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Cairo City Guide - Sights to See
Cairo is a noisy, dirty, and crowded city. It is also one of the most fascinating in the world. The heart of the city is Midan Tahrir near the Nile. Along the banks of the Nile are several landmarks... Kubri El Tahrir, and the 6 October Bridge.

Egyptian Museum: Daily 8:30-1, Friday 8:30-11. Located next to the Hilton Hotel and easily recognized by its Ochre color and large dome. This museum is a warehouse of Egyptian art, and is crammed with a staggering number of masterpieces. It has recently been modernized and renovated... paid for by the touring of the Tut Exhibits around the world. The main treasures of this museum should not be missed, but the treasures of "Tut" are unbelievable. They fill several galleries and will be very crowded with tour groups. (Recommendation: Enter the museum at opening time. Go directly to the Tut Galleries... and you'll have them all to yourself). There are also galleries of mummies (Room 52). Silence is expected here. The gift shop, postcard area and souvenir store will be very crowded. You must be aggressive.

Mosque of El Azhar: The physical and spiritual center of the old walled city.

Mosque of Ibn Tulun: This is the oldest Mosque in Cairo, built by Ahmad Ibn Fulin in the 9th century. The Mosque has a calm, classic beauty. As you walk around the courtyard, notice the stucco patterns covering the under-sides of the arches, and also the geometric designs on the window grilles.

Mosque of Sultan Hassah: This is considered by many to be the finest of all the Mosques and the most important monument of Cairo... dating from the 1350's and built on a colossal scale.

Mosque of Mohammad Ali: A 19th century Baroque extravaganza and a favorite of tourists. Totally Turkish... sometimes known as the Alabaster Mosque. The interior is a sight to behold. The large dome rests on half-domes, with four outer, smaller domes. Everything is elaborately decorated in a jumble of designs. In the four corners of the dome base are four huge medallions, each bearing the name of one of the four first Muslim Caliphs. You'll be required to wear "booties" over your shoes (tip expected), and ladies must cover shoulders.
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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