The most isolated and mysterious oases of Egypt with historical stories; the Siwa Oasis is one of the destinations that always retained its unique magic and its unparalleled ambiance. Many tourists travel to Egypt just to explore the Egyptian Desert and its marvelous oases.
Siwa Oasis situated around 850 kilometers from Cairo, and away from the River Nile where the life and the events always revolved around, the Bedouins of Siwa Oasis still possess their original ancient traditions and habits that amaze people who travel to Siwa to spend their tours in the desert sand.
The Siwa Oasis is in fact situated around 300 kilometers to the borders of Libya. This makes Siwa Oasis the farthest oasis in the country. A desert of rocks occupies the Western borders of Siwa Egypt, Sand dunes occupy the Eastern borders, the Qattara depression to its North.
Siwa Oasis is situated around 850 kilometers to the North East of Cairo, more than 1500 kilometers to the North West of Aswan, 1146 kilometers to the North West of Hurghada, around 500 kilometers to the North West of the Fayoum Oasis, and around 250 kilometers to the South West of Marsa Matrouh, the nearest city to Siwa Oasis.
Situated in the Western desert, the Siwa Oasis has a continental climate that is quite hot in the summertime and in all times of the day. While the wintertime and the springtime in the mornings the weather is warm and beautiful. However, the nights are very cold in some periods, this is because of the desert atmosphere.
Many claims that the Siwa Oasis today is no different than what it seemed like hundreds of years in the past. However, in the last few decades, Siwa has become one of the popular destinations for tourists who travel to spend their vacation in Egypt. With the establishment of some new Siwa oasis hotels and resorts the number of travelers even increased in this isolated oasis.
The Siwa Oasis is surrounded by more than 25,000 trees and the oasis has more than 250 thermal springs that are famous for curing a number of diseases.
One of the most important historical sites of the Siwa Oasis is the ancient town of Shali. This town was established in the 13th century with many interesting stories, people build most of the houses by a local material that is was a mixture of sand, clay, salt, and straw. Shali was deserted in the 1930s after some heavy rains that ruined the houses of the city.
Another important site that is recommended for any traveler is to explore while visiting the Siwa oasis is the Cleopatra Bath. This wonderful natural spring is surrounded by palm trees and many plants.
There is also the famous Temple of Amun or the Temple of the Oracle. The ruins of the temple can still be visited until today in the ancient citadel of Aghurmi that was abandoned in the same period as Shali.
Lots of interesting historical sites like Gebel El Mawta, or the Mountian of the Dead, which hosts a large number of historical tombs dating to the 26th dynasty having many stories and ending with the Greek-Roman period. Many of these tombs have retained its decorations and colors.
According to historical records of Siwa Oasis, too little was known about the Siwa Oasis until the 6th century BC. However, generally speaking, it was proven that Siwa Oasis had relations with Egypt dates back to the 15th century BC. This was one of the most flourishing periods of Egyptian history when the kings of Egypt had many successful military campaigns that added a large area of land in the desert that included Siwa Oasis.
There is no doubt that the Siwa Oasis has witnessed the construction of a Temple dedicated to the worship of the god Amun dates back to the 18th dynasty, between the 13th and the 16th centuries BC, spreading the worship of Amun in many places in the Western Desert of Egypt. Amun was the most important ancient Egyptian god at the time.
The reason why the priests of Amun chose Siwa Oasis to build a temple of the oracle for their god was that the oasis was among one of the most important transit points of commercial caravans that came from the Desert to the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta.
Among the most important historical events, or perhaps the most important, is the visit of Alexander the Great to Siwa Oasis dates back to the 3rd century BC when he became the ruler of Egypt. Alexander in fact went Siwa Oasis to visit the Temple of Amun to become the son of the god Amun, a ritual that was quite common between Pharaohs who ruled Egypt throughout history.
Historical records assert dates back to the year 331 BC after Alexander the Great took control of Egypt and started establishing Alexandria as his new capital, he travels to visit Siwa Oasis with some of his army troops. It was even said that after they left the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and went to the South in the direction of Siwa Oasis, the water they had was over. However, the rescue came from god when it rained heavily in an area that rarely witnessed rains.
It was said as well that Alexander never notified the priests of the Temple of Amun concerning his visit. This was why people were quite amazed to view Alexander and his troops suddenly in the oasis. The highest priest of the Temple of Amun welcomed Alexander and guided him to the inner sanctuary of the temple to consult Amun by himself.
When Alexander went out of the temple, his friends and companions asked him about what the god Amun told him, he said that he will never say anything except to his mother. However, he died before reaching his mother. The one and the only true fact we are sure of that the visit of Alexander to the Temple of Amun in Siwa Oasis made him more legitimate to rule Egypt.