The city of Memphis was the capital of ancient Egypt. It was the King's residence and the political and administrative center until around 2,200 BC. It had impressive fortifications and temples, largely to Ptah, the god of creation and artworks. Estimates of population vary from 6,000 to 30,000 but either way, it was one of the larger, if not the largest, cities of its era.
Archaeological digging in the area has uncovered a Temple of Ptah and sculptures, including a sphinx (smaller than the one at Giza but still impressive), and the Colossus of Ramses II. These are now housed in the outdoor Memphis Museum in Mit Rihina, the modern town in this area. In 1979, UNESCO designated the area a World Heritage Site.
The area where Memphis stood is located about 12 miles (20 km) south of Cairo where the Nile River divides to form its delta. The best way to get there is by organized tour or by hiring a private car and guide.