Matruh governorate is located in the northwest of Egypt and is also often referred to as Marsa Matrouh governorate, after the name of its capital city. In the west, it shares a large portion of its border with Libya; while in the south it is bordered by the New Valley governorate; Alexandria and Beheira governorates share the boundary with Matrouh on the eastern side. The northern side of this province is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea. It is a very scarcely populated region, due to the inclusion of part of the Libyan Desert in this province.
Presently, the local people primarily earn their living by simply trading on a small scale, raising camels and sheep, as well as growing figs and olives. This region is considered sacred, as per the religious beliefs of the Egyptians. Besides numerous religious sites, there are many historical places here, which attract a huge number of tourists all the time. Siwa Oasis in the Libyan Desert is known for housing a holy shrine that is believed to be built during the primitive age. Qattara Depression, located at the center of this province is another favorite tourist destination, due to its pleasant weather and scenic beauty. Rumelle Museum, Marina Monastery, Ramses II Temple, Bath of Cleopatra, and Sayeed Soleman Mosque are a few other notable tourist attractions in this governorate.
Some sites, like El Alamein, contain the mass graves of the dead soldiers of World War II, both from the Axis and Allied Forces. Plenty of mines still continue to be unearthed from these areas, which were placed by European armies during World
War II. Today, the presence of these mines is one of the reasons for the scarce population in this area.
The most prominent tourist sites of Marsa Matrouh:
The city of Marsa Matrouh is also called Mersa Matruh, as spelled in the Arabic language. It is well connected to the Libyan border and also to the oases of Bahariya and Siwa, in the other governorates. The tourist resorts of this city serve as a great option for heat-stricken Egyptians in the summer, due to the favorable weather conditions and cool breezes of this place.
- The most notable historical tourist site of this city is the Ruin of the Temple of Pharaoh Rameses II, which was built in 1,200 BC.
- The sites of the drowned city of Caesar and the drowned palace of Cleopatra are also of high interest to the history-lovers.
- The remains of the Egyptian Fleet Anchorage, placed during the reigns of the Ptolemies are also visible on the western side of the port area.
- A Coptic Chapel on the mountain, built in the early Coptic era, is another great tourist attraction, especially due to the inscriptions inside the caves of this chapel.
- Another important cave has now turned into a Military Museum, where renowned German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was believed to have chalked out his military strategies while in hiding from Allied forces.
- The Italian Cemetery is a high tower, made of marble walls on a high hill. But the German Cemetery is built like a fortress facing the Mediterranean Sea. The British Cemetery was built in a fenced garden with a series of marble tombs. All these cemeteries belong to the dead soldiers of the different countries who fought in World War II.