Welcome to another post from my Egypt travel series! I am not going in chronological order of the trip but going to skip around to break up too many posts about temples in a row so today we go north from Luxor to the mouth of the Nile. Our first stop in Alexandria was certainly the smallest, but it is still one of the top attractions in the city so I am glad we visited the Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqafa first. The name actually translates from Arabic from “Broken pottery” which the locals named because they found so much broken pottery from the Ancient Egyptians who visited graves and brought food in pottery.
From the surface it does not look like an impressive space but once you descended the spiral staircase it begins to come together. There is a labyrinth of tombs underground which were found by a donkey falling down one of the main shafts and we visited many of them – from the large room with four massive red granite columns which served as the resting room for processions and visiting the dead to small hallways of empty tombs.
We learned about the Provence (not totally know, but it had to be a rich owner (a royal or noble, as it was very expensive to make, who began construction around the 2nd century A.D. The main tomb room was quite crowded when we visited and it was hard to get a good shot but as we explored the rest of the tunnels and the back of the catacombs the space opened up and we had the place nearly to ourselves. It was interesting to learn about the hierarchy of how people were buried as we looked at the empty including the symbology, flooding , and strategy to not get looted. Take a look at the Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqafa:
And as an inside look into Sparkles & Shoes, when touring a place like this I usually take notes and I am quite glad I did because the catacombs does not have an official website! Though I was interested to learn that it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, alongside the Colosseum, Stonehedge, and the Learning Tower of Pisa.
Would you want to visit the Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqafa?