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About Zagazig

Zagazig is a large city along the eastern section of the Nile Delta in Egypt. Zagazig is the capital of Al Sharqia Governorate in the east section of the Delta and overlooks the Nile, Mois, Ismailia Lakes, and the Muiz Canal. The city is located 85 kilometers northeast of Cairo, the capital of Egypt.
A 2010 census conducted by the Egyptian government estimated the city's population at more than 1.5 million. Zagazig remains one of the Nile Delta's largest and most important cities, along with Mansoura, Tanta, and El Mahala.

The Foundation of Zagazig

Mohamed Ali Pasha, the founder of modern Egypt, founded Zagazig in the 19th Century to dig canals for irrigation in the eastern section of the Nile Delta, cultivating more land and enriching the delta region.
In 1883, Zagazig became the largest and most important city in the eastern Delta region, replacing the town of Belbeis.
All the governmental bodies and institutes were transferred step by step from Belbeis to Zagazig, and employees worked in temporary offices before the first governmental institute was established in Zagazig in 1836.
Within a few years, the city's lands started expanding, and this whole new administration hub became bigger and bigger. Tradesmen, various artisans, and manufacturers began residing in the new town and establishing new businesses there.
A railway station was built in Zagazig at the end of the 19th Century, and trains regularly traveled from Zagazig to Cairo in the North and Mansoura and Suez to the West. In 1980, the Egyptian government issued a decree declaring that Zagazig had officially become the administrative capital of the governorate of Sharqi.

The City of Zagazig Today

The city of Zagazig is divided into two major sections: Hay Awal, or the First Neighbourhood, and Hay Thany, or the Second Neighborhood. The city also has a large number of districts. The most important public squares of the city of Zagazig are Tala’ebHarb Square in the center of the city and Kawmeya Square, El Sagha Square, El Montazah Square, Sphinx Square, and El Tahrir Square.
The most famous streets in the city of Zagazig include Governorate Street, or Abdel Aziz Ali Street, El Amn El Gheza’ie Street, Kawmeya Street, Tobla Ouweida Street, Saad Zaghloul Street, Gala’a Street, Tal’aet Harb Street. Zagazig has three main bridges: El Sagha Bridge, or the New Bridge as the city's inhabitants prefer, El Zera’a Street Bridge, and Kafer Abdel Aziz Street Bridge.

The Name Zagazig

Egyptian historians have always debated the natural origin of the name Zagazig. Three popular theories exist, but none has been proven true. 
The first asserts that the name refers to the family of Ahmed El Zagazoogy, who established the city of Zagazig before Mohamed Ali. The city of Zagazig was mentioned in the description of Egypt drafted by the French soldiers during the occupation of Egypt at the beginning of the 19th Century, but it was named Kafer Zegzy.
The second theory claims that the name Zagazig originated when Mohamed Ali ordered his men to build Nile barrages in the position of the dam that was constructed to store the water of the Mois Sea to provide the required water to aggregate the lands of the Sharkeya governorate. When the builders and workers came to the city to build the new barrage, they lived in small huts made of mud on both sides of the sea. Different vendors and other people followed the workers of the barrage and stayed in this new location. Many fishermen came to live in this new place and started to catch a new distinctive type of fish that was only found in this area: the Zegazeegy fish.
The third and last theory about El Zagazig states that the city was called after the Zagzougy family. This family came from the Arabian Peninsula and stayed in Northern Kafer Zagazig at the beginning of the 19th Century. Some historical theories state that this family was the first to live in this section of the Nile Delta and that the name of the city originates from the name of this family. However, no scholar has ever been able to find solid concrete evidence to prove this historical fact.

Historical Sites of Zagazig and Sharqi

There are many interesting historical sites in Zagazig and the surrounding Sharkeya governorate.


Situated only 70 kilometers North of the city of Zagazig, Tanis is the most important historical site in the Nile Delta. Tanis is the Greek name of the city, the capital of the Egyptian kingdom during the reign of the 22nd and the 23rd dynasties. Tanis remained one of the largest cities in Egypt since the reign of the New Kingdom and until the end of the Roman rule of Egypt. This is why the historical site of Tanis hosts a large number of Pharaonic and Greco-Roman antiquities.
The city's location was along the main route the ancient Egyptians used when trying to invade the lands of the Hittites, Palestine, and Syria. It provided the first defensive line against any attacks coming from the North.
The most important temple of Tanis is the temple of the god Amun, and it was one of the largest temples to be constructed in the Nile Delta of Egypt. The central section of this temple was built in the middle of the 13th and 12th centuries B.C. Ramses II made the temple; he was the most famous builder of ancient Egypt and the founder of many fabulous temples all around Egypt, like the Temple of Abu Simbel situated to the South of Aswan and the hypostyle hall in the Temple of Karnak and a large number of giant statues of himself and the king Amun. Many of the components and different elements of the temple of Amun are still preserved in its original location. The ruins of Tanis attract many tourists who visit Egypt to explore this distinctive monument.
This includes the vast granite gate, several giant statues of Ramses II, the builder of the temple, a statue of a sphinx, and there is also a sizeable sacred lake, the second largest in Egypt, after the famous holy lake of the Karnak Temple in Luxor. The historical site of Tanis also hosts many remarkable obelisks, as it is considered to have the most significant number of obelisks in Egypt. With more than 20 obelisks, giant and ornamented with the name and the history of Ramses II, Tanis is an exciting location to check out ancient Egyptian obelisks.

The Grand Mosque of Zagazig

Zagazig is also notable for having one of the most impressive Islamic monuments in the Nile Delta: the Grand Mosque of Zagazig. Mohamed Ali constructed the mosques on a more than 400 square meters surface. Built-in 1832 as one of the establishing steps of the foundation of a new comprehensive city, the Mosque has a facade 11 meters high. The complex is based on eight massive granite columns imported from Upper Egypt.
The Mosque has a beautiful minaret that is 30 meters high and is decorated in the traditional classical style of minaret ornaments blended with the Ottoman style. The ceiling of the Mosque is made out of the purest types of wood and is colored in a beautiful style.

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