Ancient Egyptian Cities
The story of Ancient Egypt is both exciting and mysterious, as it's one of the oldest civilizations in existence, in addition, its monuments and ruins continue to captivate tourists to this day from the Great Pyramid of Giza to the lush banks of the Nile River.
The beauty of the cities of Ancient Egypt is unparalleled and something should not be overlooked. Through this article, we will explore together the unique features of the cities of Ancient Egypt, from the Ancient cities where sprawling Pyramids and temples to the breathtaking attractions as the Ancient Egyptian cities were meant to be impressive and intimidating to the day and age.
The most famous of these is the amazing city of Thebes which is Luxor now, Thebes was the residence of Pharaohs for over two thousand years, and Luxor now is the largest ancient city in the world and is still standing today with its massive monuments which are two-thirds of the monuments of the whole world.
The main purpose of this article is to ensure that Pharaoh’s choices of the Ancient cities had easy access to all parts of the main cities of Egypt and it was upon strategic or religious locations. The Nile River was also a major part of the city’s layout, as it provided the ancient Egyptians with water and was also used for transportation to the east and west.
Ancient Egyptian cities are unique and beautiful in their own right. The massive temples, Pyramids, and tomb layout create an atmosphere of grandeur and mystery that continues to draw people into the greatness of Ancient Egyptians. In all ways, Ancient Egypt remains a source of wonders!!
What Did Ancient Egyptian Cities Look Like?
The ancient Egyptian cities were amazing like no other. It was unique among the other countries and cities in Ancient Egypt was walled and had so many great places which were elaborated wall for the meaning of beauty.
Before 5000 BC in the old Kingdom, the ancient Egyptians mostly practiced hunting birds and lived around the Nile River due to the fertile farmland along its two banks, up to 4000 BC, the dwellings consisted of large cities with floors glued to mud, and houses made of clay, if the buildings and houses were destroyed, then they built new buildings on top of them.
Some cities were specialized such as Thebes and Memphis, while other cities were religious and were centered around temples, and others were built for workers for a major purpose which is constructing the Pyramids, temples, and tombs. On the top, the Ancient Egyptian cities were wonderful.
Most Famous Ancient Egyptian Cities
Ancient Egyptian cities were some of the most important and influential cities in the whole world. We will explain some of the most important in Ancient Egypt, where were they located, the period of being a great capital, the history of each city, and the reason for choosing them as great capitals.
1. Memphis City (Earlier than 3150 BC)
Memphis city was the first capital in Ancient Egypt from (2950-2180 BC) during the role of the third to the sixth dynasty. Most of the Pyramids were built when Memphis was a capital and they numbered about one hundred pyramids. Memphis was founded in the old kingdom of Egypt about 2300 BC by King "Menes", and it was believed that this capital is under the protection of God "Ptah". Memphis was located on the west bank of the Nile River about twenty kilometers south of Cairo, and about thirteen miles south of the city of Giza. The city has famous during this time and it was one of the most important structures is "Hut-ka- Ptah".
Today, the ruins of this great capital is an evidence of its power as it contains the Pyramids complex at Giza, which was preserved in 1979. The modern name of Memphis city is "Mit Rihana".
2. Thebes City (Earlier than 5000 BC)
The great capital of Thebes city was located on the east bank of the Nile River about 419 mi 675 Kilometers south of Cairo, it was close to the eastern desert and Nubia. Thebes was a great capital of Egypt in the late sixteen century BC, it was well-known for its great monuments, temples, tombs, and valleys which are located in Luxor city today. Thebes has not only an important significance for its religious site, but also for its commercial site. From the capital Thebes, the routes of trade linked Egypt to the rest of Africa, Asia, and Europe, in addition, Thebes remained a great attraction for pilgrims from all over the world as it had temples of various Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. The modern name of Thebes city is "Luxor".
3. Abydos City (Earlier than 3000 BC)
Abydos or Abdju is one of the most important sites in Ancient Egypt. This city is located about eleven kilometers on the west bank of the Nile River, near Al-Balyana where was the ancient cult of God "Osiris". The sacred city of Abdju overlooks a wide desert, as it was believed that it is a passage to the realm of the deceased, plus, it was the burial for the royal families. This great city served the worship of "Osiris" The God of the underworld. With its great monuments, Abydos contributed more than any other ancient Egyptian city in Egypt, as it presented a complete understanding of Ancient Egyptian civilization, architecture in Ancient Egypt, and linguistic development. The modern name of Abydos city is "Al-Birba".
4. Alexandria City (313 BC)
Alexandria City served as the capital city of Ancient Egypt from 332 BC to 641 AD it was founded by Alexander the Great. This Important city is located in the Mediterranean Sea, on the western edge of the Nile River, and about one hundred and eighty-three kilometers northwest of Cairo city. Alexandria was the Great capital of Egypt for around a thousand years, in Ancient times, it was well-known for its lighthouse which is now one of the seventh wonders of the world, and Alexandria is also famous for its largest library as it has one of the largest libraries in the world. Alexandria is now the second largest city in Egypt, and it is also well-known for the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, which is one of the largest and most important burial sites in Egypt.
5. Crocodilopolis City (Earlier than The Middle Kingdom)
Crocodilpolis or Krokodilpolis was an ancient Egyptian city in Heptanomis in Egypt, archeologists believe that this city was founded around 4000 BC. This city is located one hundred kilometers southwest of Cairo, southwest of Memphis city, and on the western bank of the Nile River, Its native ancient name was the city of Shedyet. Crocodilpolis was well known for the cult of God "Sobek", then the Greeks named it "Crocodile city" to the reverence pay its people to crocodiles. They prayed for a crocodile that lived in a temple, on the sand, and with food, and when it died they replace it with a new crocodile. The city was also famous for its pottery and other crafts. The modern name of Crocodilpolis city is "El-Mahamid Qibly" in Fayoum governorate.
6. Elephantine City (Earlier than 3000 BC)
The elephantine city was an island and also a border between Egypt and Nubia. This island measures thousand and about two hundred meters from north to south and 400 meters, on the border between Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia. Elephantine Island had strategic importance that made it a cataract that made an important trade hub, plus, it provided granite for the construction of various buildings and monuments in Ancient Egypt. The first temple built on the island was the Temple of Satet "The Goddess of the Nile Inundation" which was built around 3000 BC. Elephantine Island was home to the cult "God Khnum" The God of the source of the Nile and waters. The modern name of Elephantine city is "Aswan".
7. Amarna City (Around 1346 BC)
Amarna city was the capital city during the region of King Akhenaten, it is located on the west bank of the Nile River, about fifty-eight kilometers south of the city of Al-Menya, 402 Kilometers north of Luxor city, and 312 kilometers south of Cairo city. The great Pharaoh "Akhenaten" created a different religion for the cult of God "Aten" which is "The Sun Disk" so he built the city to honor "God Aten", but after the death of the King, his son "Tutankhamen" became the new King of Egypt, and he amplified the polytheist system once again. This amazing attraction has amazing inscriptions of the Sun Disk of Amun.
These cities were known for their impressive architecture and monuments, as well as their contributions to art, science, and culture as well.
Facts About Ancient Egyptian Cities
1- The temples of Ancient Egypt One of the most remarkable features of Ancient Egyptian cities is their grand temples.
2- Memphis, Thebes, and Alexandria were some of the most well-known cities in ancient Egypt.
3- Thebes first became the capital of Egypt around 5000 BC.
4- Memphis was so important that they even built a temple for the God of Memphis named Ptah.
5- The most impressive of these temples was located in Thebes, the capital city of Ancient Egypt.
6- The palaces of Ancient Egyptian cities were made from sandstone and decorated with intricate carvings and hieroglyphs.
7- Most ancient Egyptian cities were named after Goddesses and Gods.
8- Elephantine Island was an Egyptian city named after the God "Khnum", the God of the source of the Nile.
9- King Akhenaten built a city "Amarena" and it lasted until his death.
10- Ancient Egyptian cities were the homes of the Pharaohs and other powerful members of society.
11- One of the most famous is the temple of Karnak in Thebes’s city, which contains three main temples, as well as a complex of smaller temples and monuments.
Best Times to Visit Egypt
Egypt is a perfect destination that can be enjoyed year-round, the best time to visit is between November and January. This is considered the high season and temperatures are cooler and more pleasant. The shoulder season is from May to September, they are also good times to visit Egypt, as temperatures are still warm, but not overly hot.
The low season of June to August is the hottest time of the year and can be quite uncomfortable for tourists especially if you are a summer lover and prefer to enjoy some days on breathtaking beaches in Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh. Winter is also a great time to go to Egypt and cruise on the Nile River in Upper Egypt, as temperatures are cooler than in the summer months plus, it is the perfect time to spend the New Year in such an amazing country and enjoy its breathtaking nature mixture of unbelievable ancient stories.
In summary, the cities of ancient Egypt were highly advanced for their time, with great systems of rule, and a great economy that featured a variety of goods and services in Egypt and abroad, as it fulfilled a range of social, religious, and economic functions, and were the hubs of commerce and communication for their regions. Despite the limited resources available to their citizens, their cities were incredibly advanced and gave rise to some of the world's most iconic structures. Ultimately, the cities of ancient Egypt set the stage for the great civilizations and culture of the whole world and remain a source of fascination, mystery, and admiration today.
Trips in Egypt will drive you back to history with its unique tours to Egypt to explore beyond the ancient Egyptian civilization by visiting what you wish to see, we highly recommend visiting Thebes and other ancient Egyptian cities in Luxor by a Nile River cruise to enjoy watching the Egyptian Green nature mixture with clear water. Do not hesitate to contact our operation department to arrange your dream tour with our qualified team.
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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.