Cairo: Facts About the Capital of Egypt

Here are some facts about Cairo.

  • Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa. It is located along the River Nile near the delta, about 165 km from the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Although the area has been settled for thousands of years, the city was founded in 969 AD. Over the centuries it has been rules by the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Romans, Turks, French and British.
  • Over 300,000 people died in over 50 separate plagues which hit the city between 1349 and 1517. Today, the city has a population of about 17 million in an area of 453 square km.
  • The city’s most famous landmark is the Great Pyramid of Giza. The structure was built about 2500 BC, covers an area of 53,000 square metres and is 140 metres high.
  • Over 2 million huge stone blocks were used to build it, some of which weigh over 72 tons. It’s estimated that 40,000 people took 10 years to build it.
  • Cairo’s Egyptian Museum has the world’s greatest display of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including many from the tomb of Tutankhamen. Over 130,000 items are on display.
  • Cairo is home to the oldest university in the world, and one of the largest mosques. It is often known as the city of 1,000 minarets, because of its Islamic architecture.
  • Khan el-Khalili is one of the largest souks, or outdoor markets, in Cairo. It dates from the 14th century and is divided into different sections selling carpets, spices, metalwork and many other items.
  • There are an estimated 4.5 million cars in Cairo and traffic jams are common. The Cairo Metro system, one of only two in Africa, carries about 4 million people a day.
  • There are two main football teams in Cairo who are fierce rivals, yet share the same stadium. The Egyptian national team has ranked as high as 9th place in the World Cup.

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