummy of Ramesses the Great
Tomb wall depicting Nefertari

The colossal statue of Ramesses II dates back 3,200 years, and was originally discovered in six pieces in a temple near Memphis.

His mummy was eventually discovered in TT320 inside an ordinary wooden coffin and is now in Cairo's National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (until 3 April 2021 it was in the Egyptian Museum).

Al-Masalla obelisk, the largest surviving monument from Heliopolis

Heliopolis (ancient Egypt)

Major city of ancient Egypt.

Major city of ancient Egypt.

Al-Masalla obelisk, the largest surviving monument from Heliopolis
Map of ancient Lower Egypt showing Heliopolis
Model of a Votive Temple Gateway at Heliopolis, Dynasty XIX
Battle of Heliopolis during Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1800

It is now located in Ayn Shams, a northeastern suburb of Cairo.

Alexander the Great, on his march from Pelusium to Memphis, halted at this city.