A lot of Egypt is iconic, but one of the most unique sights is one most people see on their way to Salah Salem from the Downtown side of Cairo. It’s actually a historical site filled with culture and rich in history, but unfortunately, all you see today are bits and pieces of what it used to be, sometimes accompanied by a horrid smell. We’re talking about the Magra El-Eyoon aqueduct, the large wall with numerous arches extending alongside the long road of the same name, and if you feel sorry for what this place has become, we’re telling you that you should be hopeful of what it soon could be.
In a great effort that has been ongoing since the final months of 2017, the government has decided to revive this whole area, and get it back in shape; a shape that such an important historical area is worthy of. One of the problems that faced the government in its mission of renovation was that the area has turned into a home for tanneries. Accordingly, the government has decided to move these tanneries to Al-Robeiky area, with all expenses to be covered by the government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and the Chamber of Tanning in the Industrial Union.
We’re very excited about this move because the Magra El-Eyoon area holds so much historical significance. It was built in the time of Sultan Al-Ghoury, over 800 years ago, and its main purpose was to provide the Saladin Citadel with pure drinking water straight from the Nile. It operated through wheels that brought up the water to the aqueduct, which then flowed all the way to the Citadel.
The aqueduct had three main parts. The first, and most intricate, was the intake. This consisted of seven wheels that lifted water to the top, and dropped it in place before flowing all the way to the Citadel. The main wheel was operated by animals, and through their driving force, water was lifted 10 metres high to continue its journey to its destination.
It also holds a historical significance for the French, who used it at the time of the French campaign in Egypt as a wall of defense. Unfortunately, it was horribly neglected, and with time taking its toll, you can now see the horrible state it reached. Currently, the wall extends from Fom El-Khalig area all the way to Al-Sayeda Aiesha Gate near Qaitbay Mosque, making its total length 3 kms.
With the right mentality, this wall could become a true historical sight that tourists in Egypt regularly visit.