22 Route 3.
TANTA. From Alexandria
The cultivated land becomes richer, and we pass villages'and
groups of trees, including tamarisks. Beyond Tewfikijeh the train
crosses the broad Rosetta arm of the Nile (fine view to the left)
and enters the station of —
64 M. Kafr ez-Zaiyat (third station at which the morning-ex¬
press stops ; the afternoon-express does not stop here). The town,
which carries on a busy trade in grain, cotton, and other products,
lies on the right bank of the river.
From Kaer ez-Zaiyat to cAtf, mail-steamer on Tues., Thurs., & Sat.,
in 61/2 hrs., by the Rosetta arm of the Nile. — Near Sd el-Hagar (comp.
also p. 23), the fourth station, lie the ruins of the ancient Sais, the resi¬
dence of Psammetikh and the kings of the 26th Dyn. (p. lxxxv) and the
centre of the worship of the goddess Neith. The ruins do not repay a
visit. — The twelfth station is Des&k (p. 21). — At 'Atf the Mahmudiyeh
Canal (p. 11) diverges from the Nile, affording a means of access to Alexan¬
dria for trading craft and small steamers. The machinery for impelling
the water in the direction of Alexandria is worth inspecting. rAtf is a
station on the light railway to Damanhur (p. 21), and the traveller will
also easily find an opportunity of descending the Nile to Rosetta.
A Light Railway, to the N. of the main line, runs from Kafr ez-Zaiyat
to Tanta via, Dalgamiim, Ebidr, Bermd (9000 inhab.; p. 23), and Mehallet
75 M. Tanta (2 hrs. from Alexandria, l'/ihr. from Cairo).
Hotels. Hotel des Pyramided; Hotel de Gbece^ Pens. Fkancaise,
ca. 40 pias. The hotels send dragomans to meet the trains.
Consllak Agents. British, Mr. Jos. Inglis; German, R. S. Dahan;
French, A. Naaman.
Tanfa, the thriving capital of the province of Gharblyeh,
which lies between the Rosetta and Damietta arms of the Nile,
with a population estimated at 57,000, possesses large public build¬
ings, bazaars, and an extensive palace of the Khedive.
The Mosque of the Seiyid el-Bedawi is a modern building of no
special interest. The court contains the basin for ablutions.
Seiyid Ahmed el-Bedawi, probably the most popular saint in Egypt,
was born in the 12th cent, at Fez, and settled at Tanta after a pilgrimage
Travellers may generally visit the mosque without an attendant, but
must not omit to deposit their shoes at the door. During the fair, however,
which attracts among other visitors a number of fanatical Mohammedans
from countries rarely visited by Europeans, it is advisable to procure the
escort of the shekh of the mosque, to whom an introduction may he
obtained through the consular agent (fee 1-2 fr.).
The catafalque of the saint is covered with red velvet adorned
with embroidery, and is enclosed by a handsome bronze railing. The
dome is still unfinished. One large and two small schools are con¬
nected with the mosque. The sebil, or tank, with the small medreseh
(school) above it, in the space adjoining the mosque, is older.
The most important of the three annual Fairs of Tanta is that
of the 'molid' (nativity) of the saint in August, when upwards of
half-a-million persons congregate here from all the Eastern countries
bordering on the Mediterranean, and from the Mohammedan part of
Africa. The streets are lined with booths and stalls, and singers.