Al Quseir, Egypt

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Al Quseir Sights

Al Quseir old town

Wadi Hammamat
Wadi Hammamat has hundreds of rock inscriptions, some of which date back to 4000 BC. During antiquity, it was famous for production of the Bekheny Stone, a beautiful, green ornamental rock, which was considered sacred. The stone was actively quarried from Pharaonic until Roman times to make bowls, statues and sarcophagi, many of which have been found in the Pyramids, graves and temples of those periods.

Bir Umm Fawakhir
A little to the north of Wadi Hammamat, in the central part of the Eastern Desert, a gold mining settlement from the fifth and sixth century. At one time, about 1,000 Coptic Christians lived in this town, extracting gold from the surrounding mountains, which was then transported to the Nile Valley for refining. The settlement’s largest mine extends horizontally for approximately 100 meters into the mountain and is about two meters high. Today, the neatly-laid-out buildings can be examined by visitors, who can also ponder over and the ancient inscriptions etched into granite boulders at the town’s guard posts.

Myos Hormos
Al Quseir old mosque This ancient port lies just a few km north of El Qseir, and was once a thriving haven for trading ships departing to India. Remains of the old port can still be seen today This Ottoman fortress in the town center of Quseir is certainly worth a visit. It was built in the 16th century during the reign of Sultan Selim to protect trade links with India. Napoleon's troops occupied the fortress in 1799, fortifying it with cannons mounted high on the walls. They also added a new viewing platform. A few years later, British forces ejected the French after a fierce battle and added a new gate to the fortress. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 led to the decline of Quseir and its fortress.

Sultan Selim Fortress
Recently restoration work on the fortress has been completed. Cannons are once again pointing seawards from their original gun ports. The viewing platform was also restored with the help of illustrations from the Déscription de l'Égypte that had been commissioned by Napoleon. The fortress now houses the new Visitor Center containing displays on local history, archaeology and culture of the surrounding region.



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