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02 November, 2011

Top 10 Man-made Wonders or Landmarks of Egypt

Seven Wonders of the World is something that all of us are aware of; there are several man-made wonders all around the world and these are prominent landmarks of a particular country. Say for example, when we say France the first thing that comes to our mind is the Eiffel Tower. This holds true for any country like the United States of America, United Kingdom, India, Italy, etc. Every country has some unique landmarks; here are the top 10 man-made landmarks of Egypt listed in alphabetical order.

  1. Abu Simbel, Aswan
Statues illuminating when the sun rays is penetrating the sanctuary, Abu Simbel Temple, Egypt
Abu Simbel or Abu Simbel temples refer to two huge rock temples, namely, The Temple of Re-Harakhte and Nefertari’s Temple of Hathor; these are located on the western bank of Lake Nasser. The entire complex of the temples is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is known as the Nubian Monuments. These are the most magnificent monuments in the world. This is one of the top tourist attractions of Egypt.

These temples were originally constructed in the year 1244 BCE to commemorate the victory at the “Battle of Kadesh”; this was then relocated to an artificial hill made from a domed structure in 1964 when the Aswan Dam was constructed. The entire relocation process took nearly 4 years. It is still possible to see where the blocks where cut.

The axis of the Great Temple or The Temple of Re-Harakhte is positioned in a manner that on October 21 and February 21, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary to illuminate all the statues except one, which is Ptah, the god in connection with the underworld.

  1. Cairo Citadel, Cairo
Cairo Citadel, Egypt
Cairo Citadel, also known as Saladin Citadel or Mohamed Ali Citadel is a medieval Islamic fortification. This was once believed to be a site that provided excellent views of the city, but now a historic site with museums and mosques.

Lieutenant of Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din between 1176 and 1183 CE built this citadel; this was the royal residence earlier for many of the rulers of Egypt. The citadel contains various museums like Al-Gawhara Palace museum, Carriage Museum, National Military Museum and the Police Museum.

Some of the mosques present in the Cairo Citadel are:

  1. Mosque of Muhammad Ali (therefore sometimes called the Mohamed Ali Citadel)
  2. Ottoman Mosque
  3. Al-Nasir Muhammad Qala’un Mosque
  4. Mosque of Suleyman Pasha

  1. Egyptian Museum, Cairo
The famous burial mask of Tuthankamen made of solid 11 Kg gold at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Image source: Wikipedia

Egyptian Museum, also called the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities has nearly 120,000 items in display and is definitely a famous man-made wonder of Egypt. One can know a lot about Egyptian history from these Egyptian antiquities. The museum has two floors; ground floor consists of papyrus and coins collection and the first floor consists of the artifacts. The coins are made of gold, silver and bronze and the artifacts include a lot of large than life statues, tables, coffins, pharaohs, etc.

  1. Giza Necropolis, Giza
The pyramids of Giza Complex or the Great Pyramids at night, Giza Necropolis, Giza

Image source: Wikipedia
When we say Egypt the first thing that comes up in our minds are definitely the pyramids; how can we leave the Giza Pyramids? Giza Necropolis is indeed one of the man-made wonders of Egypt and is a worth visiting travel destination. It is one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and also one among the Seven Wonders of the World.

There are three pyramid complexes and these are collectively called as the Great Pyramids; they are Khufu’s pyramid complex, Khafre’s pyramid complex and Menkaure’s pyramid complex. Apart from these three pyramid complexes, there are The Sphinx and the Tomb of Queen Khentkaues I.

  1. Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor
A panoramic view of the great hall at Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor
Karnak Temple Complex is often referred as Karnak; from the name, many think it is a temple. Karnak Temple Complex contains not just temples, but also chapels, pylons, Great Temple of Amun, and a huge structure that was begun by Pharaoh Ramses II.

This is the largest ancient religious site in the world and the second most visited historical site in Egypt. There are four main parts; however, the largest part called the Precinct of Amun-Re is the only one open for the general public.

  1. Luxor Temple, Luxor
The view of Luxor Temple at night displaying the central corridor and the four colossi.
It is the large ancient Egyptian temple complex. In the Egyptian language, it meant “ipet resyt” and this means “the southern sanctuary.” Southern Sanctuary refers to the holy of the holies that is present in the southern end of the temple. This was dedicated to Amun, Mut and Chons. There are chapels built by Tuthmosis III and Alexander at the rear part of the temple.

  1. Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Cairo
The minaret of Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo
Mosque of Ibn Tulun is one of the oldest and largest mosques (in terms of the area of land) in Cairo. This mosque is atop a small hill called Gebel Yashkur. The style of the mosque is Samarran style which is very common with the constructions of Abbassid. One can witness one covered wall on all the four sides of the mosque with the largest being in the direction to Mecca. All the homes built near the mosque were demolished except for two oldest and best-preserved homes. Gayer-Anderson Museum is open to public; this was actually two separate houses called “house of the Cretan woman” that was later joined by a bridge constructed in the third floor.

  1. Nubian Monuments of Philae, Aswan
Isis Temple, Philae, Egypt

Image source: Wikipedia
Philae, a small island in the Nile River and the Nubian Monuments of Philae are a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most important thing of the island is its architecture, especially lots of ancient monuments; one of the most ancient monuments is the remains of the Temple Isis.

  1. Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai
A panoramic view of St. Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Saint Catherine’s Monastery is yet again a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Egypt; according to the reports from UNESCO, this is believed to be one of the world’s oldest working monasteries. The entire area where the monastery is now is a sacred place for people of three religions, namely, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The official name of the Saint Catherine’s Monastery is “The Sacred and Imperial Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount of Sinai.” It is believed that the relics of Saint Catherine of Alexandria were transported miraculously by three angels. There is a library in the monastery and this is the world’s second largest library that consists of early codices and manuscripts.

  1. Saqqara
Step pyramid of Djoser, Saqqara, Egypt

Image source: Wikipedia
Saqqara is a spacious and vast burial ground that is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wondering why a burial ground is a man-made landmark and a heritage site? This site consists the world famous Step Pyramid of Djoser and numerous other pyramids and mastabas. It is said that when the sky is clear one can witness the Step Pyramid of Djoser from the following places that are far from Saqqara:

  1. Gaza (17 Km North)
  2. Dashur (10 Km South)
  3. Cairo (40 Km)

When visiting Egypt, do not forget to pay a visit to these man-made wonders of Egypt. These are the popular landmarks of Egypt and I am sure you will love these places.


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