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Coptic Museum in Cairo

Old Cairo

Old Cairo, Masr al Qadima, lies within the old Roman fortress of Babylon, which was not only a walled but a heavily fortified city, with a narrow streets and cobbled alleys. How the name of the famous Babylon came to be echoed in Egypt is not unknown. The Coptic historian John, who lived at the time of Arab invasion, claimed that it is originally built during the Persian occupation of Egypt (525-332 B.C)

and that it was at that time called the fortress of Babylon. However, a much earlier visitor to the land of the Nile, the classical writer Diodorus, asserted that the name was brought y prisoners of war from great Babylon; the twelfth –dynasty pharaoh Senusert III, some two thousand years B.C, brought them to build public works. These Babylonians revolted against the Egyptians and built a fortification for protection, which had long fallen to ruin when the Persians came and repaired it.

When the Roman geographer Strabo came to Egypt in 24 B.C., he that Old Cairo was a fortress town and was occupied by three Roman garrisons. The emperor Trajan(98-117) cleared a canal that was running through the city and included some urban areas into the enlarged fortress. By this time the area was known as the Castle of Babylon. Under the Christian emperor Arcadius(395-408), the Copts began to build numerous churches in and around Old Cairo. At the time of the Arab conquest in 641, Babylon was such a sizable community that part of the fortress, including the huge towers and bastions, was connected y the walls to the newly founded Arab capital of Fustat. The towers and the bastions were at first used as dwellings for the garrison. Later Amr ibn al-Aas, a major leader of the Arabs at the time of the conquest, returned to the Copts land that the imperial government had taken from them. When Fustat took over the role of the capital from Alexandria, the whole of the Old Cairo was inhabited exclusively by Copts, and the Arabs recruited local labor from their ranks.


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AMAZING layover tour

June 12, 2024

Apr 2012 • Friends

We had the MOST amazing layover tour with Egypt Fun Tours. Hanni was amazing and we loved every moment. Pyramids, authentic food and Islamic Cairo – amazing!


Cairo Day trip

June 12, 2024

Feb 2013 • Solo

Great trip organised. I had a 12 hour layover in Cairo and had a great time with Sherif who answered every question I had on ancient Egypt. Highly recommend.

Adam T

Egypt Fun Tours - Valley of Whales Day Trip - AMAZING EXPERIENCE

June 12, 2024

Jan 2013 • Family

My family and I were visiting Egypt for only 5 days, so we contact Egypt Fun Tours to see what they could suggest we can do for one day. Fortunately, after looking at their website, they had a category with EXACTLY what we needed – Cairo Day Tours! Given that this was our fourth visit to Cairo, and definitely NOT our first experience touring with EFT, Hani and Mohammad immediately came up with a plan for us, where we would visit a new place and experience the most incredible views; (we’ve already seen the pyramids, museum, citadel, etc). Our trip was to the Valley of the Whales! I won’t give away too much information, but it required an approximately three hour van ride into the open desert (TOTALLY different from the desert in Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, etc) and when we got there, the view was breathtaking! We were entertained by Hani’s Egyptian History trivia, as well as the adventurous van ride for several kilometers through the sand! We also had the opportunity to pass through the Fayyoum Oasis and to visit the Waterfalls all in one trip! Almost forgot to mention the DELICIOUS lunch with Bedouins! This is not a very common trip among tourists, but it definitely should be! If you have seen all of Egypt’s “main” attractions, you haven’t seen everything yet! Bring your camera and your sneakers and enjoy a wonderful day at the Valley of the Whales and all nearby attractions! As if our day wasn’t incredible enough, Hani and Mohammad took us to Old Cairo at night to a gorgeous coffee shop – Oum Kolsoum – to drink tea and coffee and then delivered us back to our hotel. Thank you so much Egypt Fun Tours for another memorable experience! See you soon inshallah!


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