Cairo: History

Mother Of All Cities

Cairo History

Cairo didn't exist in ancient Egypt and was not founded until 641AD by the invading Arabs. However, there are ancient sites a short drive from the capital that have given archaeologists vital clues as to the civilisation of ancient Egypt. Memphis 15 miles outside present day Cairo was known as the capital of Egypt since the days of Menes around 3100 bc, the first Egyptian King to unite the country and found a dynasty.

The site where Cairo stands is thought to have originally been a settlement during the paleolithic age and later in the neolithic age became an integral part of the trading community. Egypt has been conquered by the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, but it wasn't until the Syrian armies of Saladin defeated Christian crusaders that Cairo emerged as a major city. The citadel was built to protect the city and by the 15th century, Cairo had blossomed into the largest city in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Sitting on the banks of the Nile, Cairo was in a prominent position for trade in Africa and Asia and since the emergence of the Suez Canal in 1869 the city also became a gateway into Europe.