HISTORY COMES ALIVE
Few places in the world loom as large in the imaginations of the adventurous as Egypt.
Who among us hasn’t dreamed about looking up in awe at the Great Pyramid of Giza or gazing upon the enigmatic Great Sphinx?
A favorite chapter of world history, Egypt is home not only to the Pyramids of Giza — the last surviving wonder of the ancient world — but a wealth of temples, fortresses, tombs, and cities whose history stretches back nearly five millennia. Stand and ponder as scientists and historians have for hundreds of years about how and why these massive monuments were constructed.
Journey up the Nile River as travelers before you have done for thousands of years, past groves of date palms and fields irrigated by the river’s life-giving waters. From the Aswan High Dam in the south, the Nile courses through the desert past grand temples in Edfu and Luxor, reaching the bustling metropolis of Cairo where it fans out into a fertile delta and empties into the Mediterranean Sea.
Ancient rulers, engineering feats, archaeological controversies, and mysterious edifices abound, but modern day Egypt is bursting with activity and treats for all the senses.
Its cities bustle far into the night — you’ll find people out walking, sitting in cafes, talking over their day at all hours — and eating. Years from now, a spicy aroma will remind you of sizzling kabobs or a warm, baked beef and baladi bread sandwich in the market. Spend any amount of time in this enchanting land, and the spectacular history, rich culture, and warmth of its people will leave you with memories more vibrant than you ever dared imagine.
Some of Acacia Holidays stops include
The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human.
Pyramids of Sakkara is one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Egypt! It was the cemetery for Memphis, the capital of Ancient Egypt, yet it is still one of the virgin archaeological sites, despite the fact that so much has already been found here!
Memphis: The Open Air Museum at Memphis is one of the "must see" sites in Egypt! The trip from Cairo only takes 45 minutes, it is only 20Km to the south.
The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is a massive mosque and madrassa located in the Old city of Cairo, it was built during the Mamluk Islamic era in Egypt, "without even a single day of idleness". At the time of construction the mosque was considered remarkable for its fantastic size and innovative architectural components.
The Saladin Citadel of Cairo is a medieval Islamic fortification in Cairo, Egypt. The location, on Mokattam hill near the center of Cairo, was once famous for its fresh breeze and grand views of the city. It is now a preserved historic site, with mosques and museums. In 1976, it was proclaimed by UNESCO as a part of the World Heritage Site Historic Cairo which was the new center of the Islamic world, reaching its golden age in the 14th century.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. The Egyptian government established the museum built in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden and later moved to the Cairo Citadel
The site of Khan el-Khalili was originally the site of the mausoleum known as the Saffron Tomb which was the burial site of the Fatimid caliphs. The mausoleum was part of the Fatimid Great Eastern Palace complex, begun in 970 AD by Gawhar al-Siqilli, the general who conquered Egypt for the Fatimid dynasty and founded Cairo that same year. Today, it is mainly occupied by Egyptian shop holders, significantly geared towards tourists buying souvenirs, antiques and jewelry.
The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom.
Luxor temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship; it may have been where many of the kings of Egypt were crowned in reality or conceptually as in the case of Alexander the Great who claimed he was crowned at Luxor. Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was constructed approximately 1400 BCE.
The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). The West Valley has only one open tomb—that of Ay—and a separate ticket is needed to visit this tomb
Tutankhamen’s tomb also known as KV62 is the standard Egyptological designation for the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, now renowned for the wealth of valuable antiquities it contained. The tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, underneath the remains of workmen's huts built during the Ramesside Period; this explains why it was largely spared from desecration and from the tomb clearances at the end of the 20th Dynasty. The tomb is open for visitors, at an additional charge above that of the price of general access to the Valley of the Kings.
Hatshepsut’s temple is considered the closest Egypt came to Classical architecture. Representative of New Kingdom funerary architecture, it both aggrandizes the pharaoh and includes sanctuaries to honor the gods relevant to her afterlife. The relief sculpture within Hatshepsut’s temple recites the tale of the divine birth of a female pharaoh – the first of its kind. The text and pictorial cycle also tell of an expedition to the Land of Punt, an exotic country on the Red Sea coast.
The Temple of Edfu is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt, dedicated to the falcon god Horus and was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BCE. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. In particular, the Temple's inscribed building texts "provide details both of its construction, and also preserve information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation.
The Unfinished Obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk and is located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan, Egypt. Its creation was ordered by Hatshepsut, possibly to complement what would later be known as the Lateran Obelisk (which was originally at Karnak, and was later brought to the Lateran Palace in Rome). The unfinished obelisk is nearly one-third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished it would have measured around 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,090 metric tons (1,200 tons), a weight equal to about 200 African elephants.
The Temple At Philae was nearly lost under water when the high Aswan dam was built in the 1960s. Fortunately the temple was rescued by a joint operation between the Egyptian government and UNESCO. In an engineering feat to rival the ancients the whole island was surrounded with a dam and the inside pumped dry. Then every stone block of the temple complex was labelled and removed later to be assembled, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, on the higher ground of Agilka island. The whole project took ten years and has saved one of Egypt’s most beautiful temples from certain destruction.
The Aswan Dam, or more specifically since the 1960s, the Aswan High Dam, is an embankment dam built across the Nile in Aswan, Egypt, between 1960 and 1970. 22 monuments and architectural complexes that were threatened by flooding from Lake Nasser, including the Abu Simbel temples, were preserved by moving them to the shores of the lake under the UNESCO Nubia Campaign
The Abu Simbel Temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel,a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments", which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari, and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic.
Saint Catherine's Monastery, officially "Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai”, is controlled by the autonomous Church of Sinai, part of the wider Eastern Orthodox Church, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built between 548 and 565; It is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. The site contains the world's oldest continually operating library, possessing many unique books including the Syriac Sinaiticus and, until 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus.