of Cairo. TURRA. 4. Route. 391
nients of a watering-place. Heluan lies about 112 ft. above the
level of the Nile, on a firm plateau of sandy soil, and enjoys a re¬
markably pure and dustless atmosphere (comp. p. 67).
The Hotel, a large square building, with a court planted with
trees in the interior, and about forty rooms upwards of 16 ft. in
height, affords accommodation similar to that of the hotels at Cairo.
Board and lodging 15 fr. per day; sitting-room 10-15 fr. extra.
The terrace of the house affords an interesting view, towards the
W., of the Nile Valley and the heights of the Libyan desert, with
the pyramids of Gizeh, and thence to Dahshur. To the E. rise the
mountain Tanges of the Arabian desert.
The sulphur springs, which were also probably used in ancient
times, resemble those of Aix in Savoy in their ingredients. In 1871
they were utilised for sanitary purposes by Dr. Reil (p. 232), by
order of the Khedive. The principal springs are covered in. The
bath-house for Europeans contains fourteen cabinets, for warm and
tepid baths, shower-baths, and inhalation. There is also a basin
containing water strongly impregnated with sulphur, 5-Ql/-y ft.
deep, and 1200 sq. yds. in area. The interior of the Khedive's
bath-house may also be inspected.
Near the sulphur springs, especially those situated farther to
theW., which are still uncovered, a quantity of flint splinters have
been found, the largest of which are now in the museum at Bulak
(comp. p. 356). The banks of the Nile afford good wild-fowl shoot¬
ing, but the desert game is shy and not easily reached.
The subterranean quarries of Ma'sara and Turra, which are
still worked, yielded the stone used in the construction of the Pyra¬
mids. A visit should be paid to these vast caverns, if time permit.
The ride thither from Heluan takes l'/2 hr. ; candles and matches
should not be forgotten. The stone is transported to the bank of
the Nile by means of tramways and carts drawn by horses, camels,
These immense quarries are hardly less imposing than the Pyr¬
amids themselves, for which they afforded material. The Arabs make
very poor miners, as they dread the darkness of shafts and pits.
They quarry the stone on the outside of the rocky slopes only, while
the quarrymen of the Pharaohs penetrated into the interior of the
mountain and excavated large chambers, tunnelling their way
until they came to serviceable stone, and leaving the inferior
untouched. The roofs of the rock-halls, which are of different sizes,
are supported by pillars of rock left standing for the purpose. A
few remains of hieroglyphics and coloured bas-reliefs are still pre¬
served in the quarries, but they are of no historical value. During
the construction of the railway in 1875 a number of sarcophagi
of soft limestone, without inscriptions, were found in a sand-hill
in the neighbourhood, belonging probably to a burial-place of the
quarrymen of the Pharaohs.