If you want to explore the history of Cairo through the ages there are a number of historical monuments in Cairo including the time-honored buildings, palaces, and parks where you can learn about the glorious past of Cairo. The presence of these monuments of Cairo will take you on a walk through the country’s rich history. If you are willing to have in-depth historical information about Cairo, we recommend that you take a wonderful guided tour to cover the major historical attractions. Also, check the opening and closing time for each so that you can organize your time. Make sure that you go through the complete list of historical sites in Cairo for a great trip:
Monuments in Cairo
1. Salah El-Din Citadel
It is basically impossible to miss the Salah El-Din Citadel when in Cairo and it is one of the world’s greatest monuments to medieval warfare. With high defending walls, large imposing gateways, and towers, the Citadel is one of Cairo’s main attractions. It is also resembling a typical early medieval fortress and probably the most popular non-pharaonic monument in the Egyptian capital. A carriage museum, a military museum, and a garden museum the prominent fortress houses three mosques apart from above those three museums. The impressive and most popular mosque is the Mohamed Ali Mosque, and they are all worth a visit. Named after Gawhara Hanem, Mohamed Ali’s last wife, the citadel is also home to the impressive Gawhara Palace (the Jewel Palace). It housed the ruler’s administration and was used as a personal residence by the Egyptian leader built-in 1814. The walls of this majestic Ottoman-influenced palace are adorned with beautiful gold inscriptions. Watch Hall is one of its most eccentric components where the shape of a watch has been used to decorate the walls. Ticket Price of this famous monument in Cairo is 50 EGP and for Students, it is just 25 EGP.
Address: Salah El-Din Citadel, Cairo, Egypt.
2. Great Sphinx
One of the ancient world’s iconic monuments, perhaps after the Great Pyramid, The Sphinx is simple and smaller than expected. The monument is shaped like a recumbent lion that sits immediately northwest of the Pyramid of Cheops. The total length of this popular monument in Cairo is 73.5 meters, and its height is 20 meters. You can’t go close and touch the Sphinx. After you get a front view, you can walk up the left-hand side of Sphinx. Come here as early as possible otherwise, it will be really crowded. This iconic treasure and sculpture of a man with the body of a lion, must not be missed. It is eroded on the nose but has not lost the magic. The photo ops are fantastic and do not listen to the reviewers who criticize the locals who will help you get the best possible pictures. Giving them 20 Egyptian pounds was my best investment to save my memories of a lifetime.
Address: Sphinx, Cairo, Egypt.
3. Cairo Tower
The Cairo Tower or ElGezira tower or ( Brag El qahari) in the Arabic language is located in the center on Gezira Island in the middle of the Nile River in Zamalek district in Cairo, Egypt. This iconic monument in Cairo is considered one of the most prominent features of the Egyptian capital. It intended to evoke a lotus plant and partially open lattice-work design. During the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser with Soviet assistance, Cairo tower was built from 1956 to 1961. The Cairo Tower is higher than the great pyramid of Giza by 50 meters and the height 187m high. This tower is standing on the base of the Aswan granite stones that had the ancient Egyptians used to build their monasteries and temples of the pharaohs. The trip inside the elevator tower to reach the end of 45 seconds to see when standing on the top of the tower a full panorama of Cairo, Castle SalahElDin, Azhar, the pyramids, building the television, the Sphinx, and the Nile. This 16 floors building gives a wonderful and spectacular view of Cairo and there is a telescope to visit Egypt in a single moment. A rotating restaurant on floor 14, the waiters in this restaurant are dressed as ancient Egyptians, the cafeteria on floor 15 and Cairo tower is considered an architectural masterpiece to attract tourists to Egypt.
Address: Cairo Tower, Cairo, Egypt.
4. Bab Al Futuh
In 1087, Bab Al Futuh in Cairo was built by Badr al-Gamali. It also replaced an earlier gate placed somewhat to the South which had been included in the original enclosure wall of Gawhar. The name given to the new gate by Badr was Bab al-Iqbal (Gate of Prosperity) but once again the populace transferred the name of the old gate to the new. During Napoleonic times this was called the Tour Limescale. Although the construction is similar to the Bab al-Nasr, with the structure solid for two-thirds of its height, the form is different. The flanking towers of the gate (23m high from original ground level) have rounded fronts and the bases rest on chamfered rectangular plinths. Each tower is decorated with an arched panel on the front and on the sides. Above this ancient monument in Cairo, are three arrow slits in a rectangular panel, surrounded by a continuous molding that runs around the tower across the gateway and onto the other tower.
Address: Bab Al Futuh, Cairo, Egypt.
5. Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan
Built between 1356 and 1363 during the Bahri Mamluk period and commissioned by Sultan an-Nasir Hasan, the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is a monumental mosque and madrasa Cairo. For its massive size and innovative architectural components, the mosque was considered remarkable and is still one of the most impressive historic monuments in Cairo today. This religious monument in Cairo is stunning and impressive from outside and inside. The mosque occupies almost 8000 square meters and the building is about 500 meters long, 68 meters wide, and 36 meters high. At the north corner, The massive main doorway is almost 26 meters high and the minaret at the south corner is the tallest in Cairo at 81.5 meters. The mosque is an active place of worship. Women need to cover their heads at the time of visiting the mosque, arms, and legs, and all visitors will need to leave their shoes prior to entering the mosque.This massive mosque and madrasa were built by Sultan Hassan from 1356-1363 during the Bahri Mamluk period. It is thought that it was built below the Citadel so that the Sultan could admire it from his palace above. Ironically, because of the mosque’s position and sturdiness, it was used on numerous occasions in a way not intended. To demonstrate displeasure, dissidents would climb to the top of the mosque and bombard the Citadel. This resulted in several Sultans issuing orders for the mosque to be closed or even demolished (which never occurred). From the Citadel terrace, it looks amazing.
Address: Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, Cairo, Egypt
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6. St. Mercurius Church
In Coptic Cairo, this little church is believed to be built in the site where the Holy Family stayed on their journey through Egypt. You can easily see down a flight of stairs there is a crypt where the family stayed. On our visit, there were visitors from many countries, so it took a while to get to see the cave. The church itself has a collection of early Christian manuscripts and bibles along with some early examples of Christian art. This church was built on the same place where the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus Christ, rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. A relaxing place to visit, you may get lucky to talk to a few Copts and if you do so it would be a nice experience. It is one of those places where you feel relaxed & humbled, especially with the live music played on the nay, an Arabic musical instrument, like a flute. You can see the cave where they lived, the place where The Christ slept, and well they drank from and this sacred monument in Cairo has a very nice architecture.
Address: Mari Girgis Street, Cairo, Egypt.
7. Al-Azhar Mosque
Al-Azhar Mosque was completed in AD 972. It is the finest building of Cairo’s Fatimid era and one of the city’s earliest surviving mosques. Al-Azhar Mosque is the part of one of the world’s oldest universities — Caliph Al-Aziz bestowed it with the status of university in AD 988 and today, Al-Azhar University is still the leading theological center of the Islamic world. On the northwest side of the building, the main entrance is the Gate of the Barbers that adjoining the neo-Arab facade built by Abbas II. Leave your shoes at the entrance and walk into the central courtyard of this beautiful monument in Cairo. As you enter the mosque El-Taibarsiya Medrese would be at your right hand which has a mihrab (prayer niche) dating from 1309. You get the best views of the mosque’s five minarets from the central courtyard which cap the building. Across the courtyard, there is the main prayer hall spanning a vast 3,000 square meters. While the rear half was added by Abd el-Rahman and the front half is part of the original building. Al-Azhar Mosque is easy to reach by taxi and located in the heart of the Islamic Cairo district.
Address: Al-Azhar Street, Islamic Cairo District, Cairo, Egypt.
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8. Ibn Tulun Mosque
Ibn Tulun Mosque is the second oldest mosque still standing in Cairo. It was built between AD 876 and 879 and modeled on the Kaaba in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). At the time it was built, it was the largest mosque in existence. On the southern side of the court, the main prayer hall still holds onto fragments of its older decoration of carved stucco and wood, and the mihrab here has remnants of its original gold mosaic decoration. The 40-meter-high minaret with a fine horseshoe arch over the entrance on the mosque’s northern side and a spiral staircase swirling through the interior. This most famous monument in Cairo is modeled on the minarets of the Great Mosque of Samarra on the Tigris. There are superb views extending over the sea of houses to the north if you climb the 173 steps up to its upper platform and to the Mokattam Hills in the east. From the Sultan Hassan Mosque to the Ibn Tulun Mosque, it’s an easy stroll walking straight down Al-Saliba Street.
Address: Al-Saliba Street, Cairo, Egypt.
So far we have discussed the best monuments in Cairo, which contains the proper information regarding all the most visited monuments in Cairo. I hope you might have loved reading this article and if you love to know more about Cairo then kindly head to our other articles as well which will help you to get knowledge about.