The City of a Thousand Minarets” is the capital of Egypt and with a total population in excess of 16 million people, one of the largest cities in both Africa and the Middle East. It is also the 19th largest city in the world, and among the world’s most densely populated cities.
On the Nile River, Cairo is famous for its own history, preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic city and Coptic sites in Old Cairo. The Egyptian Museum in the center of town is a must see, with its countless Ancient Egyptian artifacts, as is shopping at the Khan al-Khalili bazaar. No trip to Cairo would be complete, for example, without a visit to the Giza Pyramids, and to the nearby Saqqara Pyramid Complex, where visitors will see Egypt’s first step pyramid built by the architect Imhotep for the third dynasty Pharaoh, Djoser.
Though firmly attached to the past, Cairo is also home to a vibrant modern society. The center of downtown Cairo is in Tahrir Square, which is located along the east bank. A hub of tourist activity, the vast and open square contains numerous attractions, including the Egyptian Museum, the Arab League headquarters, and the modern Umar Makram Mosque. Cairo’s main thoroughfare, Corniche, extends from north to south along the east bank of the Nile. Located nearby is the narrow strip of land known as Garden City, one of the city’s newer residential areas. In the center of the city is the river island of Zamalek (also called Jezerah, meaning “the island”), which contains an upscale residential and commercial neighborhood also known as Zamalek, the Cairo Opera House (founded in 1869), and the Cairo Tower (1961). Three bridges link the island of Zamalek with both banks of the river. The island of Al-Rodah, located to the south, is linked to the mainland by two additional bridges, while another bridge to the north carries road and rail traffic across the Nile. A felucca ride on the Nile is a good way to escape from the busy city, as well as a visit to Al-Azhar Park.
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… Cairo Tower …