Alexandria is the gate to Egypt, the principal port and economic-commercial centre. Founded in 331 B.C. by Alexander the great, it enjoyed along period of a great splendor in antiquity. It was in Alexandria that the flourishing centre of the arts, science, and school of philosophy gave rise to the so-called Alexandria civilization.
Today it has 2,500,000 inhabitants and is the second city in Egypt after Cairo.
Among the remains from the roman domination today are included the small kom ed-dik theatre and the so-called Pompeys column, or more correctly that of Diocletian. The column, in red granite, is 30 meters high with circumference of 9 meters. It was erected by the prefect publics in honor of Diocletian for his victory over Achilles in 296 A.D
the Greco-roman museum, founded by the archaeologist G. Botti, it contains all that remains in Alexandria of this historically important and splendid period. Finds from various other parts of the country and others from the paranoiac civilization are preserved in the same museum.
The sidi- abu elabbas is an ancient building rebuilt in 1767, with a rich and imposing architectonic structure. Built over the burial ground of the xIII century saint, it is finally decorated with the traditional Arabian lacy designs on all surfaces of the dome and along the cornices.
Tanta is populous city on the delta where the mosque-sanctuary stands which contains the tomb of ahmed saeed el badawy, one of the most venerated saints of Islam. It has continuous stream of visits from the great multitude of the faithful. Characteristic craftsmen’s shops and picturesque sellers of refreshing drinks add to the local color.
The traditional system of irrigation has been practiced in Egypt since time immemorial. The water is drawn from the Nile cruise river near the fields by means of device in the shape of a wheel with containers operating on bascule principal. This called asaqqaia. It is generally worked by mules or oxen. The shadouf, on the other hand, is a simpler instrument worked by hand and fitted with a counterweight, but is of limited efficiency.
The two mosques of sultan Hassan and refai are situated on in front of the other below the citadel. The first is one of the great masterpieces of Arabian architecture, built between 1362 during the reign of sultan Hassan. The mosque and the university al azhar and the Muhammad ali mosque on the citadel are among the buildings most representative of the Islamic cult. The first was finished in 972 during the reign of the Fatimid, the second was built in 1857 by said pasha. Other splendid examples of Arabian art can be admired in the errafaae and sultan Hassan mosques.
The necropolis of Sakkara is the most outstanding of paranoiac antiquity. It contains works of every historic era and particularly the famous step pyramid, the tomb of the pharaoh zoser, by the great architect imhotep.
No arable or inhabitable land is to be found in Egypt other the valley and the delta of the Nile. Along the depression of the new valley only the oasis offer any possibility of existence for man. The oasis of the so called Libyan desert were, in ancient times, places of great importance and much more populated than they are today. Some of them have evidence of the presence of man right back to the prehistoric times. Iron deposits in the vicinity of the el Bahariya oasis provide the raw material of the steel works in Helwan, reachable at one time only by an adventurous journey on the back of a camel, today the oases are connected to the Nile valley by modern asphalt roads.