El Matareya Travel Guide
El Matareya is a district located in the northeastern part of Cairo, Egypt. It is one of the city's oldest and most densely populated districts. El Matareya is known for its historical significance and cultural heritage.
The district is home to several ancient landmarks and archaeological sites. One of the most notable attractions is the Heliopolis obelisk, also known as Cleopatra's Needle, which was originally erected in Heliopolis during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III. It was later transported to London and then to its current location in El Matareya.
El Matareya is also famous for its connection to the biblical story of the Holy Family's Flight into Egypt. According to tradition, the Holy Family, including Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, sought refuge in Egypt and stayed in El Matareya for some time. The district has a church named after the Holy Family, considered a pilgrimage site for Christians.
In addition to its historical and religious significance, El Matareya is a bustling residential area with a mix of residential buildings, markets, and commercial establishments.
The district has witnessed significant urban development over the years, with the construction of new residential complexes and infrastructure projects.
Overall, El Matareya is an important district in Cairo, Egypt, with a rich historical and cultural heritage, attracting visitors and residents alike.
The name of El-Matareya is believed to have come from the Latin word 'mater,' which means 'mother' and is so named because of the existence of the Tree of the Virgin Mary in this region. Al Matariyya with Ayn Shams, the neighboring district, played an important part in history during the Pharaonic period of Egypt, which was a part of ancient Heliopolis. El-Matareya still has many archeological sites dating back to that era, some of which have only been discovered recently. In Roman times, Heliopolis belonged to the Augustamnica province. As per a Christian legend, the Holy Family took refuge under a tree in Heliopolis, now known as the Tree of the Virgin Mary, and still stands at the chapel in El-Matareya.
Another popular destination is the home of Pierre Belon du Mans, the French Naturalist's stay at El-Matareya when he was visiting Egypt in 1547. The district once was home to many exquisite and wealthy villas. Ahmed Shaqwi, the famous Egyptian poet, also resided at a beautiful estate in El-Matareya named Karmet Ibn Hani until he was exiled during the First World War.
Historical Monuments at El-Matareya
Ancient obelisks are situated here, one of which dates back to the Pharaonic era and still stands in its original position. This obelisk is the only one remaining from Heliopolis and was once a part of the great temple of Ra-atum, made by Pharaoh Sesostis in the 12th Dynasty. The obelisk is made from red granite, weighs 120 tons, and is 22 meters high. Another example is a colossal statue made from pink granite, like those from the Pharaoh Ramses II, weighing 5 tons, found in El-Matareya in 2006. The statue was placed at the ruins of a temple that existed during the reign of the son of Ramses II.
Another historical structure found in El-Matareya is the underground tombs from the 6th Dynasty which are of the High Priests of Ra. They were located in the Temple of Ra Atum at the southeastern corner.
Additionally, the Necropolis of Heliopolis is only about 5 km from El-Matareya and belongs to the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. In 2004, a tomb was found with a dome that a Priest made in the 26th Dynasty. Inside were many funerary statuettes named hieroglyphs and Ushabti from the 7th century BC.
Industries in El-Matareya
In the western part of El-Matareya, there is an industrial region along the canal Musturud Ismā'īliyya. This area has many oil companies like Misr Petrol, Shell, and the General Association of Oil. Also, various food industries in the region are popular brands in Egypt.
Popular Places Near El-Matareya
El A'safra, Al Dheheir, and Awlad Sobour are popular destinations, and other places include Al Matariyah, Mataria, Kafr Farouqi, and `Arab Abu Tawila. The major cities near this district are Cairo, Gizeh, Tanta, and El Mahalla el Kubra.
Some Famous Mosques Near El-Matareya
Some popular mosques in and near El-Matareya are the Great Mosque of Azzam, El Fath Mosque, and The Mosque of the Graveyard.
Famous Families From El-Matareya
Some famous families of Egypt which share a history with the town of El Matareya include El Rayes, Azzam, El Shennawy, Al Nagdy, Farrag, El Gendy Dorra, and many others.
El-Matareya is famous as a place of pilgrimage in Egypt, dating back to the Middle Ages. The district is now visited by many tourists coming to Egypt. There are many popular hotels in El-Matareya, and it is easy to find ideal accommodations, making the trip even better.