Posted by: visitegypt | January 15, 2008


Cairo, in the shadow of the pyramids

Cairo, now the capital of Egypt, owes much to Memphis, the first capital of a unified country attended Upper and Lower Egypt. Launched at Saqqara the XXVIth century BC by the architect Imhotep, fashion Pyramid has been in the vicinity of Cairo one of the most visited places in the world.

Cairo is a bit like Karnak. The city is a happy shambles of architectural styles, periods and peoples. While it is challenging and gives the Egyptian capital this excitement, this dynamism is surprising captive and frightening all at once. But I had come for something specific.

Pyramids of GizehComment say. I was happy to finally find these pyramids, views and reviews, repeatedly described sung, photographed, peeled by a multitude of candles, scholars and scientists looking for a little help from pub failing reputation. They are there, finally, in front of me in the light of a late afternoon slightly hazy. I do not know if it was the fatigue of a morning arrival at Cairo airport, a night in Luxor appallingly short cluttered farewell to my companions cruise or the day spent in the noise and dust the Egyptian capital.


The pyramids are there in front of me and I do find incredibly small! Sitting on a stone, I turned a blind eye, reasoned the crazy mess that existed in my head, pushed my disappointment, calmly made the point. I repeated figures learned by heart: sphinks of ChéphrenChéops, 146 meters high at the origin (138 m at present), 230 meters later, 2.3 million blocks of stone around, the average weight of each block 2, 5 tonnes, all spread over 201 levels. Scientists from the expedition to Egypt have calculated that putting butt all blocks of the three pyramids could circle the France of a wall of three meters in height. Good. Here, it does not rain too therefore nothing can really narrow. Well, attention, I reopens eyes. Whew! It works. The again my beautiful, Cheops, Chéphren and Mykérinos, massive, but slender, proudly bearing this elegance, this nonchalance acquired over the centuries. In low against the pyramids of gizeh the Sphinks throne. At the foot of the Sphinx carved in the likeness of the Pharaoh Chéphren hiding the ruins of a temple dating from the third millennium BC and restored by Touthmosis IV.

Egyptian Museum Caire Un guard who goes through there simply advised me to visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. “There, I said it, you have all the riches of Egypt and much more.” The wealth of Egypt, the museum is full, even overflowing. The gold of Tutankhamun is there, of course, accompanied by his usual fan club. The mummies are legions, the countless statues, sarcophagi multiples. The head rotates so many wonders accumulated. Begun in 1858 by Auguste Mariette, enriched and enlarged by Gaston Maspero and his successors, the museum’s collection comprise almost half a million pieces. Only 120,000 are exposed! Then, as during my visits to the sites, I preferred to wander randomly corridors and showcases flee guides and walk too learned to love at first sight, the emotion. I left exhausted but happy. I will return tomorrow.

Coffee El FichaouiUn moment to finish the day I realize them in a coffee but not any: El Fichaoui coffee.
The carved wooden benches, upholstered, decorated chairs spread in the aisle of the souk tourists, obligatory hawkers, children smiling angel-carrying trays of bread rounds. Everyone does his market here sitting. The seller of leather made his demonstration of quality, it burns her scalp which does not damage itself. Shoe cleaning, street vendors offer crafts, necklaces, tissue paper, lighters… veritable spectacle decorated ice, the doors are carved wood, wrought iron seated wearing brass trays. A large wooden crocodile looks at you, glued to the ceiling, with huge glass lamps.
A tiny lag time before someone does approach: children, men, youth or Canadian Egypt. She has lived here for fifteen years. She went to Paris five years ago, coffee El Fichaouielle found the French very warm. It also accuses the people here very friendly too demonstrative, it can disturb foreigners. A European fills her book tour, she draws these unusual scenes. Hours parade. Everything happens. We could affection for a cat that begs your caresses, discussions with its neighbours, people photographed without knowing each other to the sound of conversations, laughter. You may be fortunate that young adolescent groups cairois connected sit. So noises, laughter, drum, good spirits jumping from one group to another. Eternellement… trendy coffee Fichaoui attracts the world. Lost in the souk to tourists, they remain for hours to recharge your batteries, alone or in groups, to smoke hookah.
Concentrate Cairo in which you sip guava juice or carcadet… seven shots ring without feeling the afternoon parade. But time does not count. Cairo the SouksNous are here, sitting in front of our embers hookah, marvelled at this stage filled with dissolute characters, tending our glass to receive this beverage sacred: “dayman” (your hospitality can be perpetuated). In response, “damit Hayaatik” (your life can be perpetuated). The tea, sweet liquid, color of honey, golden, bitter, sweet, hot, always served with manner and sensuality; served in small teapots red, decorated with tiny flowers.
Every evening at 18 pm, the lights are switched on, leaving room for an atmosphere of night full of laughter and good humour.

Cairo blogs

Posted by: visitegypt | January 15, 2008

Hurghada, the other main seaside resort on the Red Sea, lies on the other side of the Straits of Gubal. Discovered in 70 years, it has unfortunately been affected by its success, the promoters enjoying perhaps that holidaymakers had his head under water to do anything. Recently, building permits and town planning rules have fixed it. In large, and Ramada Giftun islands, reefs and their countless procession of wrecks delight experienced divers as much as beginners. Lovers of old stones in turn may visit the monastery Saint Anthony and Saint Paul, the oldest in Egypt. The more courageous to make the trip the day to visit Cairo or Luxor.

HurghadaFurther south, the port of El Quoseir was already used by the pharaohs. The city, which has kept its authenticity in the shadow of his fortress of the sixteenth century, annually attracts new vacationers in search of tranquillity. Some hotels are beginning to emerge from the sands. It is true that the place has an asset of choice. The reefs located near the shore, allow up to the water on the beach. A true happiness!

Hurghada Photos

Posted by: visitegypt | January 14, 2008

Les Tombes des Nobles

Passage to the world of the dead

On the west bank of the Nile, more than 400 graves, dating from the sixth dynasty to the Greco-Roman period, mingle with the villagers of Gurna. These tombs are composed of several rooms and galleries. They differ markedly from royal tombs by their architectural simplicity and frescoes with scenes from the everyday life of a very rare realism.

mong the hundreds of graves, some truly deserve the detour:

“Khonsu was a contemporary of Ramses II. In his gravesite (No. 31), richly colored, frescoes celebrating the gods Osiris and Anubis. We see it as giving flowers to Mentuhotep II when the latter died 800 years ago. Admire the stunning ceiling decorated with birds.
Even more colourful, the tomb of Benia (No. 51), child of the eighteenth royal dynasty, holds a statue of Ka, the spirit of the double.

“Not far from these tombs, the graves of Menna (No. 69), scribe responsible agricultural sub Tuthmosis IV, and Nakht (No. 52), astronomer of Amon, illustrate rural life in the eighteenth dynasty. Hunting in the marshes, spear fishing, banquet adorn the walls of the tomb of Nakht. Footage represent work in the fields with fun details like two young people chamaillant by pulling her hair. You can also admire the beauty of the woman Menna.

The tomb of Ouserhat (No. 56) is composed of an anti-room in which scenes are painted military in connection with its responsibilities under royal scribe Amenhotep II. In the second room, you can see scenes of hunting and fishing.
The tomb of Ramose (No. 55), governor of Thebes under Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, is unfinished. Scenes carved on slabs of limestone show episodes of the two kingdoms of the Pharaohs. The fineness of relief gives an impression of exceptional realism. These reliefs are among the most beautiful in Ancient Egypt.
At the bottom of the tomb of Khaemhat (No. 57), Inspector granaries and scribe at the Court of Amenhotep III, there are statues of Khaemhat and Imhotep, the royal scribe. And between the two, Tiyi, wife of Khaemhat.

“The Tomb of Sennefer (No. 96), prince Theban steward of the gardens and the Temple of Amon under Amenhotep II cache in its main hall ceiling decorated with beautiful grapes and vines that take root behind his wife. The walls and columns reveal shimmering Sennefer and his beautiful wife.
Rekhmirê, governor under Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II, hiding in his grave (No. 100) strange characters painted striped costumes. The governor receives offerings from foreign countries: leopards, giraffes, African elephants, bears and apes of Asia, vases of Crete.

Posted by: visitegypt | January 14, 2008

Video 1 part: Secret Of The Egypt Pyramids

Of all the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza is by far the most mysterious. It is so imposing, so perfect, you can see why many insist it could only be the work of mere mortals. It must be a creation of the gods, whatever, or foreigners.
Finally, it appears that the ancient riddle has been solved. There is a man who thinks he held everything said. He is ready to share his discovery with us. To take us to the very heart of the mystery, deep inside the Great Pyramid, where few have ever been

Posted by: visitegypt | January 10, 2008

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Is the first word that comes to mind when it comes to talk of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, which, in addition to being a library, is a true cultural complex.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The Ancient Library of Alexandria was born in the year 295 BC, and is established by King Ptolemy I, the successor of the legendary Alexander the great. It quickly becomes the “flagship” of Alexandria is filled greatest scholars and thinkers. It is also home to many books. But over the centuries, the library undergoes destruction (fires) to disappear completely in the fourth century AD.
In 1995, the Bibliotheca “reborn” in some way from its ashes. Then began the extensive construction work, following an international architectural competition, won by a group of Norwegian architects (Snohetta) … It is officially in 2002 that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated and opened to the public.

If only for its magnificent architecture, we must not fail to return within its walls. From the outside, there is a huge semi-circle, a tribute to God Ra, the Sun God. And when we moved into the interior is a genuine glare.

You can spend long hours on the inside. The Bibliotheca houses three museums:

  • Science Museum (which shows the sciences and their evolution (through, among other things, portraits of leading scientists and thinkers) from the pharaonic period up to the golden age of Arab sciences. Perhaps a little too teaching and not interactive enough for my liking ..
  • Museum of Antiquities (with coins depicting the history of Egypt from the pharaonic period, from the Hellenistic period and then Islamic). It reveals the mosaic “with the little dog” discovered during the construction of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
  • Museum of Manuscripts (nearly 120 manuscripts, which are rare …)

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina Added to that a planetarium and exploratorium, as well as permanent exhibitions of Alexandria as Impressions, a collection of etchings, lithographs and maps which show the impressions of artists and travellers between the fifteenth and nineteenth and the World Shali Abdel Salam, director of the famous film The Mummy. One can see his drawings of costumes made for different movies, objects that have belonged to him.

If you are on for several days Alexandria, do not hesitate to call the program of performing arts centre, which is very active. It is proposed a very wide range of cultural activities in the field of theatre, cinema, music, visual arts.

Posted by: visitegypt | January 10, 2008

Egyptian Museum in Cairo

In modern Cairo, on the street Mariette Pacha, ochre in a building, built in 1902, Greco-Roman style, stands the Egyptian Museum, the place squeezed between El-Tahrir and the bus station, and bringing together all the ‘Art of pharaonic Egypt.

Egyptian Museum in Cairo The french Egyptologist Auguste Mariette (1821-1881), whose bronze statue (work by Denys Puech) and the tomb dominate the garden, on the left, opposite the entrance, ran from 1858 to 1881 the first major excavations sponsored official by the viceroy of Egypt Envoy Said Pasha in egypt as an official from the Louvre in 1850, Mariette excavated in Memphis Abydos and then founded the Department of Antiquities of Egypt along with a museum dedicated to the civilization of the Ancient Egypt. The excavations were first compiled in a small museum in Boulaq in 1858, the visit of the museum by émile Guimet in 1865 prompted the great orientalist to create a museum of Asian art. The collections were then transferred to the Palace of Giza, in 1890. They were eventually moved to the present building, designed by the architect Marcel Dourgnon french. Mariette Succédèrent to the Egyptologists Grébaut in 1886, Jacques de Morgan in 1892, Loret in 1897 and especially Maspéro (1846-1916). The leadership then passed to Lacau and Drioton in 1936. At that time, the collections enjoyed a considerable increase thanks to the incessant discoveries made in the country. Since 1952, the museum is run by conservative Egypt.

The museum also called Al-Mathaf, exposes more than one hundred thousand objects (more than double in reserves and in basements). It gives an impression of overcrowding, the pieces are poorly lit and would need to be developed. But it is home to the largest, richest and most comprehensive collection of Pharaonic antiquities, the world over five thousand years. This collection is, more or less, presented in chronological order.

Treasures of TutankhamunIt could not purport to see this museum as a whole because it is almost inexhaustible, it would take days to study and admire each section. On the visit, if possible in several sessions of two hours (preferably with a speaker), and as many times we can. The museum is continuously subject to repairs, reorganizations. Remains still draft a transfer to a more modern building to store only the great masterpieces. André Malraux dreamed of a special museum for the treasure of Tutankhamen, which was built facing the current museum

Posted by: visitegypt | January 10, 2008

The Valley of the Kings

Since the eighteenth dynasty, the burial place of the kings is on the site formerly named “Place of greatness” or “Place of truth.” Bereft of vegetation, this desert is dominated by Mount al-Qurn (Horn), natural shape of a pyramid. Having become the Valley of the Kings, the graves are dug in the arid mountain inspiration to both death and immortality. For more than 1000 years, the pharaohs were buried in this valley. These splendid paintings in tombs are listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

- The Valley of the Kings Formerly, this desert was very lively. The priests who performed the ritual sacrifice lived near the temple guards. The pharaohs were monitoring from these temples advance the work of their burial.

These tombs have little near the same features: a door cut in the cliff opens onto a wide hallway straight slowly sinking beneath the earth and richly decorated with frescoes carved reflecting all the refinement of life thébaine. This corridor leads to a funeral hall where the sarcophagus of the pharaoh and the treasures he needed to survive for eternity.

62 tombs have been updated, including 25 royal tombs. The oldest grave belongs to Tuthmosis III. Taillées to the rock, enter the homes of eternal Séti I, Ramses II, Tutankhamen.

The most famous tomb is that of Tutankhamun (No. 62) discovered in 1922 by English archaeologist Carter. At that time, some thought that the tomb would be little value given the short duration of the reign of the Pharaoh. To their surprise, it was one of the greatest discoveries ever made. At its opening, the tomb was full of priceless treasures.
The beauty of these treasures is the symbol par excellence of this remarkable civilization. Although the tomb had been robbed twice in antiquity, its content was virtually intact. Statues, tanks, furniture, weapons, boxes, musical instruments, food, pottery. Were profusion. All these objects of gold, alabaster and ivory are now exhibited in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Therefore there is little to see in the tomb today. Only the large sarcophagus is visible in the funeral chamber whose walls are covered with paintings Tutankhamun in the afterlife.

The tomb of Tuthmosis III (No. 33), son of Tuthmosis II and Hatshepsut, was summarily decorated but reveals a historical interest.
Hidden deep in the limestone cliffs, accessed through a very steep staircase above a ravine staggering. Tuthmosis III wanted to keep this secret construction and especially discourage looters of graves. Anti-room is supported by two columns. The walls are covered 741 deities of the Egyptian pantheon and the ceiling is full of stars. After a turn at 90 degrees, you arrive at the burial chamber very sober and oval containing the sarcophagus of the pharaoh.

The tomb of Ramses IIIThe tomb of Ramses III (No. 11), builder of the great temple of Médinet Habou, was originally built for his father Sethnakt. The facades are decorated with painted reliefs representing traditional rituals. At the back of the funeral hall, two pillars are topped by a head of cattle, is very rare. The sarcophagus is now on display at the Louvre.

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Posted by: visitegypt | January 10, 2008


The modern Thebes

As a sword, the Nile Luxor cut in two: the modern city with the village of Karnak on the one hand, and the old cemetery on the other side of the shore. Tradition and serenity mingle with the bustle of the metropolis. Beneath the quiet streets, where children play in the dust, where vans loudly argue, is the location of the “Thebes of a hundred doors”, the famous capital of the eighteenth dynasty. Called Luxor by the Arabs (which means “palace” or “fortified”), this is regarded as the largest open-air museum in the world. The magnitude of architectural masterpieces will leave an indelible trace in your memory.

On a felucca, letting you drag along the Nile, you will have ample time to admire these Pharaonic monuments and colossal superbly preserved.

History Luxor

ccording to the excavation, archaeologists believe that the site was inhabited for at least 6000 years. At the end of the Old Kingdom, Thebes succeeds Memphis as the capital of Upper Egypt. It then worships the god Amon and it is undertaking a large-scale project. The Temple of Karnak is the main witness. During the Middle Kingdom, Thebes (called Waset at that time) manages to override Héracléopolis who was then the capital of Lower Egypt.

Around 1700 BC, the Hyksos invaded Lower Egypt. The Egyptians will be able to hunt the intruder only a century later, building the foundations of the New Empire. All the pharaohs of the XVIIIth dynasty reside in Thebes. The city growth of the population. It is then at its height.

LuxorThe beginning of its decline is felt in 627 BC during the ransacking of Luxor by Assourbanipal. Homes popular brick temples once glorious. Thereafter, the Romans transformed the place into a fortified camp. With the arrival of Christianity, there are churches rising everywhere. The testimony of Pharaonic gods are then removed from the stone. Then, in the seventh century, mosques appear with the arrival of Muslims in power. The temples sink in the sand and into oblivion.

Thanks to Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt that interest in the Pharaonic era reborn. The excavation began in 1833. Two colossal granite from 15 metres tall sitting on their thrones are discovered near the Temple of Luxor. Today, Luxor is one of the most popular destinations in Egypt. The inhabitants live mainly from tourism.

Posted by: visitegypt | January 10, 2008

Queen Hatshepsut

First regent, (because Tuthmosis III son-in-law and his nephew or his son was still a small child) Hachepsout exercised power until his death 22 during the few years of his reign Egypt known a commercial and artistic prosperity, and a flourishing religious.
One of the most striking works of this queen was peaceful organization, and implementation of a major expedition to the legendary Land of Pount, near Ethiopia.
Construction of the 2 largest obelisks at Karnak, and the wonderful construction of Deir el Bahari (his funerary temple).

Queen Hatshepsut

Posted by: visitegypt | January 10, 2008

Tuthmosis III

Tuthmosis III 1504-1450

Tuthmosis IIIPharaoh of Egypt he was the son of Tuthmosis II and a concubine, son of Queen Hatshepsut by his marriage with his half-sister. Succeeding his father in 1504 BC., Tuthmosis III was dismissed in the shade by Hatshepsut, who ruled the country of fact and not left to the young king a nominal role. At Hatshepsut’s death in 1483 BC., The monuments of Queen were martelés, clear sign of a desire to erase his name forever memories. Became adult, the new monarch began a series of conquests unprecedented in the history of Egypt. Its armies invaded défirent Syria and Syrian forces in the plain of Jezreel. The Syrians took refuge at Megiddo, but were defeated in 1479 BC Tuthmosis III came later in the war against Mittani, which at the time controlled the largest part of northern Mesopotamia.

The Mitanniens had fomented rebellion in a number of cities in Syria and Phoenicia, then under Egyptian rule. Tuthmosis III invades their territory and captured several towns, thus extending his power to the north of Palestine and the Phoenicia. It marked the border of the Kingdom of Egypt in this region by the erection of a monument on the Euphrates. It also extended the domination of Egypt in Nubia. During his reign, Tuthmosis III undertook several victorious campaigns, providing the Egyptian temples and the booty won tributes. It enriches the great Temple of Karnak and write its history fit on the walls. He also realized significant buildings in Heliopolis, Memphis, and Abydos. His mummy was discovered in Deir el-Bahari.

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