The past and present of the city.
Here you can feel how the heart of the Arab East beats – the capital of Egypt – Cairo. It is the largest city of the African continent, the city of “thousands of minarets”, “Gate of the East”. In Cairo, divided by the Nile and surrounded by the sands, is both the old and the new history of Egypt. The magnificence and contrasts are breathtaking, and there are so many sights here that if you visit at least one every day, you will not have enough for several years. By far the most interesting of them are the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Cairo got its name from the Arabic word “al-Qāhira” – victorious. Among the residents of the capital you can also hear the name Masr, symbolizing the whole of Egypt. The population of Cairo is one third of the country’s population: at present, more than 8 million people live in the city itself and more than 18 million in the suburbs.
The Egyptian capital is located on both banks of the Nile, at the beginning of its delta. The history of the city began on the east side of the river, from where Cairo subsequently grew to the west. Due to the significant time period that the Egyptians took to develop a new territory, the old and new cities are very different in their layout, architecture, style.
According to legend, eastern Cairo was founded in 642. Initially, he was a military camp, which served as a refuge from enemy attacks. Today it is the spiritual and cultural center of Egypt, in which hundreds of ancient mosques, magnificent palaces and monuments are concentrated. The western part consists of numerous boulevards, parks, office and government buildings. Ismail Pasha, under whose leadership new districts of Cairo flourished, took as a basis the planning of the 19th century Paris.
Upon arrival, chaos and crush stun you like a ton of bricks. However, it does not take much time to acclimatize in Cairo uninterrupted noise, tangled traffic, the cry of street vendors and the curtain of smog and fall under the hypnotic charm of this pulsating metropolis. Nearly twenty million city dwellers call him the Um ad-Dunya (mother of the world). Modern Cairo is a thin layer of modernity, barely covering a powerful layer of history. Take a look at the Muslim Cairo, and you will be drawn into the looking-glass of a bygone medieval era. Head west to the famous pyramids of Giza , and through a gap in time you will fall more than 4,000 years ago, and the main museum of the city bursting at the seams from the priceless treasures of Egyptian antiquities. But the real appeal of Cairo opens in moments of calm contemplation, when you sip sweetened local shai mint tea or quietly puffing on a hookah, watch the city’s life pass by just like it has been for centuries.