Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Cairo - ideas on city exploration routes

Cairo Catholic Church Our suggestion on the way to observe the most important architectural landmarks of Cairo is very simple – fly, read, watch. Thanks to our original 3D technology of flying over cities, you will be able to “visit” (see the video) and watch the most important architectural landmarks of the city - Great Sphinx of Giza, Egyptian Museum, Abdeen Palace, Al Rifai Mosque, . We have carefully selected the supplementary information for each of them, including interesting historical facts and a collection of photographs. Additionally, we have placed all main sights on the map of Cairo below, since this information can be useful when you plan your walking routes in Cairo.

Great Sphinx of Giza, Cairo

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Great Sphinx dates from approximately 1400 BC. But some scientists suggest that the statue is much older than the Pyramid of Cheops.
»  The statue’s head was probably damaged by water during extensive flooding in the 6th millennium BC. American and Egyptian archaeologists found stone blocks, tool kits, and petrified dinners under the layer of sand as if workers had had to urgently leave the place.
»  The 72-metre-long 20-metre-tall figure is the oldest monolithic construction on the planet.
»  The Sphinx got under layers of sand several times. It was completely freed from quicksand captivity in 1920.
»  The statue was probably once covered with bright colours. The spots of paint can still be seen on the face and body of the Sphinx.
»  Having scanned the statue, scientists came to the conclusion that it needed to be restored immediately. The monument was closed for tourists and restored in 2014.

Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Egyptian Museum was built in 1902. 150 000 exhibits are kept in 100 showrooms. These artifacts are aged about 5 000 years.
»  The most precious of them are eleven mummies of pharaohs, items from the tomb of Tutankhamen, and a gilded throne with precious stones. On the throne, you can see pictures of the pharaoh and his wife.
»  In the museum, there are also sarcophagi of high priests, including one made of gold and weighing 110 kilos.
»  The hall that houses mummies found at different times is interesting too.
»  One of the museum founders was the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette who left his job in the Louvre and moved to Cairo in 1850. He was dedicated to his profession and Egypt. In the yard of the museum, there is a monument to this scientist. There is also a sarcophagus with his ashes.
»  Around the monument to Auguste Mariette, there are 23 busts of famous Egyptologists. They include a bust of the Russian archaeologist V. S. Golenischev. It was placed here in 2006.

Abdeen Palace, Cairo

Location on the map:   Facts:
» Abdeen Palace had been built for 10 years upon the order of Khedive Ismail who had been to Paris, saw French palaces there, and wanted to build a more luxurious and more beautiful one in Cairo.
»  It was named after an outstanding commander Abidin.
»  Architects from different countries, such as France, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey, were invited. All the 500 halls of the palace have a luxury interior.
»  There are also rooms designed in the European or Eastern style. For example, the Throne Hall, the most sumptuous room in the palace, is decorated in the tradition of Egypt. Near it, there is a room designed in the style of Louis XVI.
»  The upper floors of the palace serve as the Egyptian President’s residence. The ground floors are allocated for four museums: The Arms Museum, the Historical Documents Museum, the Presidential Gifts Museum, and the Royal Family Museum.
»  One of the most interesting exhibits is a golden sword decorated with diamonds. It was bought at the auction by King Farooq I. You can also see a big box with Farooq’s treasures. It has two locks, so if you insert a wrong key, a gun will come out of the box and go off. Due to a huge number of fantastic exhibits, Abdeen Palace is one of the richest and most luxurious museums in the world.

Al Rifai Mosque, Cairo

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Al Rifai Mosque is located near the other mosque that is 500 years older. In 1869, the mother of Ismail Pasha wanted to replace and extend a medieval cell of the Islamic theologian Ahmad Ar-rifai. This place was revered by the local population.
»  The construction was completed in 1912. The reason for such a long construction was the death of the architect and Ismail’s abdication from the throne.
»  The construction was resumed in 1905 by a new ruler, Khedive Abbas II, and a Hungarian architect.
»  The mosque is also interesting because there are burials of Ahmad Ar-rifai, Sufi saints, and members of the Royal Family: Ismail Pasha, his mother Hoshiyar Hanim, his sons Fuad I and Farooq I (the last King of Egypt), and his daughter Ferial are buried here too. The last King of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was in exile and died in 1980 was buried here too.
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Build your walking routes in Cairo on the landmark map

More to see in Cairo
Cairo offers its visitors to attend various sightseeing objects. Among memorable places of the city travellers will find numerous colorful markets and ancient religious buildings, historic sites, museums, art galleries and unique natural reserves. Birqash Camel Market is traditionally very popular among vacationers. The market is located in Cairo suburbs, in a place called Birkash. The market is a huge field, on which hundreds of camels are sold. These animals are the main product of the market. Buyers and sellers come to the famous camel market from different cities, and travelers visit it as a local landmark. Hanging Church is a beautiful architectural monument. The first religious building on the site of the church appeared in the 9th century. The chair of the church is made of marble, and its hall is decorated with unique religious artifacts and icons. Every day hundreds of tourists come to the church to admire the beauty of the building and walk through the picturesque courtyard of the church. Bab Zuweila is a striking monument of the Middle Ages. The construction of the monument was completed in the 10th century. Visitors of the building are welcome to climb the ramparts or one of the minarets – they feature wonderful panoramic views of Cairo and its suburbs. Townhouse Gallery is an interesting cultural institution. This is a beautiful three-story building, in which six artist studios are open, as well as a bookstore and library. The gallery has become the location … Read further

Architectural landmarks in the regions around Cairo

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