Fayoum



It is a depression in the western desert 103km south west of Cairo, surrounded by high plateaus. Fayoum gets its water supply from the Nile through the Bahr Youssef canal. It enjoys a variety of tourist attractions, and is known for its year round moderate climate, the beautiful scenery with the vast Lake Qarun and its proximity to Cairo. The blend of desert and agriculture with its cultural and historical surrounding area of Pharaonic, Graeco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic antiquities make Fayoum an exceptional resort destination and an excellent site for bird watching.

Archaeological Sites

Pharaonic Monuments

Hawara Pyramid, built by King Amenemhat III of the Xllth dynasty.
Al-Lahun Pyramid, built by King Senousert II of the Xllth dynasty.
The base of Amenemhat III Pyramid in Behmo.
Senousert I Obelisk at Fayoum’s entrance.
Medinet Madi Temple, dating from the Xllth dynasty, built by Kings Amenemhat III and IV.
Kiman Fares: contains the remains of the ancient city and the temple of the crocodile god Sobek built by King Amenemhat III.
Qasr Al Sagha Temple: dates from the middle Kingdom; lies north of Qarun Lake. It is a small temple built of limestone.

Graeco-Roman Monuments

Ruins of Karanis Town: 30 km north of Fayoum. These include monuments dating from the Ptolemaic, Coptic and early Arab settlement. There are also two temples for the worship of the crocodile god Sobek, a Roman bath and a winery.
Urn AI-AtaI: the remains of the ancient city. It contains a temple built of mud bricks.
Philadelphia: contains the ruins of Greek villages including that of Apollonius.
Ruins of Demiet al-Sebaà: 3 km north of Qarun Lake. It contains monuments dating from the Greek era. It is a departure point for caravans heading south for the oases.
Qasr Qarun Temple: On the southern side of Qarun Lake, 50km from Fayoum. The
temple still retains its details. The entrance is ornamented with a Sun Disk painting.

Christian Monuments

Al-Malek Monastery: On the Naklun Mountain 16km south of Fayoum.
Al-Azab Monastery: in Al-Azab village, 8 km south of Fayoum. Called the monastery of Saint Abram because it contains his remains. The monastery includes an old and a new church, the shrine of Pope Abram and a Coptic Museum.
The Virgin Monastery: Another monastery for the Virgin.

Islamic Monuments

Qantarah Al-Lahun: 20 km south of Fayoum city.
Qaitbey Mosque: dates from the Mameluke era, built on Khunda Saulbai bridge by the wife of Sultan Qaitbey in 1476 AD. It is distinguished by its rostrum inlaid with ivory.
Minaret and Dome of Sheikh Ali Al-Rubi: Built in the Mameluke era style of Al-Azhar’s minaret. Sultan Barkuk built the shrine in his honour.
The Suspended Mosque (Prince Suleiman): dates from the Ottoman era in the style of the Mameluke mosques, its name is attributed to being constructed on a hillside.
Moroccans Souk: in Casba street, (Qantara Market). It has wooden gates and a central court with side shops and an inn on top.

Tourist Sites

Lake Qarun: a protected area, 20 km from Fayoum. It is part of the ancient Moeris Lake, where water sports, fishing and bird watching are available.
Wadi Al Rayan: A protected area, 75km from Fayoum, known for its diversity of nature and serene beauty, waterfalls, springs, wild animals and bird life.
Natural Springs: There are many natural springs. The most famous are Ein Silleen surrounded by Al Silleen garden and Ein Al-Sha’er.
Beni Saleh Pigeon Loft: 6km from Fayoum on the way to Silleen.
Sawaqi Al-Hadeer (Waterwheels): the zoo, a permanent tourist exhibition, Karanis Museum in Kum Osheem, Al-Azab monastery museum in Al-Azab, local handicrafts museum in Silleen and natural valleys.