El-Zagazig Tourist Attractions
The rising provincial capital of El-Zagazig lies on the Muweis Canal (Bahr Muweis), the ancient Tanitic arm of the Nile, from which the Mashtul Canal branches off here. The chief center of the Egyptian cotton and corn trade, with large cotton ginning factories, it is a town of largely Western aspect.
There is a small Museum containing archeological material from the surrounding area.
Hill of Tell Basta
On the south eastern outskirts of the town is the Hill of Tell Basta, with the extensive remains of ancient Bubastis (Egyptian Per-Bastet), capital of the Bubastite nome. The walls of some ancient brick buildings survive to a considerable height. Below the southwest side of the hill, usually lying in water, are the remains (granite blocks, columns, architraves and other architectural fragments, some of them with inscriptions and reliefs, and a few statues) of the Temple of Bastet, the town's tutelary goddess, which was excavated by the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1887-89; they are likely, however, to be of interest only to specialists. The temple was begun by Cheops and Chephren, underwent much alteration at the hands of Ramesses II and other later kings and was given its final form by the 22nd Dynasty rulers who had their capital at Bubastis and by Nectanebo II (30th Dynasty). It then consisted of four large halls with a total length of 600 feet in which the festivals of Bastet were celebrated.The festival of Bastet was described by Herodotus (c. 490-c. 420 B.C.) in the following words:"When the Egyptians travel to Bubastis they do so in the following manner. Men and women sail together, and in each boat there are many persons of both sexes. Some of the women make a noise with rattles, and some of the men play pipes during the whole journey, while the other men and women sing and clap their hands. When they come to a town on the way, they lay to, and some of the women land and shout and mock the women of the place, while others dance and get up to mischief. They do this at every town lying on the Nile; but when they come to Bubastis they begin the festival with great offerings and sacrifices. The Egyptians say that some 700,000 men and women make this pilgrimage every year."The prophet Ezekiel, in his prophecy on the desolation of Egypt, refers to Bubastis under the name of Pi-beseth (Ezekiel 30:17).