Catacombs of Al Shogafa and Kom es ShApprox. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate

The Catacombs of Al-Shogafa are an example of Egyptian architecture at its best.

These tombs were tunneled into the bedrock in the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century A.D.)for a single wealthy family still practicing the ancient religion. As a privately financed project, it is an engineering feat of some magnitude. These tombs represent the last existing major construction for the sake of the old Egyptian religion. They are alone worth the trip to Alexandria. Though the funerary motifs are pure ancient Egyptian, the architects and artists were schooled in the Greco-Roman style. Applied to the themes of Ancient Egyptian religion, it has resulted in an amazing integrated art, quite unlike anything else in the world.

A winding staircase descends several levels deep into the ground, with little chapels opening from it, furnished with benches to accommodate visitors or mourners bringing offerings. There are niches cutout to hold sarcophagi.

Courtesy of Egypt Tourism Board