The treasures of Egypt

Explore a wealth of history and mystery in and around Cairo, the heart of Egypt.

Tourists ride rented horses and camels at the historical site of the Giza Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt. The pyramids are the only surviving structures from the original list of seven architectural marvels, and were named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2008. Muhammed Muheisen / AP
The Great Sphinx of Giza, a large half-human, half-lion Sphinx statue on the west bank of the Nile River, near modern-day Cairo, is seen with the Chephren (Khafra) Pyramid in the background. The Great Sphinx is one of the largest single-stone statues on Earth, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the 3rd millennium B.C., somewhere between 2520 B.C. and 2494 B.C. Cris Bouroncle / AFP - Getty Images
The Sultan Hassan (R) and the Ar-Rifa'i (L) Mosques are seen in Islamic Cairo, Egypt. The Sultan Hassan Mosque was built between 1356 and 1363 A.D., during the time of Mamluk rule, with stones that historians believe were taken from one of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images
The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha is situated in the Citadel of Cairo and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. This Ottoman mosque is the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century. The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816. Gardel Bertrand /
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. Gardel Bertrand /
A golfer enjoys a game at the Oberoi House hotel and golfcourse near the Giza pyramid. Gardel Bertrand /
The Khan El-Khahili souk, the largest shopping area in Cairo. Gardel Bertrand /
The Maidum pyramid stands on the desert's edge in Bein Sueif, 70 kilometers south of Cairo, and is the first Egyptian pyramid with an aboveground burial chamber. The raised tomb may represent an effort to raise the chamber closer to the sun god. The huge structure is surrounded by the debris from its collapsed casing. Cris Bouroncle / AFP - Getty Images
Fort Quatbay is a 15th century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean Sea coast in Alexandria, Egypt. Gardel Bertrand /
The famous Bibliotheque (library) in Alexandria, Egypt is a top attraction. Gardel Bertrand /
The steam ship "Sudan" cruises along the Nile towards Aswan, Egypt. Bertrand Rieger /
The Old Cataract Hotel is perched atop a hill overlooking the River Nile in Aswan, Egypt. Bertrand Rieger /
The Temple of Horus in Edfu is the second largest temple in Egypt after Karnak and one of the best preserved. It is dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. Rieger Bertrand /
Tourists explore stone columns decorated with hieroglyphs at the Karnak temple site in Luxor. Few places in Egypt make a more overwhelming and lasting impression, than the apparent chaos of walls, obelisks, columns, statues, stelae and decorated blocks of the Ancient Egyptian Karnak temple complex. Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images
A Pharaonic mural decorates the walls at the Karnak temple site in Luxor, Egypt. For the last 40 years, the Ancient Egyptian Karnak temple complex has been investigated and restored by a Franco-Egyptian archaeological team with admirable achievements. Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images
Tourists visit the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. The twin figures stand in the Theban necropolis, across the Nile from the modern city of Luxor. Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images
The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Luxor, Egypt, is built of limestone, rather than sandstone. The "Foremost of Noble Ladies" was the fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egypt, and reigned longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. Bertrand Rieger /
Construction on the Temple of Abu Simbel lasted for about 20 years, from 1244 B.C., until 1224 B.C. The monument is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments", which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images
According to UNESCO, World Heritage Site, Saint Catherines Monastery on the Sinai Penninsula, is the oldest working Christian monastery in the world. Anita Dunham-Potter / Tripso
A tourist stands on one of the massive chalk rock formations created as a result of sandstorms, in the White Desert in Farafra, Egypt. Bertrand Rieger /
Camels look out to the Red Sea at Canyon Beach in Dahab. Camel diving safaris are a popular attraction in South Sinai. Bertrand Gardel /
The Red Sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 corals, and is the world's northernmost tropical sea. The Red Sea is a popular diving, snorkeling and swimming destination. Chicurel Arnaud /
Tourists take a rest on a terrasse in King of Barhein Kingdom street, the main street of Sharm el Sheikh. Eric Feferberg / AFP - Getty Images
A man gets a panoramic view of the volcanic and windblown peaks of the Black desert. Rieger Bertrand /