Tanta Tourist Attractions
Tanta, the lively capital of the Governorate of Gharbiya, within the Rosetta and Damietta arms of the Nile, lies between Cairo and Alexandria in the heart of the Nile Delta. The principal commercial center of the Delta (particularly for cotton), it is also one of the most important traffic junctions in Egypt.Tanta has cotton ginning factories and textile industries, and is also a university town, with an institute attached to the El-Azhar University in Cairo and a medical school associated with Alexandria University, as well as the seat of a Metropolitan of the Coptic Church.
Mosque of Sheikh el-Said Ahmed el-Bedawi
The town's most notable building is the 19th C. Mosque of Sheikh el-Said Ahmed el-Bedawi built by Abbas I and Ismail Pasha on the site of an earlier mosque. It stands over the tomb of a much revered and very popular Egyptian holy man, and attracts large numbers of pilgrims, particularly on his birthday in August. Ahmed el-Bedawi, born in Fez in the 12th C., settled in Tanta on his way back from a pilgrimage to Mecca. Frequent miraculous cures are said to have been wrought at his tomb. The celebration of his birthday is a lively and colorful popular festival and fair.
Some 15mi/25km east of Tanta is the Zifta Dam on the Damietta arm of the Nile, built in 1903, with 50 sluice gates 16ft/5m wide. Very similar in construction to the Asyut Dam, it regulates the irrigation of the governorates of Gharbiya, Daqahliya and Sharqiya in the eastern Delta.
Some 25mi/40km southeast of Tanta and 6mi/10km south of Mit Ghamr, in one of the most beautiful parts of the Delta, on the right bank of the Damietta arm of the Nile, is Tell Mokdam, a massive rubble mound marking the site of Leontopolis ("Lion City"), a town mentioned by Strabo which in the Ptolemaic period was the flourishing capital of the 11th nome of Lower Egypt. The buildings, including a temple erected by Osorkon II (22nd Dynasty), were almost completely demolished in later times for the sake of their stone. Excavation has brought to light many statues of lions and the local lion god Mahes. The discovery of the Tomb of Kamama, mother of Osorkon IV, indicates that Leontopolis was the residence of a collateral line of the 23rd Dynasty. There may well be other royal tombs of the same period awaiting discovery.