Traveling to an ancient city, I decided to take us to Cairo, Egypt today! Cairo, or Le Caire, literally means “The Vanquisher” or “The Conqueror.” The names given by the English and French languages are only corruptions of the Arabic name for the city, which is “Al-Qahira.” This city is the largest in Africa and the capital of Egypt, and ranked as one of the densest cities in the world with almost 7 million people in the metropolitan area and an addition 10 million surrounding it.
Cairo and its surrounding areas, especially Memphis and Giza, were the focal points of the ancient Egyptian civilization. This area was strategically located for it was right around the Nile Delta. In the 4th century, the Romans established a fortress on the bank of the river and called it Babylon, which still stands as one of the oldest structures in the city. The Muslim influence first arrived in Cairo in 641. Saladin became the first Sultan of Egypt around 1170 and based his dynasty in Cairo.
Right across the river from Cairo, there are over 100 ancient pyramids scattered along the western bank of the Nile. The biggest site to see is the Pyramid of Giza, formally known as the Great Pyramid of Khufu. This is the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World at 4,500 years old! The size of this pyramid is absolutely mind boggling: it covers 13 acres, stands at 483 feet high, and is made up of 2.3 million stone blocks. The pyramid was the tallest man-made structure for over 3,800 years, the longest period of time held for this record. You can also check out the Sphinx of Giza right near the pyramid. The Sphinx, a large stone statue, has a lion’s body, wings of a bird and the face of a man. It still stands as the largest monolith statue in the world and is known as the oldest monumental sculpture, built around 2558 B.C.
Check out these awesome sites in Cairo: http://www.concierge.com/travelguide/cairo/seeanddo/14238