While everyone is rejoicing at the long-awaited news about the return of charters to the Red Sea resorts, we have compiled a small list of what you can and should see in Egypt right now. And these are not pyramids 🙂
500-year-old Kite Bay fortress
The main attraction of Alexandria, the fortress of Kite Bay, is famous primarily for its location: it is built on the foundation of one of the seven wonders of the world – the Pharos lighthouse. Yes, yes, the same lighthouse that they talk about in the 5th grade in history lessons. The lighthouse was destroyed as a result of a series of earthquakes and a hundred years later a powerful citadel was built in its place to protect against the Ottomans.
For 500 years, the fort has experienced a lot: the Ottoman Turks, Napoleon, the bombing of the British army. Since the 80s of the last century, the completely restored fortress has housed the Maritime Museum with exhibits from the time of the Roman Empire.
Kite Bay looks chic, like an adventure movie set. It's better to come here with organized tour – there are no audio guides or excursions on site. The entrance ticket costs 25 Egyptian pounds (about 120 rubles). The fortress is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm.
Restored Library of Alexandria
Many people remember the Library of Alexandria from school: the main scientific center of antiquity, the largest repository of knowledge, almost half a million papyrus scrolls. It was burned by Julius Caesar, after which it became a symbol of ancient science for many centuries.
At the end of the 20th century, the Egyptians thought about its revival. They attracted UNESCO and in 2002 opened a new library of Alexandria. Now it is a modern cultural center, which includes 4 small museums, an art gallery, a planetarium and even the International School of Information Sciences, which trains librarians for the entire Middle East. With books, too, everything is in order: the library fund has 8 million copies. & nbsp;
The modern library in Alexandria is an architectural monument, the pride of the Egyptians and one of the main attractions of the city. Symbolic fact: during the revolution in 2011, the Alexandrians surrounded her with a human chain to prevent marauders from setting fire to the building.
The library is located in the heart of the tourist part of the city, not far from the Kite Bay fortress. The entrance ticket costs 70 Egyptian pounds (about 350 rubles), museums are paid separately. Inside you can take an audio guide or a full tour. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed into the reading room, from the age of 7 they are allowed to enter library museums.
In the west of Alexandria, in the Karmuz region, there is another attraction of ancient Egypt – the Greco-Roman catacombs of Kom-El-Shuqafa. They were discovered by chance at the beginning of the last century, and were opened to the public quite recently, in 1995.
This is an ancient necropolis, the “city of the dead”, where members of noble families were buried. The name Kom-El-Shuqafa is translated as “a hill of fragments” because of the large number of shards of pottery that relatives of the dead brought to the graves. The catacombs are well preserved: burial halls, columns, corridors, a room for funeral rites, stone sarcophagi, bas-reliefs on the walls – everything is in good condition. & nbsp;
Organized tours lead here, but you can see everything on your own for 80 Egyptian pounds (about 400 rubles).
Cairo Egyptian Museum
The tourist gem of Cairo, the world's largest repository of ancient Egyptian art, is located on Tahrir Square, in the very center of the city. Inspection of the Cairo Museum is included in most author's tours of Egypt. The burial mask of Tutankhamen, the decorations and clothes of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, the 10-meter statue of Ramses II, hundreds of mummies and another 160 thousand exhibits from all periods of ancient Egypt are stored here.
The Cairo Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world. Tourists are brought here by bus, so it is better to plan a visit in the morning or evening hours. Just like with other great museums, like the Hermitage or the Louvre, it will take several years to fully explore it. Therefore, we recommend that you draw up a plan of exhibits that you would like to see first of all, and download an audio guide in advance (there are none in the museum itself) or take a group tour.
A ticket to the Cairo Museum costs 200 Egyptian pounds (about 1000 rubles), the same is the price of permission to take pictures.
Mohammed Ali Mosque
The main attraction of the Egyptian capital, the largest mosque in Cairo, can be seen from anywhere in the city. It is located on the highest place inside the citadel, something like our Red Square. The mosque is named after its founder, the Egyptian ruler of the 19th century, Muhammad Ali, who was originally an Ottoman governor, and became one of the main people in the history of modern Egypt.
The mosque is notable for its size and style: it combines the features of the Constantinopolitan mosques of the Istanbul architectural school and Egyptian temple buildings. Inside there is a huge prayer hall, galleries with columns, a fountain with a domed roof and a tower with a non-working clock, which was presented to Muhammad Ali by the French king Louis Philippe.
The mosque is active, so do not forget to take off your shoes at the entrance (for 5 pounds you can buy shoe covers). Open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, until 6 pm on weekends. The entrance ticket costs 100 Egyptian pounds (about 500 rubles).