They might not be Egypt’s premier tourist destination, but if you’re on a mission to see as many historical sites as possible, El Shatby Tombs are recommended.
Alexandria in Egypt doesn’t have world famous SCUBA diving opportunities and so on, but it certainly has its fair share of fascinating historical sites. In fact, most foreign visitors to the region visit solely for this reason, although the area is also well known for its museums; galleries and etc. Alexandria is also home to some ancient tombs, including El Shatby Tombs.
One thing which visitors need to keep in mind is the fact that the El Shatby tombs are also known as the Chatby tombs which can be confusing for some visitors. To make matters even more confusing is the fact that there are two different burial grounds in the same district:
- The Military and War Cemetery
- El Shatby Tombs
El Shatby Tombs – A Taste of Something Different
Unlike the nearby Military and War Cemetery, the Chatby tombs are considerably older, dating back to 3rd century BC, just before the end of the Pharaonic period. At the time of their construction, there was a huge amount of Greek and Roman influence, although the Greeks were still in power at the time. This merging of cultures can still be seen to this day, not only when visiting the tombs, but also throughout the city of Alexandria. Actually, it’s one of the qualities which help to make the area so fascinating.
With all that having been said, many Egypt private tour packages don’t include a visit to the area’s ancient tombs, so it’s something to keep in mind when you’re booking your holiday. You might even want to consider looking at custom Egypt tours if your heart is really set on seeing the country’s less touristy sites.
Modeled After Typical Greek Custom
For those who are familiar with typical Greek architecture of the time, it’s very apparent that El Shatby Tombs followed tradition, at least to a certain extent. Then again, visitors to the tombs are greeted by two large statues of a sphinx, something which is in no way Greek, but a fundamental part of Egyptian mythology. After all, the Egyptians believed that the sphinx was responsible for guarding the gates to the afterlife.
Visiting Chatby Tombs
Any visitor to the El Shatby tombs will quickly notice that many Greek influences remain, and for those with a special interest, a trip to the nearby Alexandria National Museum is well worth a visit since many of the site’s smaller artifacts were moved to the museum for safekeeping.
Although the tombs were originally constructed underground, most of the complex is now above ground, and the parts which are still underground are mostly off limits to tourists because of safety concerns. Nonetheless, those parts which are open have been carved from the native sandstone, and certainly worth a visit. The above ground region is truly lovely, and these days it also includes a small garden and a seating area that are usually very quiet and peaceful.
Though the site is not on everyone’s “must see” list for the city, they are definitely worth a visit if you are particularly interested in this time period in Egyptian history.
There are admission fees and some tour services. Parking, as is often the case, can be challenging in this part of the city. The entrance is found along Port Said Street, and is adjacent to St. Marc’s College. This means it is a short walk from the Corniche or Suez Canal Street. You can take the tram to these locations or visit as part of a private tour and enjoy a stroll though this lovely and ancient part of Alexandria.
You can visit Egypt’s ancient El Shatby Tombs as part of your tour. We’ve been offering Egypt tour packages and holidays for nearly 60 years already, and many of our package deals are based on this experience. However, if you don’t find what you’re looking for on our site, just let us know and we’ll work with you to tailor the perfect tour based on your own individual needs.