Mersa Matruh

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Mersa Matruh

مرسى مطروح
Skyline of Mersa Matruh
Country Egypt
GovernorateMatrouh
Elevation
100 ft (30 m)
Population
 (2011)
 • City68,339
 • Metro
140,000
 • Ethnicities
Egyptians, Beduins & Libyans.
Time zoneUTC+2 (EST)
Area code(s)(+20) 3

Mersa Matruh (also spelled Marsa Matruh and Marsa Matrouh; Arabic: مرسى مطروح‎, IPA: [ˈmæɾsæ mɑtˤˈɾuːħ]) is a Mediterranean seaport and the capital of the Matrouh Governorate in Egypt. It is 240 km (150 mi) west of Alexandria and 222 km from Sallum, on the main highway from the Nile Delta to the Libyan border. Another highway leads south from the town, toward the Western Desert and the oases of Siwa and Bahariya.

During Ancient Egyptian times and during the reign of Alexander The Great, the city was known as Amunia. In Ptolemaic and Byzantine times it was known as Paraitonion (Παραιτόνιον), and in Roman times, as Paraetonium.

Mersa Matruh is a major Egyptian tourist resort and serves as a getaway resort for Europeans as well as Cairenes eager to flee the capital in the sweltering summer months. It is served by Mersa Matruh Airport. The city is known for its white soft sands and calm transparent waters; the bay is protected from the high seas by a series of rocks forming a natural breakwater, with a small opening to allow access for light vessels.

History

It started as a small fishing town during Ancient Egyptian times and the reign of Alexander The Great and was named Amunia. There are ruins of a temple of Rameses II (1200 B.C.). Mersa Matruh became known as Paraitonion in the Ptolemaic era. When Roman occupation came to Egypt, the town became an important harbor for trade and shipping goods and crops to Rome. It was named Paraetonium by the Romans. During World War II, the British Army's Baggush Box was located to the east. Starting with the completion of an extension from the previous railhead at Fuka in February 1936[1] , Mersa Matruh was the terminus for a single-track railway, which passed through El Alamein.

Climate

Mersa Matruh has a typical dry Mediterranean climate, with cool winters and warm, dry summers. As the city and the region as a whole experience pleasant weather during the summer, the city becomes a destination for millions of Egyptians and foreign tourists. Rainfall occurs mainly during winter, but may also appear during the autumn or spring. Sleet and hail can also occur.

Climate data for Mersa Matruh
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18
(64)
18
(64)
20
(68)
23
(73)
25
(77)
28
(82)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
27
(81)
24
(75)
20
(68)
24
(76)
Average low °C (°F) 10
(50)
9
(48)
11
(52)
13
(55)
16
(61)
19
(66)
22
(72)
22
(72)
21
(70)
18
(64)
14
(57)
11
(52)
16
(60)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 38.4
(1.51)
23
(0.9)
13
(0.5)
7.5
(0.30)
1.2
(0.05)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.1
(0.04)
17.1
(0.67)
19.8
(0.78)
42.4
(1.67)
163.5
(6.42)
Source: World Weather Online[2]

See Weather in Egypta, Mersa Matruh

Monuments and tourist sites

  • Ruins of the Temple of the King, Pharaoh Rameses II (1200 B.C)
  • Drowned city of Caesar.
  • Drowned Palace of Cleopatra.
  • Egyptian Fleet Anchorage which was built by the Ptolemies. The remains of the naval installations still stand west of the port.
  • Coptic Chapel: built in the early Coptic age, and contains several caves bearing inscriptions.
  • Rommel's Hideout: A cave, hewn in the rock, where Rommel drew up plans of his military operations. It has now been turned into a military museum.
  • The British Cemetery: Thousands upon thousands of rock-hewn tombstones stand in straight rows amidst a fenced garden.
  • The German Cemetery: It is a fortress like memorial that was built on a height overlooking the sea.
  • The Italian Cemetery: It is a high tower fort standing on a high hill. The walls of the building are covered with marble.

Main beaches

  • Ageebah Beach: About 28 km. west of Mersa Matruh downtown, it is distinguished by its numerous natural caves and enchanting scenery.
  • Al-Obayed Beach: About 20 km. west of Mersa Matruh downtown, beauty surpasses that of Mersa Matruh beach.
  • Romel Bay.

See also

References

  1. ^ Playfair, Vol. I, page 3.
  2. ^ "World Weather Online: Mersa Matrouh Weather, Egypt Weather Averages". World Weather Online. 2012. Retrieved on August 28, 2012.

Bibliography

  • Playfair, Major-General I.S.O.; Molony, Brigadier C.J.C.; with Flynn, Captain F.C. (R.N.) & Gleave, Group Captain T.P. (2009) [1st. pub. HMSO:1954]. Butler, Sir James (ed.). The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume I: The Early Successes Against Italy, to May 1941. History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-065-3.