Travel Guide to Egypt – temples and tombs

Architecture in Egypt

Egyptian architecture is one of the most famous across the world, its structure and style are replicated from its temples to those pyramids. With sand-covered tombs, austere pyramids and towering Pharaonic temples, Egypt brings out the explorer in all of us.

At the heart of historic and modern Egypt, souks. The catacombs like alleys weave in and out showcasing a range of delights all set up in a flat-pack style.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is one of the most influential civilizations throughout history, which developed a vast array of diverse structures and great architectural monuments along the Nile, using brick and stone. From tombs to temples, from palaces to fortresses, everything was derived from these two materials.

What to See in Egypt

The most well known example of ancient Egyptian architecture are the Egyptian pyramids; yet, excavated temples, palaces, tombs and fortresses have all been studied by architects. Due to location, most ancient Egyptian buildings were built of mud brick and limestone—readily available materials—by slaves. Monumental buildings were built via the post and lintel method of construction, and many buildings were aligned astronomically. Columns were typically adorned with decorated capitals which were made to resemble plants important to Egyptian civilization, such as the papyrus plant.

Mt Sinai – a place of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Down below the mountain sits St Katherine’s Monastery. Its sturdy byzantine fortifications built over the spot where Moses is believed to witness the burning bush.

Cities to Visit

Alexandria

Alexandria was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, founded by Alexander the Great. However, due to the uneven preservation and excavation of its monuments, it is also one of the most untouched. Egypt’s largest seaport was once a glorious cosmopolitan city, but now, a shadow of what it once was due to nationalism in the 1950s.

In Alexandria, the Greek ruins and the site for the first library in the world or simply trek into the desert to find the traces of Roman trading outposts.

Cairo

Cairo, a congested city of millions of people crushing the city’s infrastructure under their weight and lifting its spirit up with their charm and humour. This sprawling capital, set on the Nile in the heart of Egypt, hence Egyptians call it Umm ad-Dunya – the Mother of the World. Within one taxi ride, you can pass stupendous mosques, grand avenues, and 19th-century palaces, with a far-away view of the pyramids of Giza.

In Cairo, the glittering finds in the Egyptian Museum and the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, towering the urban sprawl of Cairo and the desert plains beyond. Most of the gems of Islamic Egypt are in Cairo, from the 8th century to the late Ottoman.

Luxor

Luxor, meaning “Palaces”, is an archaeologists dream. With its vast temples, ancient royal tombs, set in a spectacular desert with the flowing river set beside it, it really does look like something out a storybook. Across the Nile, lies one of the world’s richest archaeological sites, deep in the surrounding hills. Away from the mortuary temples on the floodplain lies the tombs.

In Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and the waterside temple, where Tutankhamun’s tomb was unearthed. It also holds the greatest concentration of ancient Egyptian monuments anywhere in Egypt. Columned halls of the great temples on the east bank of the Nile such as Ramesseum, or climbing down the tombs of pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings.

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2 thoughts on “Travel Guide to Egypt – temples and tombs

  1. I would love to check out Luxor and see all of the rich ancient Egyptian sites there. I didn’t know that this place contains the greatest concentration of Egyptian monuments in all of Egypt! Which monuments are most remarkable to you in Luxor? Cairo and Luxor would be lovely places to visit soon. Thank you for this enlightening post!

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    1. At the moment Luxor is rather cheap as well compared to Cairo and has just as many momuments. In Luxor, I would recommend the Karnak Temple as this is the largest open air museum in the world.

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