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Kharga Oasis is the last oasis on the loop before the Nile Valley. It seems to have had the longest association with ancient Egypt. It is also the place where Christians were banished in the 4th and 5th centuries and as a souvenir of the time boasts one of the largest ancient Christian cemeteries in the world: Bagawat. Kharga also claims the first five star resort with swimming pool and air conditioning. At first glance Kharga looks disappointing for its main village is a replica of a Nile Valley town, but one must dig deeper.

Kharga used to be the last but one stop of The Forty Days Road, the infamous slave-trade route between North Africa and the tropical south. Today, it is the biggest New Valley oasis and its modern city houses 60,000 people, including 1,000 Nubians who moved here after the creation of lake Nasser.

Outside the main center is the Temple of Hibis, built on the site of an 18th dynasty settlement of Saites, Persians and Ptolemies. One of the few Persian monuments in Egypt, the 6th century BC temple is well preserved with painted vultures and huge reliefs of Darius greeting Egyptian gods on the outer walls. The temple is dedicated to the Theban triad, consisting of the gods, Amun, Mut and Khonsu, who's reliefs are in very good condition.

Ten kilometers away, the Necropolis of al-Bagawat contains 263 tombs (mostly dating from the 4th through 6th centuries, AD) in the pattern of domed chambers, as well as 120 Nestorian mud brick chapels where the dead could be worshipped.. Some of the tombs have paintings of biblical scenes. In the center is a church dating back to the 11th century AD. It is regarded as one of the oldest churches in Egypt.

Some of the more interesting structures located here include the Chapel of Peace, with paintings of the apostles and with images of Adam and Eve and the Ark on it's dome. There is also the Chapel of Exodus, with better preserved pictures, and Old Testament biblical stories as well as frescoes of pharaonic troops pursuing the Jews, led by Moses, out of Egypt. Another example is the Chapel of the Grapes, with paintings of grapevines. Pharaonic monuments include the al-Ghuwaytah Temple which dates from 522 BC and the Temple of Amenebis.

The thermal springs at Bulaq and Nasser villages to the south, are famous for water temperatures of up to 43 C and reputed to be suitable for the treatment of rheumatism and allergies. Camping facilities are available near both villages.

Further south is Baris Oasis, the second largest settlement in Kharga. Houses designed in traditional Nubian style.

Ancient monuments include the Temple of Dush, dedicated to Isis and Serapis. Its name derives from Kush, the ancient Sudanese capital which traded with Egypt along the Nile. Dush was a religious, military and civilian complex that primarily developed as the result of the slave trade, and was a staging point for caravans that either headed to Assiut or Esna.

Built for Isis and Serapis, this temple is surrounded by a mud-brick fortress. It was built during the rule of Domitian and Trajan (1st century) and decorated during the rule of Hadrian, though apparently the site was occupied from the Ptolemaic period. Entering the temple through any one of several gates is the barrel-vaulted sanctuary which is made up of two connecting rooms and has a vaulted ceiling. On either side of the sanctuary are chapels.

Archeologists are still unearthing the ancient city of Kysis and elaborate system of clay pipes and abandoned Christian church, suggest that Kysis was abandoned when its underground springs dried up but the exact date remains a mystery

Kharga Oasis’s greatest treasures, in addition to its marching rows of crescent sand dunes, are the Roman fortresses scattered along a famous slaver’s road called the Darb el Arbain, the 40 Days’ Road. These unexplored fortresses rise to four and five stories. And there are dozens of them.

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