New York has its skyscrapers, London has its parks, and Cairo has its traffic. You cheat with him after you leave the airport, so you have a wonderful city overview. Full of strangeness, the Cairo movement is a show: stuffed and petited cars, passengers clinging to the bus and remain trapped outside, motorcycles clinging to whole families and whirring in a frenetic chorus of horns. Circulation rules are as non-existent. However, there is a system based on an unwritten understanding that is expressed by head tilts and hand gestures that seem to work Half of the Egyptian cars are in the capital, because in a Way, all the roads go there. Rarely a country entirely dominated by a single city. Beyond his borders, there is not much politics, finance, media or culture for the general public. All other cities really matter only when it comes to tourism. So it is relevant that the Egyptian language has a word, Masr, which also means “Cairo”, and “Egypt”.
Cairo stretches over an area of approximately 450 km2, that is, half of New York’s surface, but with twice as many inhabitants. Their number grows almost daily, for fellaheen, the peasants, crawl to the city to gain. Obviously, in Cairo the income is higher and the city’s inhabitants have a better health than that of the countryside. In the case of Umm al-Dunya, “The Mother of the World,” Cairo has always assimilated people from other parts, in the nineteenth century and the beginning of the 20th century, it was a place for Europeans and Americans. Nowadays, the Arabs from the Gulf region come to Cairo every summer, and at the time of the hectic they return home. For them, Cairo means countless movies, and the habit of learning on the streets has spread throughout the Arab world. And for Africans, whether students, immigrants for financial or refugee reasons, the capital of Egypt represents the ultimate city experience.
Unfairly, travel agencies that organize excursions reduce the city to a two-day stay on the way to the pharaohs of Upper Egypt or to the beaches of Sinai. Although the Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum are true wonders, Cairo does not just mean that.
Although many museums in the West host impressive collections of ancient objects in ancient Egypt, none can rival the richness exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Dedicated entirely to the legacy of the pharaohs, the museum has over 120,000 exhibits available to visitors, from deliciously crafted ornaments to granite beads, like towers, depicting kings.
Muzeul este foarte mare, iar structura parterului şi a etajelor este simplă, de formă dreptunghiulară, cu mai multe săli de jur împrejurul unei săli centrale, cu care comunică printr-un coridor. Expoziţia de la parter este organizată pe criteriul cronologic După ce intri, o iei la stânga, dacă doreşti să ajungi în zona dedicată Regatului Vechi şi continui în sensul acelor de ceas prin zona de exponate din Regatul Mijlociu şi Regatul Nou şi, în cele din urmă, ajungi la secţiunea dedicată perioadei greco-romane. După aceea poţi urca pe scara de la sud-est la etaj, unde toate exponatele sunt aranjate în funcţie de o anumită temă Ideal ar fi să ajungi în jurul orei 9, ora de deschidere, pentru că muzeul se aglomerează foarte mult spre mijlocul zilei.
Once you get in, you can not lose yourself, but you could be mute. The centuries-old building itself is an antiquity, the fruit of an era when it was thought that it was enough to catalog an artifact and put it in a glass holder. Not only are explanatory labels (in Arabic, English and French) precarious, but they are often missing altogether. A good idea is to read a good description of the museum before you go to visit it and identify the objects of interest and may mean the place where you are located on the map. If you have time, plan two visits, one for the ground floor and one for the floor. If the program does not allow you, then stop at the museum garden. On the ground floor there is a café, which comes from the garden through a souvenir shop.
When it comes to what needs to be seen, most visitors claim that Tutankhamun’s treasures are the most important. Perhaps his golden funeral mask and rakels are the most stunning exhibits of all the world’s museums. Leave them to the end so that their brightness will not shade everything you see after admiring them. The other points of attraction are the mummy halls; Which puts you face to face with several pharaohs, including Seti I and Ramses II the Mummies and Tutankhamun are upstairs. On the ground floor, many of the most important objects are in the rooms dedicated to the Old Kingdom, including the statue of Khephren (see page 72), the Ka-Aper wooden statue (see page 72) and the double statue He depicts Rahotep and Nofret. Impressive is also the Amama collection, which includes objects from the time of Akhenaten’s reign, the “heretic king”.
At the busy bookstore at the entrance, you can find a lot of books about the museum and about Ancient Egypt in general. The official guide of the museum is not good, because it does not specify where the objects presented in the catalog are. Much better is Cairo: The Egyptian Museum “Pharaonic Sites by Muhammad Salah“, which describes 50 of the most important objects, the presentation being accompanied by successful color photographs.
Once you’ve gone through the security checkout area, you get under the museum’s rotation. In chronological order, the story starts from the left and straight ahead lies the Main Hall, which houses monumental sculptures of all ages. On the right wall is an imitation of the Rosetta Stone, the key to the mystery of the hieroglyphs (see pp. 50-51). The original is still at the British Museum in London, although the Egyptian antiquities authorities have always requested the British authorities to return this item.
Entering the hall, pass by a separate box of glass, which features Narmer Shield, one of the most important artifacts in the museum, then descend to a collection of sarcophagi. Psusennes I’s sarcophagus (about 1000 BC) portrays Nut, the goddess of heaven, on the inside of the lid, so that when the sarcophagus closes to cover the pharaoh protector (adorned with stars, Nut is often represented On the ceilings in the tombs).
The central object of this room is a sample of a painted floor dating from the Amamas. Unlike most of the exhibits, it is well placed. At the end of the hall, we can see a group of imposing columns representing Amenhotep III, his wife, Queen Tiye, and their daughters. These statues have been discovered a fragment with a fragment on the West Bank at Luxoi; And were reassembled at the museum after many efforts.
Returning to the Old Kingdom Galleries, he searches for the statue in the crumb of King Djoser (or Zoser), from the twenty-first century, one of the oldest objects in the museum.
It was discovered in 1924 in Serdab, next to the pyramids in the Saqqara steps. The most amazing exhibits in Halls 46 and 47 are the tripliches – each consisting of three standing figures, about a meter high: the pharaoh Menkaura (Mikerinos), having the right-handed Hathor goddess and the right embodiment Feminine of one of the provinces she was guiding. Four of the trips were brought to light from the temple of the pharaoh near his pyramid at Gizeh.
In Hall 42, Khafre (another pyramid builder) is portrayed in a magnificent black diorite statue larger than the natural size, also found on the Giza plateau in the valley temple of the pharaoh. With his wings of god-hawk, Horus embraces his head protector. The same room houses the Ka-Apeţ wooden statue amazingly faithful to reality, showing a character with a walrus like a pot, with a blurred face and vivid eyes. The workers who were present when it was discovered at Saqqara nicknamed Sheikh Al-Balad (the village chief) because the character in the statue resembled even their boss Veridice are also the statues of Prince Rahotep and Princess Nofret, in the middle of Hall 32 Looking at Rahotep with his well-placed mustache, having a simple, heart-shaped pendant around his neck, it’s hard to imagine that you look at the image of a being who died more than 4,600 years ago. The royal couple was discovered in a tomb in Meidum, in the Fayum area, as well as the friezes on the left wall, perfectly depicting the rustle of the geese while eating. And nowadays the lakes of Fayum have remained the favorite of bird admirers.
When we enter the Galleries of the Middle Kingdom, we see Mentuhotep II, wearing a red crown, the first pharaoh in this area. It was brought to light at Deir al-Bahri (see p. 269) when the horse riding Howard Carter (the discoverer of Tutankhamun’s tomb) trapped his foot in a hole in the earth The incident led to the discovery of a room A mortuary whose existence no one suspected her.
The showroom in the middle of Hall 22 is an ideal example of the Middle Kingdom funeral home, and he is from Deir al-Bahri, having a limestone sarcophagus. The ten statues around Senusret have nothing to do with the mortuary chamber, but date back to a little later, being discovered in the Fayum region.
The passage to New Kingdom Galleries 11 constitutes a group of gray granite sphinxes from Tanis (see page 165), the city of Delta Hall 12 is dedicated to some of the first New Kingdom pharaohs belonging to the 18th Dynasty Among them , The great conqueror Thutmosis III, with his traditional attitude, his enemies symbolically represented, nine people kneeling at his feet, and Hatshepsut, the only pharaoh woman in ancient Egypt. On it is the pink granite statue, with arms around the body. She wears a king’s garment and a fake beard and has a masculine appearance, but the face is visibly feminine.
In the middle of the northern wing we give the Amarna Gallery, a hall in which objects from the reign of the rebellious pharaoh Akhenaten are displayed. Under his rule, the style used in the chosen field took a strange turn, visible in the four pharaoh’s colossus, assembled from fragments, showing his rich belly, elongated head and sensual features of his face, especially eyes with heavy eyelids Lips pronounced, as if bee stung.
Because of several stars that make out Akhenaten resting with his family and worshiping in the sun, Atun, the pharaoh seems stranger. The head carved in quartz to Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s wife, shows that it was not at all bizarre, with cheekbones Tall and with its exotic beauty, what would not seem like her on the cover of Vogue.
A huge-sized statue of child Ramses II, nestled on the chest of Horus, is located at the entrance to the east wing of the museum, which continues with the Late Galleries. The leaders of that era were mostly foreigners and, under the influences they brought, the archetypal, crude, and rigid forms of the sculpture of the pharaohs began to free themselves. The change culminated in a true metamorphosis towards classicism, which took place after the invasion of Alexander the Great and later in the Greco-Roman period.
Hall 44 hosts temporary exhibitions. Lately they have focused on the life and work of eminent Egyptologists. From here you can climb the southeast staircase to get to the upper galleries.
After you have climbed the southeast staircase, to your right is the Tutankhamun Galleries. But leave them later and buy a combined ticket (sold at the end of the stairs) for the Royal Mummies Hall and the Journey to Immortality exhibition. In these dark rooms you can see 21 bodies of embalmed monarchs, including Seti I and his son, Ramses II, and Thutmosis II and Queen Meret I Am (the wife of Amenhotep I). After seeing mummified human bodies, you may want to go to Room 54 to see mummified animal corpses, a bizarre collection of cats, monkeys, a hawk and even a fish.
From the mummies, you can go straight ahead to Hall 43, where the Yuya and Tuyu Galleries are located. Before the discovery of Carter’s tomb of Tutankhamun, this secret burial shelter, found intact in 1905 in the tomb of the two nobles (the parents of Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep III), had been the greatest archaeological find in Egypt in the gallery are exposed objects intended to be used in the Last Life, including beds, catapults, a car and several coffins. The former occupants of the two coffins are now among the inhabitants of the Royal Mummies Hall.
If we go in the clockwise direction around the central hall, we find the 37,32 and 27 halls, which host Machetes in the Middle Kingdom, offering a fascinating insight into the everyday life around 2000 BC in scenes depicted in wonderful details. A weaving workshop, fishing boats and a herd of cattle that a master and his scribes are counting. Although they may look like toys, these models were funeral offerings, and 25 of them were discovered sealed in the tomb of a man in the West Bank near Luxor. Some of the elements brought to light are exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Room 14 hosts Greek-Roman mummies, many of them adorned with so-called “portraits of Fayum.” Unfortunately, the mummies are shrouded and concealed in opaque glass cases, which is why it is impossible to see the painted faces. Many front-floor lobby rooms are pre-arranged so that although they contain objects of great interest, few visitors have the patience to search for them. So you have an excuse if you take her back to the south-eastern ladder to the first room dedicated to Tutankhamun.
What an irony that Tutankhamun was but a rather insignificant pharaoh who reigned less than ten years (1336-1327 BC), before extinction, for unknown reasons, at the age of 18.
He may have been killed. The name of this son-in-law and heir of Akhenaten, the heretic king, was removed from all the monuments, and he would not have deserved more than a footnote in the history of ancient Egypt if his tomb had not survived intact to To be discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. In this room are exhibited about 1,700 of the objects that were part of the tremendously unimaginable chaotic treasure inside the tomb, which was cataloged and shifted in no less than four years.
When entering the gallery, passing between two wooden statues, coated in bitumen, natural size, like guards in front of the anteroom where is his body. Many objects in this first area are associated with the hunt: leopard skin shields and a headgear made of wood and depicting the king in hunting – thus reminding that once in the wild, life in Egypt had been rich and varied.
The gallery is filled with glass boxes containing small figures, including gods seated in the grave to defend Tutankhamun and some of the over 400 ushabits: the king’s miniature effigies to perform any task on his behalf In the Last Life. Here is also the royal throne “lion”; Out of pure gold, with glass inlays and precious stones. On the back there is a colorful picture; Showing the moment when Tutankhamun is anointed king (see picture above).
We are going to see several alabaster jugs, delicately worked, a cup and a few miniature ships, with a complicated pattern on the edges, meant for the journey to life after death. The true points of attraction for the crowd begin in the northern wing, where the king’s funeral carriages each have three heads. Next to them is an alabaster chest; During embalming, the internal organs were removed from the body and placed in jars or urns. Four of these can be seen on page 74, alongside the caps made in the image and likeness of Tutankhamun. After that, the trunk that housed the jars was locked in a carriage altar; Defended at the corners by the goddesses Isis, Neith, Nephthys, and Serket The gilded wooden boxes in the northern wing matched each other like the Russian dolls, among them the sarcophagus and the inner coffins in which the monarch was laid. The quartz exterior sarcophagus remained at Teba’s tomb, the inner coffins being exposed in a small and guarded room, one of the gilded wood being embedded with semiprecious stones, and the inner cechin made of solid gold and weighing 200 kg.
In the smallest and most precious coffin is Tutankhamun’s inanimate body, covered with a fabulous car mask; Now sitting in the middle of this museum room. Made of solid gold, it represents the idealized portrait of the young king, with obsidian and quartz eyes highlighted as eyebrows, through stones of lapislázuli. If the treasure shows one without a minor, we must ask what will be the grave tomb of an important pharaoh like Ramses II.
There are two well-organized galleries on both sides of the Tut Hall. One hosts objects from the Tanis Tombs (see page 165), five graves unearthed in the Delta region in 1939, dating from the New Kingdom period. Among them, an astonishing antropoic coffin of the Pharosus Psusennes I (1039-991 BC), with a hawk head. In the other room are exhibited some of the most beautiful objects in the category of ornaments in ancient Egypt, as well as vestiges from the Greco-Roman period, discovered in the western oasis.
A walk through the Cairo Center
Nobody could say about the modern center in Cairo that it’s beautiful. Some streets have charm and warmth, and an unusual architecture is noticeable. But most of the “center” is the victim of negligence, chaotic planning, and vehicle-destroying needs. However, whoever spends some time here realizes that the shortcomings of this city center are being compensated for by other means.
Tahrir Square is for Cairo what represents Times Square in New York: not a large square with statues and fountains, but a noisy intersection, crowded day and night because of the large number of people and the traffic. Tahrir is the place where tens of thousands of inhabitants of the city change the trolley, who come here every morning by taxi, the bus in which it is crowded or the overcrowded metro Many of these people are headed for the monolithic office building in the market, Mugamma, which employs 20,000 officials. The string of buildings in the east of the market, in elegant times, are now offices for travel agents, importers and exporters, and thousands of other businesses. On the front sidewalk, merchants sell anything they can sell, from clocks to boot creams. When the sun sets, the market gets a real glow due to the neon lights on the top of buildings, which throw rays in different directions.
All visitors spend some time in the Tahrir area, if not for the least because the famous Egyptian Museum is here. Conveniently located next to the museum, is the former Nile Hilton, the first modern five star hotel, built in Cairo (1959) and the city’s emblem. Days of glory, when Frank Sinatra’s personalities grew up at the hotel, have long vanished, but the café in the yard has remained a meeting place for the wealthy city. And it seems that the glory is back on the horizon for this old favorite city, because in 2009 the hotel’s transformation into Ritz Carlton began.
The Great Mugamma Building , the home of the Ministry of Interior, dominates the southern market. National House of Bureaucracy Unprepared and impenetrable, the building is an image of Egypt’s modem, as the pyramids are the embodiment of Ancient Egypt The idea of making a simple visit to Mugamma scares the ordinary Egyptian just as an IRS scare scares him On any American.
To the east of Mugamma is the former campus of the American University of Cairo, where they study the richness of the rich, to enjoy the prestigious Western education. Although the university recently moved from the center of the capital, the historic building was reopened in 2009, now a cultural center with showrooms and art galleries, along with the refurbished bookstore of the American University, well-stocked with books on Egypt.
Walking on Muhammad Mahmoud Street or Sheikh Rihan, east of the university, you have another big market, at the far end of which is Abdeen Palace. A neoclassical, ungraceful opera of a French architect, the palace was built in 1874 as a residence of the country’s rulers. After the 1952 revolution and the exile of Farouk, the last king, Abdeen housed the government’s working desks. Larger rooms are reserved for meetings with heads of state in 1998, a section of the back part opened as a museum for visitors. Unfortunately, the rooms that everyone wants to see, for example the Byzantine Hall with its Art-Deco-style pharaonic frescoes, remain behind closed doors. Guest rooms are banally arranged and host countless daggers, swords, guns and other firearms plus medals, jewels, royal silverware and ceramics.
The luxurious Manyal Palace in Cairo, Arabic style, houses today a museum with a fabulous collection of Ottoman art Tahrir. Inside the walls there are five distinct edifices, made in a style that is passionate about Islamic styles, surrounded by lush banyan trees, palm trees and rubber trees, just what is left of the vast botanical gardens that once sprawled across the island. The palace was built at the command of Prince Muhammad Aii Tewfik (1875-1955), a becoming monarch who never climbed the throne. Which did not prevent him from building his own Hall of the Throne, with red carpets, gilded furniture and portraits of the forerunners.
Another edifice is the prince’s current residence. His beautiful rooms include a Turkish room, Iznik tiled floor, and a Syrian one with a painted wooden ceiling. Paintings, ceramics and oriental carpets adorn the other salons. French composer Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) was invited here sometimes and gave private recitals to the prince’s circle of acquaintances. It is said here that he composed the Egyptian Concerto for piano no. 5. There is also a mosque with an interior of Turkish mosaic, as well as a Moorish tower, made quite rudimentary.
Next to the palace you will find the Hunters Museum. In addition to the packed living room – including a hermaphrodite goat – this long hall also includes a tremendous testament: the shape of the raised heads of 300 gas, all shot by Farouk and his buddies.
Manyal can be reached by taxi, but a more enjoyable choice is a walk from Tahrir Square down the El Comiche, the great Cairo boulevard, parallel to the Nile. It is one of the main traffic routes on the north-south route, but the sidewalk trees manage to hide cars and trucks and a cool breeze from the river, which makes it a good place to admire for a walk
On the Promenade there are Semiramis and Shepheard’s, the modern forms of hotels that were once as famous as the London Ritz or Raffles in Singapore, attracting the same social categories, the high society of different countries. The original building that housed Shepheard’s, a large Victorian building with Moorish halls, is north of Opera Square, and Nina Nelson, a historian of the hotel, claims that “every famous person in the world has stood at least once the famous terrace”. Theodore Roosevelt pulled at the hotel in 1910, where T.E. Lawrence (al Arabia); Noel Coward stayed here in 1942 and improvised piano concerts in the hotel. Unfortunately, the original hotel burnt in the “Black Sabbath” of 1952. Its cement substitute does not recommend it in any way, and the only element of continuity is a plaque from the entrance hall, saved from the ashes.
We propose a route through central Cairo
Dedicated to modernizing Egypt according to European standards, Ismail planned to create an artificial dry land, a kind of new Paris on the Nile, between the old medieval city and the river. He saw his dream with the eyes of a spacious neighborhood, with boulevards bordered by trees, large squares, public gardens and, as a climax, an Italian-style work. Walking in this area occasionally trips into that Belle Epoque of the past.
Start from Tahrir Square and take it north through Talaat Hârb, the main street of wust al-balad, that is, from the center. If you did not have breakfast, you can stop at Café Riche Q (17 Talaat Hârb St, phone 02/2392 9793), a place of refuge for artists and intellectuals since 1908, the year in which it opened. It is said that Gamal Abdel Nasser and his pals with whom he had been in the field were meeting here and talking about the revolution. A little further, an imposing statue dominates one of those Paris-style places designed by Ismail. It depicts Talaa.
From the Bursa, you can reach the Qasr al-Nil Street near Trieste Insurance Building (77 Sharifeen St. 77), one of the many European architects employed by Ismail to help him build a new capital, a prolific Italian The name of Antoine Lasciac. Opposite the stylish building he designed, the modem city re-affirms on Shawarby Street, which only allows pedestrian access, and there are plenty of shops selling jeans and jackets, as well as six music stores from which pop hits are heard .
If you go a little, turn left on a small alley that leads back to Talaat Hârb, alongside a well-known bakery called Al-Abd (79 Talaat Hârb St). Supply until midnight,
When it closes, the bakery offers the best bakery in Cairo and other confectionery in the soup and full of nuts; 230 grams cost only a few dollars and you can eat them elsewhere.
At the top of Talaat Hârb begins Cairo’s entertainment district, which hosts theaters and pubs with belly dancers, which you can rent at a low price. To advertise, they use huge, highly-uploaded billboards, often Hand painted, as seen at Miami Cinema, where Egyptian movies are playing. Instead, there is the art-deco cinema Metro, which opened in 1949 when he played “On the Wings of the Wind” and continues to broadcast Hollywood productions.
Adly Street is east of Talaat Hârb and near Cinema Metro we discover a space as a film studio created for a Babylonian legend, one of the few monuments of the Jewish community, in vast and influential times, the Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue. The Jews founded the national bank, being heavily involved in the development of the city in the first decades of the twentieth century, but most left after the establishment of Israel in 1948. The number of Jews living in the area today is so low that although the synagogue Still open for the Sabbath, do not gather enough believers for a minyan (for the job to be held, at least ten people are needed). Behind the synagogue you can find the visitors’ information office (5 Adly St, tel. 02/2391 3454).
Furthermore, Adly is linked to Opera Square. Although it is now hard to believe, this vast open market was originally the center of Cairo, as Ismail conceived it. As the name suggests, the place was once blessed with the building of a work, built at a quick rate, to be ready for the celebrations that took place when the Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869. At the inauguration should have given a performance With “Aida”, a recent opera on an Egyptian theme, commissioned specifically for this occasion by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. But “Aida” was not ready in time, so the first evening the guests enjoyed the “Rigoletto” by Verdi. The opera burned in a 1972 fire and took its place for a building well suited to modern life in Cairo: a secluded car park. The equestrian statue depicts Ibrahim, the father of Ismail, who ruled Egypt for only 40 days before he died in 1848.
Although the city had a lot of parks in the past, the green areas are a rarity in the city center, representing a phenomenon almost gone. The green patch to the north of the Opera House is all that remains of what was until recently a park Wooded, Ezbekiya Garden, meant to be a French-style park with alleys all around the lake and cafes in the pavilions where the orchestra plays. It seems like a place that is waiting for a building to rise there. A paved corner is occupied by a second-hand book market, beyond which is Khazinder Square, where you find the general store Sednaoui. At least for the grand central hall it is worth entering this shop that imitates the Lafayette Galleries in Paris, opened in 1913.
From Sednaoui it starts north, on Ciot Bey Street, which bears the name of a French physician at Egypt’s court of the nineteenth century. You will leave behind the European side of the capital, and you will enter an old residential neighborhood that has remained almost unchanged since the time of the good doctor. The streets narrow and architecture is closer to improvisation. During the Second World War, Ciot Bey Street was better known as Birka, and it was a rosy district. But it is not true what is said to have turned into an area for all the people afterwards. Prostitution is the phenomenon that has taken shape here.
At the northern end, Ciot Bey unites with many other streets leading to Ramses Square, the most chaotic place in Cairo. All the roads in the north of the city lead to this crowded and extremely noisy point, where cars, buses and taxis are gathering. The square was home to a huge statue of Ramses II, but it deteriorated due to the vibrations caused by the intense circulation and pollution, and was taken to the Egyptian Grand Museum that is being built at Gizeh.
North of the market is Cairo’s Main Station Terminal, Ramses Railway Station. In a part of the station building is arranged the National Museum of Railways of Egypt, which exhibits a small royal locomotive, in which there are only four seats with plush banquets. Ingenuous invention was given to Egypt by Empress Eugenia of France at the inauguration of the Suez Canal.
If you take the metro from Ramses Square, you have only three stops to return to Tahrir Square (Sadat Metro Station), where the itinerary started.