A Modern Holiday to Ancient Egypt
Even in today’s modern world, visitors to Egypt cannot escape the rich legend and ancient history which is entwined with this mystical land. The towering pyramids, exotic markets and barren deserts are only part of what makes holidays to Egypt such a magical experience. It is the country’s history which draws us in and its mystery which keeps us entranced.
Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs
The story of Cleopatra is one of the most famous and high profile pieces of the Egyptian history puzzle and her legacy is apparent everywhere you turn. The sites and museums you can visit on your holidays to Egypt will unravel the story of her life, and you can experience first hand how she was transformed into one of the most famous Egyptian pharaohs of all time. From her ascension to the throne at only 18 in 51BC, Cleopatra lived a life that was fraught with drama and dissent. She claimed to have borne the son of Julius Caesar (which the great ruler refuted) and in later life gave birth to two sons by her great love, Mark Antony. Her liaisons with two of the ancient world’s most powerful rulers inevitably led to their downfall, and the Queen of the Nile lives on in Egyptian legend as most famous femme fatale of them all.
Another well-known pharaoh is Tutankhamun, who ruled the 18th Egyptian Dynasty from 1336 – 1327 BC. He was just a boy of nine when he came to power and after serving as King for only nine years, he died. Mystery and conspiracy theories still surround the details of his death and he is a source of fascination to historians, Egyptologists and tourists alike. While few of the actual events in his life have been documented, he remains an icon. His tomb in the Valley of the Kings is visited by many tourists who visit Luxor during their holidays to Egypt.
Valley of the Kings
West of the Nile River lies one of Egypt’s most famous historic sites – the Valley of the Kings.
From the 16th to the 11th centuries BC, all the Egyptian rulers and powerful people were buried in this incredible network of tombs, some of which contain up to 120 chambers. To date 63 tombs have been unearthed, and they have given us a valuable insight into the rituals and culture of ancient Egyptian civilisation. The intricate drawings and symbols which line the walls of the tombs reveal many secrets of how life must have been, and the Valley of the Kings is a must-see site; not just for history experts but for anyone fascinated by ancient history on their holidays to Egypt.
The Temples of Ancient Egypt
If you want to discover the spirit of this ancient world, a trip to some of the old temples will be an interesting and worthwhile part of your holidays. Egypt’s civilisation revolved around spiritualism, and the ruling pharaohs would often build their own temples in line with their individual beliefs.
Ramses II was a ruler who was particularly prolific in his construction of temples, the most famous of which is the Great Temple of Abu Simbel. Originally built into a mountain just above Lake Nasser, the temple had to be dismantled and rebuilt 60 metres higher, to save it from the rising waters of the lake. The rebuilt temple stands today in all its glory, and is a fascinating sight to behold.