Hihyā, Egypt

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Hihyā, Egypt

Region: Minya

Geographic Coordinates: 30.668700, 31.590400
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Hihyā, Egypt?
Population: 66702
Language: Arabic

Hihyā, Also known as El-Mansoura, Is a vibrant city located in the Dakahlia Governorate of Egypt. Situated in the northeastern part of the country, Hihyā lies approximately 120 kilometers northeast of Cairo. This bustling city serves as the capital of Dakahlia and is an important economic and cultural center in the region. Hihyā boasts a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The city was originally founded during the Islamic era by Al-Mansur Ibn Nasser, From whom it derived its alternative name El-Mansoura.

Throughout its existence, Hihyā has witnessed various rulers and dynasties that have left their mark on its architecture and culture. One of Hihyā’s most prominent landmarks is Al-Azhar Mosque, An architectural masterpiece built during the Fatimid caliphate in 970 AD. This stunning mosque showcases intricate Islamic designs and serves as a significant religious center for Muslims worldwide. The city’s vibrant atmosphere can be experienced through its bustling markets or souks. The local bazaars offer a wide range of goods such as textiles, Spices, Traditional handicrafts, And local produce.

Exploring these markets provides visitors with an authentic taste of Egyptian culture while offering opportunities to interact with friendly locals. For history enthusiasts, Hihyā offers several museums that provide insight into Egypt’s past. The Mansoura National Museum houses artifacts dating back to ancient Egyptian times until modern days. It showcases archaeological discoveries from nearby sites like Tel El-Daba and Bubastis. Nature lovers will find respite in Hihyā’s green spaces such as Geziret Mit Ghamr Park or Nile Corniche Park along the banks of River Nile.

These parks offer serene environments for relaxation or picnics while enjoying breathtaking views over lush landscapes. Food enthusiasts will be delighted by Hihya’s culinary scene. The city is renowned for its delicious street food, With vendors serving up mouthwatering dishes such as koshary (a mix of rice, Pasta, Lentils, And fried onions), Ful medames (slow-cooked fava beans), And taameya (Egyptian falafel). Hihyā also hosts various cultural events throughout the year. One of the most notable celebrations is the International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts held annually in October.

This vibrant festival gathers artists from different countries to showcase their traditional music and dance performances. Hihyā is a captivating city that seamlessly blends its rich history with modern-day life. From ancient mosques to bustling markets and beautiful parks, This Egyptian gem offers something for everyone. Visitors will be enchanted by its vibrant atmosphere, Friendly locals, Delicious cuisine, And cultural festivities – making Hihyā an unforgettable destination in Egypt.

Important Landmarks

  1. Al-Mahalla Al-Kubra: This is a nearby city that is known for its textile industry and historical significance. It’s worth exploring the vibrant markets and observing the traditional weaving techniques.
  2. Al-Bahr Mosque: Located in Hihyā, this mosque is an important religious site for locals and visitors alike. It features beautiful architecture and intricate designs.
  3. Hihya Museum: This museum showcases the history, culture, and heritage of Hihyā and its surrounding region. Visitors can learn about the local traditions, crafts, agriculture, and more.
  4. Lake Burullus: Although not directly in Hihyā but nearby, Lake Burullus is a large coastal lake that attracts tourists with its scenic beauty and diverse bird species. It’s an ideal spot for bird watching or taking boat trips.
  5. Local Markets: Exploring the local markets of Hihyā can be an interesting experience where you can find traditional crafts, textiles, spices, fruits, vegetables as well as taste local delicacies.

While these attractions may not be as famous on a global scale compared to other Egyptian cities’ landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza or Luxor Temple; they offer insights into everyday life in smaller towns like Hihyā while providing opportunities to explore local culture and history.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Hihyā is primarily an agricultural region with a focus on crop cultivation. The area produces various crops such as cotton, wheat, corn, and vegetables.
  2. Textile Industry: Hihyā has a significant presence of textile factories that produce textiles and garments from locally grown cotton.
  3. Food Processing: The city has several food processing facilities that specialize in processing agricultural products like fruits and vegetables into canned or packaged goods.
  4. Manufacturing: Hihyā has a small manufacturing sector that includes the production of furniture, ceramics, metalworks, and other small-scale industrial activities.
  5. Retail and Trade: As a commercial hub for the surrounding rural areas, Hihyā hosts numerous retail stores including grocery shops, clothing boutiques, electronics stores, and other local businesses catering to the needs of the population.
  6. Services Sector: Various services are offered in Hihyā such as banking institutions, healthcare facilities including hospitals and clinics; education centers like schools; transportation services including buses; construction companies; telecommunications providers; etc.
  7. Tourism: While not as prominent compared to other Egyptian cities like Cairo or Luxor, Hihya does attract some tourists due to its historical sites such as Al-Rifa’i Mosque (built during Ottoman rule) which can be visited by those interested in Islamic architecture or history enthusiasts visiting Egypt’s less-visited destinations.

It’s important to note that while these are some major industries found in Hiyhá they may not be exhaustive or fully representative of all economic activities within the city.

Noteable History

  1. Ancient Egyptian Era:
    • Construction of the Great Temple of Ra: Heliopolis was one of the most important religious centers in ancient Egypt. The city was known for its Great Temple dedicated to the sun god Ra, which attracted pilgrims from all over the country.
  2. Ptolemaic and Roman Periods:
    • Cleopatra VII: The last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, Cleopatra VII, had strong connections to Heliopolis. She sought support from her subjects there during her struggle against Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) during the Roman Civil War.
  3. Islamic Era:
    • Arab Conquest: After Egypt’s conquest by Muslim armies in 641 CE, Heliopolis lost its prominence as a religious center but continued to be inhabited.
    • Ibn Khaldun: The famous Arab historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) was born in Tunis but spent several years studying and teaching at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is close to Hihyā.
  4. Modern Period:
    • Napoleon’s Expedition: During Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign in Egypt (1798–1801), his troops passed through or near Hihyā on their way to Cairo.
    • Baron Empain Palace: A notable landmark built by Belgian industrialist Édouard Louis Joseph Empain between 1907 and 1911 near modern-day Hihyā.

It is important to note that while these events/people have connections with or proximity to Hihyā/Heliopolis, they might not be directly associated with it.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Al-Ghouri Complex: This historic complex is home to the Al-Ghouri Mosque and Sabil-Kuttab of Sultan Qaytbay. It features stunning Mamluk architecture and hosts cultural events like traditional music performances.
  2. Hihyā Museum: Located in the city center, Hihyā Museum showcases a collection of artifacts from different periods of Egyptian history, including ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Coptic, and Islamic artifacts.
  3. The Great Mosque of Hihyā: Built during the Fatimid era in the 11th century AD, this mosque is one of the oldest religious structures in Egypt. It boasts intricate architectural details and beautifully decorated interiors.
  4. El-Mansoura Citadel: Situated on a hill overlooking the city of El-Mansoura (which includes Hihyā), this fortress was constructed by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) during his campaign against Crusaders in Egypt.
  5. Tanta Museum: Located nearby in Tanta city (around 30 km from Hihya), Tanta Museum offers an extensive collection showcasing local history and culture through various artifacts.
  6. Sayed Darwish Theatre: Named after Sayed Darwish, one of Egypt’s most renowned musicians and composers, this theater hosts musical performances and cultural events throughout the year.
  7. El-Tahra Palace: Situated on a vast estate near Kafr Saad village (approximately 20 km from Hihya), El-Tahra Palace is an impressive example of Ottoman-era architecture with beautiful gardens surrounding it.
  8. The Obelisk Square: A public square located at the heart of Hihya City Center where you can find an obelisk monument surrounded by green spaces—a perfect spot for relaxation or enjoying a picnic.

These are just a few examples of the cultural and historical attractions in Hihyā, Egypt. Exploring these sites will provide visitors with an enriching experience and deeper insights into the region’s heritage.

Sports Teams

  1. Al Ahly Sporting Club: Founded in 1907, Al Ahly is one of the most successful football clubs in Africa and the Middle East. They have won numerous domestic and continental titles, including multiple CAF Champions League trophies.
  2. Zamalek Sporting Club: Established in 1911, Zamalek SC is another renowned football club based in Cairo. They have also achieved considerable success domestically and internationally.
  3. Ismaily Sporting Club: Founded in 1924, Ismaily SC is an Egyptian football club based in Ismailia city near Hihyā. They have won several national league titles throughout their history.
  4. Smouha Sporting Club: Located in Alexandria city, Smouha SC was founded relatively recently, in 1949. While not as successful as some other Egyptian clubs, they have had notable performances both domestically and continentally.
  5. El Gouna FC: Established more recently than others on this list (2003), El Gouna FC represents the Red Sea resort town of El Gouna near Hihyā.

It’s important to note that Hihyā itself doesn’t have any well-known sports teams or significant historical achievements at a national level compared to other cities like Cairo or Alexandria which are considered major centers for sports activities within Egypt.

Cultural Events

  1. Moulid of Sayeda Zainab: This religious festival celebrates the birth of Sayeda Zainab, the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad. It is held annually at the Sayeda Zainab Mosque in Hihyā and features religious processions, prayers, traditional music performances, and local food stalls.
  2. National Day Celebrations: Like all cities across Egypt, Hihyā celebrates Egyptian National Day on July 23rd each year. The day commemorates the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 and is marked by various festivities such as parades, concerts, fireworks displays, and cultural exhibitions.
  3. Ramadan Celebrations: During the holy month of Ramadan (based on the Islamic lunar calendar), Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. In Hihyā, you can experience vibrant street markets called Ramadan tents where people gather after sunset to break their fast with an evening meal known as Iftar. These tents often feature live music performances and entertainment.
  4. Eid al-Fitr: This festival marks the end of Ramadan when Muslims celebrate with family gatherings and feasts after completing a month-long fasting period. In Hihyā, residents typically attend special prayers at mosques followed by joyful community events featuring traditional food offerings such as Kahk (festive cookies) and other sweets.
  5. Coptic Christmas Celebrations: As a predominantly Muslim country, Egypt also has a significant Coptic Christian population who celebrate Christmas on January 7th according to their liturgical calendar (which follows Eastern Orthodox traditions). In Hihya’s Coptic Christian community, you can witness religious processions, church services, and cultural performances during the Christmas season.

Please note that the availability and specific details of these events may vary from year to year. It is recommended to check with local sources or authorities for the most up-to-date information if you plan to attend any festivals or cultural events in Hihyā.


  1. Foul Hihyā: Fava beans (foul) is a staple dish in Egypt, and Hihyā has its own version called Foul Hihyā. It typically consists of mashed fava beans seasoned with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices. You can find this dish at local street food vendors or small eateries.
  2. Grilled Fish: As Hihyā is situated near the Nile Delta region, fresh fish is readily available. Local restaurants offer grilled fish dishes such as sea bass or mullet marinated with herbs and spices.
  3. Egyptian Hawawshi: Hawawshi is a traditional Egyptian street food made by stuffing pita bread with minced meat (usually beef or lamb) mixed with onions and various spices before baking it until crispy. Look for local bakeries or small sandwich shops to try this delicious treat.
  4. Local Cafeterias: In Hihyā, you will find several cafeterias serving traditional Egyptian breakfast items like ful medames (cooked fava beans), taameya (Egyptian falafel), cheese sandwiches, baladi bread with honey or jam along with tea and coffee.
  5. Local Sweets: For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on trying some traditional Egyptian desserts like basbousa (a semolina cake soaked in syrup), konafa (shredded pastry filled with nuts or cream), baklava (layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and sweetened syrup), and qatayef (sweet dumplings stuffed with cream or nuts). You can find these sweets at local bakeries or sweet shops.

While Hihyā may not have a wide range of restaurants and culinary options like larger cities in Egypt, exploring the local street food scene and traditional dishes will give you a taste of the authentic Egyptian cuisine.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Al-Azhar Park: Located in the heart of Cairo, this park offers stunning views of the city’s skyline and historical landmarks. It features beautifully landscaped gardens, walking paths, picnic areas, and a lake.
  2. Al-Andalus Park: Situated in Hihyā’s Al-Muhandisin neighborhood, this park is known for its lush greenery and serene atmosphere. It offers walking trails, playgrounds for children, sports fields for various activities like football or basketball.
  3. Gezira Sporting Club: This prestigious sporting club is located on Gezira Island in Cairo and is a popular destination for sports enthusiasts. It provides facilities for tennis, squash courts, swimming pools as well as restaurants and cafes.
  4. Dream Park: Located on the outskirts of Cairo near Hihyā city center; it is one of Egypt’s largest amusement parks with various rides including roller coasters and water slides.
  5. Family Park Mall: Situated in Nasr City district near Hihyā; it combines shopping with recreational activities such as ice-skating rink or bowling alley offering entertainment options for families.
  6. Giza Zoo: Although not located directly in Hihyā but nearby Giza city; it is worth mentioning due to its popularity among locals and tourists alike offering a wide range of animals to observe along with picnic spots.

These are just a few examples of public parks and recreational activities available in the vicinity of Hihyā that offer opportunities for leisurely walks or engaging outdoor experiences suitable for individuals or families seeking relaxation or entertainment options within their surroundings.


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