The Nile Valley

Fayoum

Fayoum is not a true oasis since it depends on Nile water, not underground springs or wells:

The ancient Bahr Yussef canal runs through the centre of the city and irrigates the land. The name Fayoum originates from the hieroglyphic word Bayoum, which meant “the Sea” a reference to the large inland lake, Karoun Only two hours from Cairo by road, Fayoum is renowned for its year-round warm climate, numerous water wheels (introduced by the ptolemies in the 3rd century) and lush an agricultural land. Cotton, clover, tomatoes, medicinal plants and fruit are all grown here. The local souk in Fayoum City sells copperware, spices and gold jewellery and there is a special pottery market once a week. Opposite the souk is the Hanging Mosque, built above five arches and nearby is the 15h-century Mosque of Kwaw and Asla-Bey built by Sultan Qaitbey.

Fayoum has been traditional hunting ground since pharaonic times when Crocodilopolis, centre of the cult of Sobek, was the capita of the region. There are many pharaonic sites in the area; for example, a red granite obelisk of Senuseret I and the pyramid of Senuseret II at Lahun, the pyramid of Amenemhat III at Hawara, and the remains of the ancient city of Karanis, shere you can camp and visit the site museum.

Birdlife still abounds around Lake Qaroun, bordered by semi-nomadic Bedouin settlements and fishing villages. Here, on the edge of the desert, you can sail, windsurf, swim and fish. Other places of outstanding natural beauty near Fayoum are the hot springs at Ain al-Siliyin, where you can bathe, and the waterfalls at Wadi al-Tayan, 40km towards Bahariyya, also suitable for swimming and picnics

 

 

In the period of the 12th dynasty, when the capital was transferred to El-Lish, oasis Fayoum became the garden of the Egypt. The pharaohs came here to hunt and fish on the share of Lake Qarun.

 

Menya

It houses several important archaeological sites left by the Ancient Egyptians, which reflect knowledge of science, refined tastes, deep perception and artistic abilities

Beni Hassan

 

Set on the right banks of the Nile, the necropolis of Beni Hassan is one of the most important in Egypt: the tombs are all excavated in the rock, with the walls decorated in horizontal bands. Many have the façade embellished with columns carved directly in the rock.

 

Tell el-Amarna

 

Akhetaten, now Tell el-Amarna, was the ephemeral capital of Egypt during to the reign of the “heretic” pharaoh Amenophis IV – Akhenaten. Nothing remains today of what was once the splendid city of the schismatic king, a city which disappeared with the death of its creator.

 

El-Ashmoneyeen
It lies on the Western Bank of the Nile, about 8 km away from Malawi with renounce of ancient Pharaonic Temples dating back to the 2nd Dynasty and with gigantic granite Pillars.

Tona-El-Jabal
It lies about 7 km away from El-Ashmoneyeen on the Western Bank of the Nile with Tombs of Greek origin.

 

 

 

 

Sohag City

 

Abydos

 

Was the seat of the principal sanctuary of the Osiris: it was here that the head of the god, the most important relic, was preserved and this is why all Egyptians had to go to Abydos in pilgrimage at least once in their lives. The temple of Seti I was erected in the pilgrimage of the pharaoh to Abydos and was so famous that in Greek times. Strabo still raised its ”marvelous construction”, above all for the elegance freshness of the colors of the reliefs on the walls.

 

Dendera

 

Dendera, the Greek name of the city of Tentrya, has given us the sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Hathor almost intact. The birth mysteries were celebrated here, and since Hathor also protected the dance and music, every year a popular “intoxication” festival was celebrated here

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