It is hard to imagine the vast enormity of the ancient Egyptian capitol city of Memphis. Most historians believe it extended approximately nineteen miles along the eastern shore of the Nile. If the size of the city alone is not impressive, the age is mind-boggling. It is long held to have been founded by the first pharaoh of the first dynasty, and was the first capitol of a united Egypt – making it well over five thousand years old!
For centuries Memphis, Egypt was the political and administrative hub of the country, and nearby Saqqara with its vast number of royal burial sites attests to the significance of the area. Even after the turmoil created by the reign Akhenaton, who relocated the capital to Thebes and built his own special temples to the Aton, or sun, the pharaoh Tutankhamun returned to Memphis.
As centuries passed however, Memphis began to fade as a powerful location and with the end of Pharaonic Egypt came the dismantling of many of Memphis’ temples and large structures. Medieval construction in Cairo, and the rise of Alexandria caused much destruction in the once grand city.
The Memphis Open Air Museum
Today however visitors can still find some of its remaining wonders, including a monumental statue of Ramses II and a beautiful sphinx carved from a single, enormous piece of alabaster. Weighing in at around eighty tons, the sculpture is one of the most commonly visited attractions in the city.
In addition to its political and administrative functions, ancient Memphis also served as a center for the worship of the god “Ptah”, in fact the city was seen as the “seat” of the god. Today, the remains of a great temple to Ptah as well as some royal palaces, and a large necropolis are also available for visitors to explore.
Outside of Memphis Egypt, and very nearby, are Giza and the amazing cemetery at Saqqara.
What do you want from a Memphis Egypt Tour?
Ancient pyramids, desert vistas, touring by camel, exploring an oasis, a cruise down the majestic Nile River. Put our expertise to work for you for the trip of a lifetime.