Egypt-History: Tourism in Egypt

Egypt-History: Tourism in Egypt
    Tourism in EgyptTourism is one of the most important sectors in Egypt's economy. More than 12.8 million tourists visited Egypt in 2008, providing revenues of nearly $11 billion. The sector employs about 12% of Egypt's workforce. In 2000, there are about 5.5 million foreign tourist arrivals. In 2010, the number of the foreign tourist arrivals is about 14 million. On the other hand, in 2013, Egypt is ranking the 85th position of world's best country in terms of tourism and traveling, while in 2011.

    Major attractions

    Abu Simbel Temples

    The celebrated tourist attractions of Egypt are the millennia-old monuments for which the Nile Valley is world famous. Principal among them are the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza, the Abu Simbel temples south of Aswan and the Karnak Temple Complex and Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Cairo also boasts the Cairo Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha and the coastal areas of Sinai Peninsula are very popular with visitors as well.

    Giza, 20 km southwest of Cairo, is the site of some of the most impressive and oldest (26th century BC) ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramids of Giza, a number of other large pyramids and temples, and Cairo's modern tower.

    Saqqara, some 30 km south of Cairo is a vast, ancient burial ground which served as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. It features numerous pyramids, including the world's oldest standing step pyramid, as well as a number of mastabas.

    Luxor, about 500 km south of Cairo, is the site of the ancient city of Thebes and has sometimes been called "the world's greatest open air museum". It includes the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor, which stand within the modern city. On the opposite side of the Nile River lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.

    Abu Simbel, about 850 km south of Cairo (near the Sudanese border) is an archaeological site comprising two massive rock temples originally carved out of a mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II (13th century BC). The complex was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s to avoid being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser. They are now situated on an artificial hill made from a domed structure high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.
    Alexandria is a main summer resort, due to its beaches, ancient history and Museums, especially the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern project based on reviving the ancient Library of Alexandria.

    Sinai Peninsula- Sinai has become a tourist destination due to its natural setting, rich coral reefs, and biblical history. Most popular tourist destination in Sinai are Mount Sinai ("Jabal Musa") and Saint Catherine's Monastery, which is considered to be the oldest working Christian monastery in the world, and the beach resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba.

    Ain Sukhna, about 110 km east of Cairo has a number of beach resorts.

    Tourism in Assiut:-Assiut location:

    Like a piece of Heaven between Al-Minia north and Souhag south, Assiut twinkles in the heart of Egypt thanks to its middle location among the Egyptian governorates, and it is about 375 km in south of Cairo, 470 km in west of Red sea, and 305 km in north of Luxor.

    Assiut is counted as one of the best touristic destinations in Egypt because it has many amenities and attractions belong to different ages, which has a great importance in the Egyptian history.

    The City Name:

    Pharos called the city as "Seut" derived from "Sout" which means "Guardian" in Hieroglyphic language, this name was used about 3000 years, and then it was changed many times, until the Arabs named it "Assiut".

    Assiut National Day:

    Assiut celebrates its national day on the 18th of April every year, when the local residents of Bani Addiat, Manfalout city, struggled against the French Invasion.

    Touristic attractions in Assiut:-

    Like the best tourism destinations all over the world, Assiut includes monumental heritage from different states; Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic, Islamic, and Modern age.

    Also Assiut has Nile, mountains, a desert, a Natural Parks, a seed for an international hospital, fascinating rural lives, gardens, high-level shops, luxury restaurants, and an excellent transport net to be a perfect tourism destination in Egypt.

    Pharaonic and Predynasty Era:

    Tasa Civilization:

    Tasa civilization represents the life of the Nile valley residents and their agricultural activities in Assiut in the beginning of the Modern Stone Age. As it seems from the inscriptions, their pottery was relatively better than the other pottery concerning shapes and ornaments.

    Al-Badary Civilization:

    On the East bank of the Nile stands one of the important cities of Assiut, it is Al-Badary city. It is one of the richest Egyptian civilizations in the Stone Age, which includes some of the important daily aspects such as the agriculture, the ornament, and the furniture …etc. and it considered as the first step for Nakada civilization Ι and ΙΙ.

    Meir Monumental Tombs:

    In the west of Meir village, Alqussia city, and 65 km in the northwest of Assiut there are 9 tombs have been carved in the stone and were dedicated as cemeteries to the rulers and princes of the 14th dynasty. The inscriptions of their walls have very similarity to the daily life activities of the ancients Egyptians.

    Qussair Al-Amarna Monumental Tombs:

    The tombs are carved in the Western Mountain, Al-Qussia city, dating back to the era of the 6th dynasty till the 12th dynasty. Despite their small walls, these tombs are considered as ones of the most beautiful and eminent monumental tombs, as their whole walls are covered by the daily life scenes and religious rituals. They represent the first step for the carving art.

    Al-Hammamiya Monumental Tombs:

    They are located at a distance of 50 km southeast of Assiut, Al-Hammamiya village, in the south of Al-Badary city. These tombs were dedicated as cemeteries to the rulers and the princes of the 10th Nome of the Upper Egypt "Wagt", and they return back to the end of the 4th dynasty and the beginning of the 5th dynasty.

    Yousouf Hamlet Tombs:

    In Yousouf village, Al-Badary, there are a cluster of tombs date back to the Middle State with a unique architecture due to its semi-circular entrances, and its outer courtyard which includes a couple of terraces found on its both sides and accessed through a side stairs. There are also group of small tombs date back to the Late Era and decorated with vegetal ornaments in shining colors representing some crops such as grapes.

    The Western Mountain Tombs:

    In the 13th Nome, during the Old and Middle states, many tombs are carved in the western mountain, in the west of Assiut city. This Nome was the main center for worship of "Oub Wawat" mortuary guide and spirit leader during its sacred journey to "Anubis"god "Deity of Mortuary". This area is very rich in monumental tombs whether discovered or not yet.

    Deir Al-Gabrawy Tombs:

    In the village of Deir Al-Gabrawy, Abnoob city, and about 20 km northeast of Assiut city, have been founded Deir al-Gabrawy tombs consisting of a group of tombs carved in the Eastern Mountain for the rulers and the princes of the 12th Nome "Berranti" within the ancient and middle states. These tombs are distinguished by its Egyptian beautiful paintings and ornaments drawn on a surface of soft mortar, which is still keeping their status, in many parts, until now.

    Arab Al-Atiat Tombs:

    A group of tombs carved in the mountain dating back to the Old Dynasty and covered by scenes represent the owners of these tombs and illustrate their daily activities and political authority.

    Deir Rifa Tombs:

    On the top of the Western Hills, in the west of Assiut city, 7 stony tombs are carved in the Mountain for the nobles and the princes of "Shes-Hoteb", the capital of the 11th Nome.

    Shotb Tombs:

    It was a city for the livings who carved their tombs in the Western Mountain of Rifa monastery and Assiut Western Mountain, now it became dusty hill where the current Shotb city built on.

    Coptic Era:

    Al-Mouharraq Monastery:

    This monastery was built in the 4th century at the foot of the western mountain. Among 26 places the Holy Family resorted to, Al-Mouharraq Monastery has a great importance as the Holy Family stayed in for 185 days which considered the longest period the Holy Family stayed in Egypt. It was a desert except for an abandoned home, instead of its place was launched the oldest monumental church in the Christian world holding a shrine and a cubed stony altar topped by a rounded marble roof with a Greek inscribed text dating back to 746 AD, also the area includes San-George church (1898AD) and the Holy Virgin Mary church (1960AD). With the same style of the forts built by the King "Zinon", there is a monumental-three-floor fort dates back to the end of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century.

    The Holy Virgin Mary Monastery:

    On a height of 100 m and about 7 km southwest of Assiut city, the Virgin Mary monastery stands in the Western Mountain. it contains a monumental cave dates back to 2500 B.C, and inside there is a church probably built on the same spot where the Holy Family reposed for a few days prior to their returning back to "Beit-Lahm" in Palestine. Every year, there is a festival in the monastery starting from 7th to 21 August receiving great numbers of the Egyptians and the foreigners.

    Monastery of Holy Virgin Mary "Deir El- Ganadla":

    In Al-Ghanayem province 25 km south west of Assiut city, the monastery is embedded in a large cave at the foot of the western mountain, 2 km in the west of Deir El-Ganadla village. Its monuments are represented in number of old caves and the monumental Roman well dates back to the 1st century AD.

    Monastery of Saint MariMina (Hanging Monastery):

    In the end of the 4th century AD, in Abnoob city, the Hanging Abbey was built on the Eastern Mountain in Al-Ma'abda village, 35 km northeast of Assiut city. It is a large cave in the mountain contains an altar carved in the stone, and outside the cave there is another church named after the Holy Virgin Mary and The Angel Meichel; the two churches are carved between two eminent hills on a height of 170 m.

    Monastery of Al-Anba Serabamoon:

    The monastery is 80 km northwest of Assiut, and it is very important because the Holy Family shadowed by a tree over there and the tree is still bearing the name of the Holy Virgin Mary in the Monastery.

    Islamic Era:

    Islamic Commercial Agencies:
    In a fascinating area, in Mohammad Mahmoud St, Al Qessaria previously-Assiut city, full of the Islamic monuments and Masjids, such as Galal Al-Deen Al-Siuty and Al-Mojahideen Masjid, the Ottoman agencies stand still to be an evidence of the great role of Assiut in the Egyptian commerce.

    This area includes many commercial shops for trade, haberdashery, copper artifacts, and hand-made textiles;which makes the area looks like Khan Al-Khalily and Al-Azhar quarters in Cairo. Thabet, Shalaby, And Lofty are three Ottoman agencies, each one centralized by a rectangular courtyard and roofed by a ceiling with a big window for lighting and ventilation. In general, each agency occupies two floors; the lower is dedicated to goods and animals, and the upper to the merchants who are coming from outside Assiut.

    Thabet Monumental Bath:

    Dating back to the Ottoman Era, Thabet Bath is located in Mohammad Mahmoud St. with a unique architectural model reflects the common style in that time. In the past, the Bath had been used by the outsider merchants besides the local residents for washing and cure, and then it was used by the local residents for the general daily uses until short time ago.

    Al-Majzoub Monumental Barrage:
    It is considered as one of the important monumental aquatic constructions in Assiut city, the Barrage has been established since 1251 H with three holes for the running water, in the time of Mohammad Ali - the ruler of Egypt.

    Masjid Al Mojahideen:

    In the Ottoman Era(1120 H-1706 AD), Mohammad Bey-The prince of the sultan brigade- has established one of the oldest Masjids in Mohammad Mahmoud St-Assiut city, it is Al Mojahideen Masjid.The Masjid is considered one of the hanging Masjids and includes most of the famous Islamic architectural elements in that time.

    Masjid Al-Farghal:

    In Abou Teeg city - 27 km south of Assiut city - and in a matchless scene, Al-Farghal Masjid stands still with two high minarets to be one of the famous religious destinations in Assiut city. It includes the grave of Mohammad Al-Farghal -whose origin returns back to Al_Hassan and Al_Hussein- the grandsons of the Prophet Mohammad.

    Masjid Abo_Alouyon:

    The Masjid of Abo_Alouyon was established With a wonderful geometric design, and it consists of two main buildings; one is a Masjid and the other is a grave for its owner- Ibraheem Abo_Alouyon(died on the 28th of November 1940 AD), and he is a grandson of the Moroccan Noble Ibraheem Abo_Alouyon -whose origin dates back to Al_Hassan the son of Al_Imam Ali (The Accompanier). The Masjid is surrounded by a fence with an Islamic style and a very high minaret.

    Al- Masjid Al-Amauoi "Al-Gami' Al-Kabeer":

    In a rare style, Al-Gami' Al-Kabeer was established to be one of the largest and oldest Masjids which returns back to the Umayyad Era, and it had been renovated and developed in the time of the King Fouad the first.

    Masjid Al-Kashef:

    In Manfalout city, The Prince Ali Al-Kashef Jamal Al-Deen founded his masterpiece; a mosque (Masjid) bears his name, in 1176 H (1772 AD) in Al Qessaria St.

    Assiut Religious Institute “Fouad the First”:
    On a surface of 4 feddans and 8 karats had been chosen by the King Fouad the first, the Religious Institute was based in 1930 AD and finished in 1934 AD with Islamic style, and inaugurated by Farouk the King of Egypt in 1939 AD to be a lighthouse for the Islamic religious sciences.

    Modern landmarks in Assiut:

    Al-Salam Monumental Museum:
    "All under one roof" this is the description of Al_Salam School Museum in "War & Peace" square; it includes a huge collection of monumental parts from various eras and areas; Predynasty, Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic Eras, in addition to Sudanese and Ethiopian monuments.

    Assiut Barrage:

    To provide the enough water for irrigation and agriculture purposes, the government constructed Assiut Barrage in 1902 AD with 111 holes and a length of 880 m. Starting from Assiut Barrage, Al-Ebrahimia canal branches off the Nile and ends in Al-Giza to form the longest artificial canal in the Middle East.

    Assiut University:

    Between the past and present, Assiut University arises to be the first regional university in Egypt and bears witness to the development in the Governorate. The University was inaugurated in 1957 AD; it contains various practical and theoretical faculties, some higher institutes, prepared halls for international conferences, five stars hotel, university accommodation, different researching centers and advanced hospitals serve Middle and Upper Egypt.

    Al-Azhar University:

    To complete the civilized scene, Al-Azhar University came to the presence in 1969 AD; side by side appear the Law and Sharia Faculty, Arabic Language Faculty, Islamic Girls Faculty, science, Medicine, Dentist, Engineering, Pharmacy , Agriculture faculties, Educational Hospital and the University housing.

    The Permanent Exhibition of Regional Authority for Tourism Promotion:
    A place to enjoy, have fun, and buy precious souvenirs, of course the Permanent Exhibition provides all of these as it overlooks the Nile through the Floating Restaurant Anchorage - Al Thawra St, Assiut city - and includes wrought and hand-made traditional products which characterize Assiut such as hand-made carpets, pictures, sculptures, statues, icons, medals and so on.

    Horus Touristic Anchorage:

    Three Roman Theaters - overlook the Nile - are dedicated to folkloric and cultural shows and a harbor with a capacity of 3 floating hotels, it is the welfare provided by Horus Anchorage (built in 1986 AD) to serve the Tourism and Nile Cruises in Assiut.

    Assiut Touristic Anchorage:

    For the same purpose, Assiut Touristic Anchorage was built in Al-Thawra St. with a length of 305 m to receive 5 floating hotels simultaneously and catering the cruises between Cairo and Aswan and vice versa.

    Al-Ferdous Park:
    Al-Ferdous Park is a nice place to have a nice time whether alone or with the family, it lies in Al-Thawra St, beside Fouad 1st Institute on a surface of 3 feddans overlooking the Nile and it is considered a public garden for the visitors and the people of Assiut. It also contains Roman Theatre for cultural and artistic presentations.

    Al-Azhar Park:
    Beneath Faisal Bridge and with a high-level coffee to serve the colleges and the visitors, Al-Azhar Park looks over Al-Ebrahimia canal in one of the most beautiful scenes in the entrance of Assiut city.

    Al-Khaldeen Park:
    In an endless series of the touristic achievements, Al-Khaldeen Park was established in 2007 AD in the entrance of Assiut city on the bank of Al-Ebrahimia Canal. The Park includes several means of entertainment and Roman Theatre for different cultural and folkloric shows.

    Sport Foundations:
    The Olympic Village - Assiut University, The Sport City - Assiut Cement Factory, The Tennis Courts - Assiut Sport Club, Mubarak Stadium - Mubarak Quarter, The Covered Hall and The Bowling Hall - Mankabad; Assiut has all of these and much more which gives The Governorate the chance to organize and host the national and international tournaments in the different sport fields.

    The Nile:
    The Magic River adds its value in Assiut also; with a length of 160 Km the Nile flows from Dierout north to Sedfa south forming a marvelous natural scene with the various lives on its sides. Just enjoy the fascinating views through one of the many luxury floating hotels and restaurants which serve on the Nile.

    Conferences Hospitality:
    In a Governorate full of the convention abilities like Assiut,

    How to reach Assiut:
    With an Airport, a Train, Three Highways, and a Railroad serve The Governorate on a daily basis; it is so easy and enjoyable to visit Assiut from all over the world. 
    Wael Elyamani
    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of CTV Egypt News .
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