City of Tanta in Egypt

The City of Tanta, Egypt

The Great Mosque of Tanta - Badawi Mosque

Tanta is Egypt's fifth largest city (the largest in the Delta) and is located 94 km (59 miles) north of Cairo and 130 km (81 miles) southeast of Alexandria, in the heart of the Gharbiya province. It is that governorate's capital. There are about 335,000 people in Tanta and a major university is located here. Tanta is reached by the Damietta branch of the Nile and northwest and by way of Birket el-Sab.

Tanta has cotton ginning factories and textile industries, and is also a university town, with an institute attached to the El-Azhar University in Cairo and a medical school associated with Alexandria University, as well as the seat of a Metropolitan of the Coptic Church.

Detail of the Mosque at Tanta

This city comes to life in late October at the end of the cotton harvest. About two million people from around the Delta and other parts of the Arab world come for the Moulid of Sayid Ahmed el-Badawi, which is an eight day celebration. The moulid is centered around the Mosque and Tomb of Sayid Ahmed el Badawi. El Badawi was the founder of one of Egypt's largest Sufi orders called Badawiya. He was born in Morocco, but emigrated to Arabia. He was sent to Tanta in 1234 as a representative of the order from Iraq. He was given permission to start a new order in Tanta and it soon flourished. His tomb was destroyed in the mid-nineteenth century but another was built and is the center of the festival. During the festival many sugar-coated nuts called 'hubb el Azziz' ('seeds of the Beloved Prophet') are eaten. They have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. The Museum of Tanta contains collections from the present day back to Pharaonic times.

The Tanta Skyline in the Early Morning

The Tanta Skyline in the Early Morning


  • Latitude: 30.7911
  • Longitude: 30.9981
  • Altitude: 36 Feet

Featured Hotel in Tanta: Arafa Hotel

Last Updated: June 27th, 2011