- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Arabic Phrases
This was the first fortified settlement in the oasis, built on the site of the ancient Oracle of Amun, which lies ruined within its walls. While archaeologists disagree on the original date of the oracle's construction, it is clear that by the 26th Dynasty (664–525 BC) it was known throughout the ancient world.
In 524 BC the Persian king Cambyses dispatched an army of 50,000 men to destroy the oracle after he heard that it had been badmouthing his occupation of Egypt, but according to the Greek historian Herodotus, the soldiers marched into the desert never to be seen again. The oracle's anti-Persian tendencies may be what prompted Alexander the Great to consult it in 331 BC before marching against the Persian Empire.
A staircase ascends to the covered entrance of the ruined fortress, which sits atop a limestone outcropping. Portions of the original structure have been restored, including the sanctum that housed the oracle. There are stunning views of the palm groves and dunes beyond from several vantage points.
Nearby are the remains of the Temple of Amun, a 30th-Dynasty shrine that was blasted to pieces in the late 19th century by an overzealous treasure hunter.
- Address: 4 km (2½ mi) east of the town of Siwa, Siwa
- Cost: £E25, Temple of Amun free
- Hours: Daily 9–5; Temple of Amun daily dawn–dusk
- Location: Siwa
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
I hope this trip is not considered too old to report. Read more
Just returned from 12 great days in Egypt. Read more
My wife & I will be stopping in Alexanderia for 2 nights on a cruise. Read more
· News & Features
Visitors in the know about Disney's new parks system are sure to experience a much smoother vacation tha ... Read more
Mexico City's art scene is vibrant, solid, and ever-flourishing.... Read more
Last week, JW Marriott Hanoi debuted in Hanoi, Vietnam, following in the footsteps of two other JW Marrio... Read more