Coordinates: 31°25′00″N 31°49′17″E / 31.41667°N 31.82139°E / 31.41667; 31.82139
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  • دمياط
  • ⲧⲁⲙⲓⲁϯ
(From top left)
the Old Bridge, Maeini Mosque entrance, Damietta Corniche, Maeini Mosque dome, fishing in Damietta.
Flag of Damietta
Official seal of Damietta
Damietta is located in Egypt
Location of Damietta within Egypt
Coordinates: 31°25′00″N 31°49′17″E / 31.41667°N 31.82139°E / 31.41667; 31.82139
 • City3.53 km2 (1.36 sq mi)
16 m (52 ft)
 • City305,920
 • Density87,000/km2 (220,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • MetroEGP 110 billion
(US$ 7 billion)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EST)
Area code(+20) 57
Damietta's Corniche along the Nile.
Amr ibn al-A'as Mosque (al-Fateh)
Capture of Damietta by Frisian crusaders.
A 1911 postcard: the City of Damietta on the Nile.

Damietta (Arabic: دمياط Dumyāṭ [domˈjɑːtˤ]; Coptic: ⲧⲁⲙⲓⲁϯ, romanized: Tamiati) is a port city and the capital of the Damietta Governorate in Egypt. It is located at the Damietta branch, an eastern distributary of the Nile Delta, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea, and about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Cairo. It was a Catholic bishopric and is a multiple titular see. It is also a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.


The modern name of the city comes from its Coptic name Tamiati (Coptic: ⲧⲁⲙⲓⲁϯ Late Coptic: [dɑmˈjɑdi]), which in turn most likely comes from Ancient Egyptian
(dmj, "mooring, port, town") and
(-t), a determinative used for towns and cities, although al-Maqrizi suggested a Syriac etymology.[3]


Mentioned by the 6th-century geographer Stephanus Byzantius,[4] the city was called Tamíathis (Greek: Ταμίαθις) in the Hellenistic period.[5]

Under Caliph Omar (579–644), the Arabs took the city and successfully resisted the attempts by the Byzantine Empire to recover it, especially in 739, 821, 921 and 968.[4] The Abbasids used Alexandria, Damietta, Aden and Siraf as entry ports to India and the Tang Empire of China.[6] Damietta was an important naval base during the Abbasid, Tulunid and Fatimid periods. This led to several attacks by the Byzantine Empire, most notably the sack and destruction of the city in May 853.

Damietta was again important in the 12th and 13th centuries during the time of the Crusades. In 1169, a fleet from the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with support from the Byzantine Empire, attacked the port, but the besiegers returned home without any success to capture the port, which was defended by Saladin.[7][8]

During preparations for the Fifth Crusade in 1217, it was decided that Damietta should be the focus of attack. Control of Damietta meant control of the Nile, and from there the crusaders believed they would be able to conquer Egypt. From Egypt they could then attack Palestine and recapture Jerusalem. After the siege of Damietta of 1218–1219, the port was occupied by the Crusaders. The siege devastated the population of Damietta. After the crusaders captured Damietta in November 1219 they looted the city.[9] Earlier that year, Francis of Assisi had arrived to peaceably negotiate with the Muslim ruler.[10][11] In 1221 the Crusaders attempted to march to Cairo, but were destroyed by the combination of nature and Muslim defenses.[12]

Damietta was also the object of the Seventh Crusade, led by Louis IX of France. His fleet arrived there in 1249 and quickly captured the fort, which he refused to hand over to the nominal king of Jerusalem, to whom it had been promised during the Fifth Crusade.[13] However, having been taken prisoner with his army in April 1250, Louis was obliged to surrender Damietta as ransom.[4]

Hearing that Louis was preparing a new crusade, the Mamluk Sultan Baibars – in view of the importance of the city to the Crusaders – destroyed it in 1251 and rebuilt it with stronger fortifications a few kilometers from the river in the early 1260s, making the mouth of the Nile at Damietta impassable for ships.[4][14]

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

Hellenistic Tamiathis became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Pelusium, the capital of the Roman province of Augustamnica Prima, to which Tamiathis belonged. Its bishop Heraclius took part in the Council of Ephesus in 431. Helpidius was a signatory of the decree of Patriarch Gennadius of Constantinople against simony in 459. Bassus was at the Second Council of Constantinople (553). In a letter from Patriarch Michael I of Alexandria read at the Photian Council of Constantinople (879), mention is made of Zacharias of Tamiathis, who had attended a synod that Michael had convened in support of Photius. Later bishops too of Tamiathis are named in other documents.[15][16]

In 1249, when Louis IX of France captured the city, it became for a short time the seat of a Latin Church bishop.[17]

The Latin bishopric, no longer residential, is today listed by the Catholic Church twice as a titular see under the names Tamiathis (Latin) and Damiata (Curiate Italian), each at time of episcopal or archiepiscopal rank, of the Latin and Melkite Catholic Churches,[18] for the Catholic Church, having been until the early 20th century an important centre for that church.[4]

Titular Latin see[edit]

The diocese was nominally restored in the 17th century when established as Latin titular archbishopric of Damietta of the Romans (Latin: Tamiathis or Tomiathianus Romanorum; Italian: Damiata in Curiate) and had the following incumbents of the intermediary archiepiscopal rank :

Demoted in 1925 as Titular bishopric, it has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents, all of the episcopal (lowest) rank:

  • Guglielmo Grassi (1937.01.13 – 1954.09.14)
  • Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal (1954.10.30 – 1962.01.27)
  • Marco Caliaro, Scalabrinians (C.S.) (1962.02.10 – 1962.05.23)
  • Antonio Cece (1962.08.06 – 1966.03.31)

Titular Melkite see[edit]

Established in 1900 as titular bishopric of Damietta of the Melkite Greeks (Latin: Tamiathis or Tomiathianus Graecorum Melkitarum; Italian: Damiata), it was suppressed in 1935, after a single incumbent of this episcopal (lowest) rank:

  • Titular Bishop Paul-Raphaël Abi-Mourad (1900.07.02 – 1935.08.08)

Restored in 1961 as Titular archbishopric, it has had the following incumbents of the archiepiscopal (intermediary) rank:

  • Titular Archbishop Antonio Farage (1961.03.07 – 1963.11.09)
  • Titular Archbishop Nicolas Hajj (1965.07.30 – 1984.11.03)
  • Titular Archbishop Joseph Jules Zerey (2001.06.22 – ... ), protosyncellus of Jerusalem of the Greek-Melkites (Palestine)


Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh), but blowing winds from the Mediterranean Sea greatly moderate the temperatures, typical to the Egypt's north coast, making its summers moderately hot and humid while its winters mild and moderately wet where sleet and hail are also common.

Port Said, Kosseir, Ras El Bar, Baltim, Damietta and Alexandria have the least temperature variation in Egypt.

Climate data for Damietta, Egypt
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 17.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 9.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 26
Source: climate-data.org[19]


Damietta is very famous for its furniture industry. In addition to the Egyptian market, its furniture is sold in Arab countries, Africa, Europe, the United States, and almost all over the world. Today, there is a canal connecting it to the Nile, which has made it an important port once again. Containers are transported through the new Damietta Port. The Damietta governorate has a population of about 1,093,580 (2006). It contains the SEGAS LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant,[20] which will ultimately have a capacity of 9.6 million ton/year through two trains. The plant is owned by Segas, a joint venture of the Spanish utility Unión Fenosa (40%), Italian oil company Eni (40%) and the Egyptian companies EGAS and EGPC (10% each).[21] The plant is unusual since it is not supplied from a dedicated field, but is supplied with gas from the Egyptian grid. As of 2010, EMethanex, the Egyptian division of Methanex Corporation, a Canadian owned company, was building a 3600 MTPD methanol plant. Damietta also has a woodworking industry and is also noted for its White Domiati cheese and other dairy products[22] and Pâtisserie and Egyptian desserts. It is also a fishing port.

Main sights[edit]

  • Amr ibn al-As Mosque (Damietta), the second mosque to be built in Egypt and Africa by the Arabs after entering Egypt. It was twice converted to a church during the city's occupation by the Crusaders. Louis IX of France's son, John Tristan, was baptized by a legate of the pope in this mosque.
  • Al-Bahr Mosque, dating to the Ottoman rule era.
  • Al-Hadidy Mosque in Faraskour, 200 years old.
  • Al-Maainy Mosque, dating to the reign of al-Naser Mohammed ibn Qalawon.
  • Al-Matbuly Mosque, dating to the Mamluk era.
  • Al-Radwaniya Mosque, dating to the Mamluk era.
Urabi fort (Tabiet Orabi) in Ezbet al-Borg
  • Tabiet Ahmed Urabi, ruins of Damietta Fort at Ezbet El-Borg.
  • The Old Bridge (el-Kōbrī el-Qadīm), dating to the early 20th century.
  • Souk al-Hesba, the old city centre, dating to the Abbasid rule era.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Egypt: Governorates, Major Cities & Towns - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  2. ^ "GDP BY GOVERNORATE", mped.gov.eg
  3. ^ Peust, Carsten (2010). Die Toponyme vorarabischen Ursprungs im modernen Ägypten. p. 38.
  4. ^ a b c d e Siméon Vailhé, "Damietta" in The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1908)
  5. ^ Smith, Sir William (1857). Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography. Little, Brown and Co. p. 1086. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  6. ^ Donkin, Robin A (2003). Between East and West: The Moluccas and the Traffic in Spices Up to the Arrival of Europeans. Diane Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87169-248-1.
  7. ^ Dillon, Charles Raymond (30 April 2005). Templar Knights And the Crusades. iUniverse. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-595-34946-3. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  8. ^ Claster, Jill N. (1 October 2009). Sacred Violence: The European Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396. University of Toronto Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-4426-0060-7. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  9. ^ Bradbury, Jim (1992). The Medieval Siege. Boydell Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-85115-357-5.
  10. ^ Bradbury, Jim (1992). The Medieval Siege. Boydell Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-85115-357-5. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  11. ^ Armstrong, Regis J.; Hellmann, J. A. Wayne; Short, William J. (1 April 2000). Francis of Assisi: Early Documents. New City Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-56548-112-1. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  12. ^ Vauchez, André; Dobson, Richard Barrie; Lapidge, Michael (2000). Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Editions du Cerf. p. 392. ISBN 978-1-57958-282-1. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  13. ^ Russell, William (1837). The History of Modern Europe: with an Account of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: And a View of the Progress of Society from the Rise of the Modern Kingdoms to the Peace of Paris, in 1763; in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to His Son. Longman, Rees, & Company. p. 280. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  14. ^ Houtsma, M. Th (31 December 1987). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936. BRILL. p. 911. ISBN 978-90-04-08265-6. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  15. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 589-592
  16. ^ Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico ecclesiastica, Vol. 72 (Venice 1855), p. 236
  17. ^ MESSYNESSY (15 March 2019). "Paris or Egypt? 100 Years Ago, It Was Hard to Tell the Difference". Messy Nessy Cabinet of Chic Curiosities. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  18. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 879
  19. ^ "Climate: Dumiat - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". climate-data.org. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  20. ^ MEED. Economic East Economic Digest, Limited. April 2008. p. 187. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  21. ^ The Petroleum Economist. Petroleum Press Bureau. 2008. p. 20. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Halayeb". eArabic Market. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Islamic Medical Manuscripts: Bio-Bibliographies - B, C, and D". nih.gov.

External links[edit]