Category Archives: Egypt

Mosques Worth Visiting

As I remember the tragedy at the 3 mosques in New Zealand, this had me been thinking back to my travels and the many beautiful mosques we visited. One country that comes to mind is Egypt. This country has a wealth of beautiful, historical, and famous mosque that offer a chance under why this city is known as the city also known as city with a Thousand Minarets.

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At the Bet She’an National Park; Israel

The Mosques of Egypts

A trip to Egypt would never be complete without a visit to some of its famous mosques including the Al-Azhar Mosque, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Abu Haggag Mosque, or the Sultan Hassan Mosque just to name a few that you can add to your itinerary of Egypt.

The Mosque of Ibn Tulun

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Right in the heart of Cairo, you will find the oldest and largest mosque.  The Mosque of Ibn Tulun still exists in in its original form and is the largest complex in terms of the property it covers. The construction of the mosque began in 879 C.E. with the commission of Ahmad ibn Tulun, Egypt’s governor at the time. Please don’t miss taking pictures from the historical staircase minaret built on Gebel Yashkur during your visit, which allows some wonderful shots of the city.

Mosque of Ibn Tulun

The Al-Azahar Mosque

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As one of the more famous mosques in Egypt, the Al-Azhar Mosque is unique for several reasons. One the main university is attached to the mosque. Also, this mosque belongs to the Sunni Sect, but also has many Shia sect influences.  Located in the city of Cairo, you can find more details about other Shia mosques around Egypt here.

This place is huge and do roam, but be cautious of pickpockets. Explore both the exterior and interior of this grand complex. This is worth your time during your trip to Egypt.

Sultan Hassan Mosque

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The Sultan Hassan mosque is often part of day tours and also located in the capital city of Egypt. If you have time to visit this mosque, do so for it interesting designs from the Mamluk era. This is one of the few Salafi mosques in Egypt.

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Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan

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Mosque of Muhammad Ali

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Inside Muhammad Ali

Inside The Muhammad Ali Mosque

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This mosque is also known as the Alabaster Mosque. This is one of the most beautiful mosques to visit while in Egypt. This is also one of the top tourist destination and please don’t forget to visit this historical place during your visit to this beautiful country. A couple of notes before you visit. This mosque is sits high above Cairo to give you a wonderful view of the city on a clear day. This means a little of walking is required to visit the mosque located at the top of the Saladin Citadel. The massive minarets of the mosque are 270 feet. If you climb up here, you can get an even more pleasant view of the city and the Giza plateau. So, how old is the mosque? The construction of the structure began in 1830 and continued up to around 1857. It was Muhammad Ali Pasha, the ruler of Egypt during this time who founded this mosque…

There you have it, m y brief total of mosques I have visited during my travels. I hope you have enjoyed reading. Please feel free to share your comments.

Touring these Mosques (in general)

Accessibility & Audience:

These sites are very friendly to visitors, tourist, and are family friendly.

Accessibility may be limited during worship service times (please check with your tour agent).

What to wear and what not to wear:  You should be respectful of local culture and cover legs and maybe asked to cover your head (if female). You may be asked to remove your shoes (most likely).

These are frowned upon:  Smoking, eating, taking pictures of someone without their permission, argumentative behavior, and intimate touching including kissing in the mosque. Please be respectful.

Atmosphere:

Please respect times of worship services. Some of the mosques will be more crowded then others and be cautious of your personal items,

There are many opportunities for photos due to these architectural landmarks both indoors and outdoors. I again remind you to respect these historical sites.

Enjoy the visit and take in the local scene. This is why we travel.

Aswan: Philae Temple & Nubian Village Dec 2018 — by BeatriceTravels

Original Post By: beatricetravels

This morning we set sail for Aswan which was the southern frontier of ancient Egypt and provided a gateway to Africa.  It is here that granite quarries are found and supplied the rest of Egypt in the building of temples and pyramids.  The Ptolemies ruled here from 323-30 BC and built the remarkable Philae Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis.  Isis was the goddess of fertility and motherhood.  She was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.  Her name literally means Queen of the Throne and she was often depicted with a headdress that was an empty throne chair belonging to her husband Osiris.  In ancient Egypt, the pharaoh was often portrayed as her child and sat on the throne she provided.  Philae Temple was built during the reign of Ptolemy II and continued by Ptolemy IV, V, VI, VII, and XI.  The temple was submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906 and was later saved and moved by UNESCO to Agilika Island after the building of the Aswan High Dam in 1971.  Agilika Island was modelled after Philae Island and the temple was moved stone by stone and took 9 years to complete!

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Early this morning, we arrived at the docks to board a speedboat taking us to Philae Temple on Agilika Island

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The first 18-meter pylon of Philae Temple has two towers and an open forecourt leading to the second pylon.  The mamisi or birth house here has scenes depicting the birth of Horus by Isis and Horus as a falcon in the swamps of the Delta.  The second pylon leads to the hypostyle hall where you can find Coptic crosses carved into the walls when the temple became a Christian place of worship during the early Byzantine times.  From here the three vestibules lead into the inner sanctuary where a golden statue of Isis and her barque used to stand.  On the west is a door leading to the Gate of Hadrian with reliefs depicting Hadrian making offerings to Osiris, Isis, etc. as well as Marcus Aurelius making offerings of grapes and flowers to Isis.

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Forecourt of Philae Temple

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Birth House of Philae Temple

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Coptic crosses can be found on the columns when the temple was used as a coptic church

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Pharaoh making offerings to Thoth with the head of an ibis.  He was the inventor of writing and the messenger of the gods.
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Horus in the form of the falcon wearing the double crown

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Isis suckling the young pharaoh who was deified as Horus

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The giving of life to the pharaoh represented by the ankh

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Inside the inner sanctuary with the granite base which would have held the sacred barque bearing the image of Isis.
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A relief depicting Isis supporting the mummy of Osiris with her wings.  Legend has it that Osiris was murdered by his brother Set.  Isis, Osiris’s wife, restores his body to posthumously conceive their son, Horus, who then avenges his father Osiris  The Osiris myth is integral to the ancient Egyptian concepts of kingship, the conflict between good and evil, and the idea of the afterlife.
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Hadrian’s Gate

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The small Temple of Hathor decorated with reliefs of musicians among which was an ape playing the lute and Bes, the god of childbirth.
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Bes, the dwarf god, who was the patron of childbirth and children

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Not far is the unfinished pavilion called Kiosk of Trajan or Pharaoh’s Bed.  It was a favorite subject of the Victorian painters with their boats moored beneath it.

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Temple of Isis on the left and Kiosk of Trajan on the right.

From Philae Temple, we were taken for a ride on a traditional Egyptian sail boat called a felucca.  We went around Lord Kitchener’s Island and Elephantine Island.  We returned to our cruise for a relaxing lunch before we took a speed boat to visit a Nubian Village about 45 mins away.

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Felucca sailing near Aswan
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Cruising on our felucca
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Lord Kitchener’s Island houses the Aswan Botanical Gardens with many exotic and rare plants.
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On the hill stands the Agha Khan Mausoleum built in honor of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III.  He was the 48th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and briefly served as President of the League of Nations in 1937.  The mausoleum was built using pink granite and white carrara marble.  His widow would leave a read rose on his tomb everyday until her death in 2000.  As per her request, a rose would still be laid on his sarcophagus till today.
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Arriving the Nubian Village near Aswan.  Many Nubians had to be relocated with the building of the Aswan high dam.  They have darker colored skin and their own indigenous language.  As warriors, the ancient Nubians were excellent archers and often fought for the pharaohs.

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En route back to Aswan

Shared from: Aswan: Philae Temple & Nubian Village Dec 2018 — beatricetravels

The Temple of Hatshepsut

Egypt is growing again in its popularity for visitors. Tourism is one of this African nation’s major economic driving forces and I had the pleasure of touring here for three weeks. This is perhaps one of my favorite countries to visit.

Temple of Hatshepsut 

One of the highlights of our trip was Luxor and the many ancient sites offered here for visitors.  You will need at least two days to truly capture what can be seen on the east and west banks of the Nile.  There are several ways of getting to this city including bus, car, or plane. We chose to fly the short journey from Cairo as we were to begin our Nile River cruise here. Of course, one can explore the many hotel offerings in Luxor on Booking.com, but we were staying on board our ship for 4 nights.

One of the first ancient sites we visited in Luxor on the west bank of the Nile was the “The Temple of Hatshepsut.”  Situated under the cliffs of Deir el Bahri. Some of the photos of the past visit here.

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Entrance to Tomb of Hatshepsut

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Ancient Art…

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Hieroglyphics Inside the Temple

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Inside the Temple.

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Views of the Cliffs

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The Temple Entrance and Me

Of course, there is more to see and do than visiting this ancient complex.  I will be adding more posts of my adventure here soon.

 

What to See

This temple is open year-around from  9 am to 5 pm. I highly recommend going early to avoid the high afternoon temperatures. The Temple of Hatshepsut is just one of many archaeological wonders that make part of the UNESCO World Heritage site known as Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis. Consider staying for a few days and you can descend into the Valley of the Kings, wander the sprawling Karnak Temple Complex as one of my fellow bloggers has posted some great details and photos. Don’t forget about the Temple of Luxor.

When to Go

May through September is summer and often low season. If you can handle thedesertsummer heat, prices will be less and crowds smaller. Other times offers lower temperatures ‘milder’ and higher number of crowds.

 

Enjoy your next travel adventure!

Egypt… a memory..

This reminds me of one our favorite trips.

Do have to add this back to our list..

Thanks you ‘Living the Q Life’ for posting—

On the second day of our cruise down the Nile River, we stopped in Edfu to visit the Temple of Horus (also known as the Temple of Edfu). It is one of the best preserved ancient temples in Egypt as it was buried by sand, which allowed most of the features to remain intact. The […]

via Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt — Living The Q Life

Land of the Pharaohs

No, not the 1955’s Joan Collin’s movie, but Egypt an adventure for anyone. Prepare for some aggressive locals trying sell their goods. This is a past trip blog in which we enjoyed one our favorite trips. One must see this ancient land of antiquities, pyramids, and wonder.

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More to come from Petra and other adventures past and present….