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Cairo Egypt

Cairo Holidays

Cairo Travel

As one of the Islamic world's greatest cities, Cairo is a heady mix of urban buzz, grand mosques, colourful bazaars, medieval cemeteries, brilliant churches and 19th-century palaces. Extending along the banks of the River Nile to the south of its delta, Greater Cairo is effectively divided in two - on its east side stands evidence of 2,000 years of Islamic, Coptic Christian and Jewish culture, which still flourishes to this day. On its west side lies the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis (Giza), the renowned capital of the Old Kingdom and the site of the legendary Pyramids. Today, Greater Cairo encompasses various historic towns and modern districts creating in turn one of the most populated cities in the world.

Cairo boasts a number of worthy attractions. Top of the list is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. Arguably the most famous exhibit is the stunning solid gold funerary mask of the boy-King Tutankhamen. An entire gallery is devoted to the treasures unearthed by Howard Carter at Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922.

Dating back to 1382, Khan el-Khalili in Islamic Cairo is an ancient shopping area, nothing less, but some of the shops have also their own little factories or workshops. Also in Islamic Cairo is the Citadel fortress that was built by Salah-El-Din in the 12th century and was the seat of power for the next 700 years. In an area known as Coptic Cairo, there are some of the world's oldest Christian churches. The Hanging Church, also known as El Muallaqa, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and reputed to have been built at the end of the 3rd century.

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SEE ALSO: Nearby site of interest - Pyramids of Giza ; Suez Canal