Louis XV of France
Louis XV, known as Louis the Beloved, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five; until he reached maturity on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom, his reign of 59 years was the second longest in the history of France, exceeded only by his predecessor and great-grandfather, Louis XIV, who had ruled for 72 years. In 1748, Louis returned the Austrian Netherlands, won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745, he ceded New France in North America to Spain and Great Britain at the conclusion of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763. He incorporated the territories of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Corsican Republic into the Kingdom of France, he was succeeded in 1774 by his grandson Louis XVI, executed by guillotine during the French Revolution.
Two of his other grandsons, Louis XVIII and Charles X, occupied the throne of France after the fall of Napoleon I. Historians give his reign low marks as wars drained the treasury and set the stage for the governmental collapse and French Revolution in the 1780s. Louis XV was the great-grandson of Louis XIV and the third son of the Duke of Burgundy, his wife Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, the eldest daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy, he was born in the Palace of Versailles on 15 February 1710. When he was born, he was named the Duke of Anjou; the possibility of his becoming King seemed remote. However, the Grand Dauphin died of smallpox on 14 April 1711. On 12 February 1712 the mother of Louis, Marie Adélaïde, was stricken with measles and died, followed on 18 February by Louis's father, the former Duke of Burgundy, next in line for the throne. On 7 March, it was found that both Louis and his older brother, the former Duke of Brittany, had the measles; the two brothers were treated with bleeding.
On the night of 8–9 March, the new Dauphin died from the combination of the disease and the treatment. The governess of Louis, Madame de Ventadour, would not allow the doctors to bleed Louis further; when Louis XIV died on 1 September 1715, Louis, at the age of five, inherited the throne. The Ordinance of Vincennes from 1374 required that the kingdom be governed by a regent until Louis reached the age of thirteen; the title of Regent was given to his cousin Philippe, the Duke of Orleans. Louis XIV, distrusted Philippe, a renowned soldier, but was regarded by the King as an atheist and libertine; the King referred to Philippe as a Fanfaron des crimes. Louis XIV wanted France to be ruled by his favorite but illegitimate son, Duke of Maine, in the council. In August 1714, shortly before his own death, the King rewrote his will to restrict the powers of the regent. Philippe, nephew of Louis XIV, was named president of the council, but other members included the Duke of Maine and his allies. Decisions were to be made by majority vote, meaning that the Regent could be outvoted by Maine's party.
Orléans saw the trap, after the death of the King, he went to the Parlement of Paris, an assembly of nobles where he had many allies, had the Parlement annul the King's will. In exchange for their support, he restored to the Parlement its droit de remontrance – the right to challenge the King's decisions, removed by Louis XIV; the droit de remontrance would impair the monarchy's functioning and marked the beginning of a conflict between the Parlement and King which led to the French Revolution in 1789. On 9 September 1715, the Regent had the young King transported away from the court in Versailles to Paris, where the Regent had his own residence in the Palais Royal. On 12 September, he performed his first official act, opening the first lit de justice of his reign at the Palais Royal. From September 1715 until January 1716 he lived in the Château de Vincennes, before moving to the Tuileries Palace. In February 1717, when he reached the age of seven, he was taken from his governess Madame Ventadour and placed in the care of François de Villeroy, the 73-year-old Duke and Maréchal de France, named as his governor in Louis XIV's will of August 1714.
Villeroy instructed the young King in court etiquette, taught him how to review a regiment, how to receive royal visitors. His guests included the Russian Tsar Peter the Great in 1717. Louis learned the skills of horseback riding and hunting, which became the great passion of the young King. In 1720, following the example of Louis XIV, Villeroy had the young Louis dance in public in two ballets at the Tuileries Palace on 24 February 1720, again in The Ballet des Elements on 31 December 1721; the shy Louis evidently did not enjoy the experience. The King's tutor was the Abbé André-Hercule de Fleury, the bishop of Fréjus, who saw that he was instructed in Latin, history
Sophie Henriette Gertrude Taeuber-Arp was a Swiss artist, sculptor, textile designer and interior designer and dancer. She is considered one of the most important artists of concrete art and geometric abstraction of the 20th century. Born in Davos, Sophie Henriette Gertrude Taeuber was the fifth child of Prussian pharmacist Emil Taeuber and Swiss Sophie Taeuber-Krüsi, from Gais in Appenzell Inner Rhodes, Switzerland, her parents operated a pharmacy in Davos until her father died of tuberculosis when she was two years old, after which the family moved to Trogen, where her mother opened a pension. She studied textile design at the trade school in St. Gallen, she moved on to the workshop of Wilhelm von Debschitz at his school in Munich, where she studied in 1911 and again in 1913. She joined the Schweizerischer Werkbund in 1915. In the same year, she attended the Laban School of Dance in Zurich, in the summer she joined the artist colony of Monte Verita in Ascona. From 1916 to 1929, Taeuber was an instructor at Zürich Kunstgewerbeschule in Switzerland, teaching embroidery and design classes.
In 1915, at an exhibition at the Tanner Gallery, she met the Dada artist Jean "Hans" Arp, who had moved to Zurich in 1915 to avoid being drafted by the German Army during the First World War. They were to collaborate on numerous joint projects until her death in 1943, they married in 1922 and she changed her last name to Taeuber-Arp. Taeuber-Arp taught weaving and other textile arts at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich from 1916 to 1929, her textile and graphic works from around 1916 through the 1920s are among the earliest Constructivist works, along with those of Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich. These sophisticated geometric abstractions reflect a subtle understanding of the interplay between colour and form. During this period, she was involved in the Zürich Dada movement, which centred on the Cabaret Voltaire, she took part in Dada-inspired performances as a dancer and puppeteer, she designed puppets and sets for performances at the Cabaret Voltaire as well as for other Swiss and French theatres.
At the opening of the Galerie Dada in 1917, she danced to poetry by Hugo Ball while wearing a shamanic mask by Marcel Janco. A year she was a co-signer of the Zurich Dada Manifesto; as both a dancer and painter, Taeuber was able to incorporate Dada in her movement for dancing and was described as obscure and awkward. She made a number of sculptural works, such as a set of abstract "Dada Heads" of turned polychromed wood. With their witty resemblance to the ubiquitous small stands used by hatmakers, they typified her elegant synthesis of the fine and applied arts. Tauber-Arp was close friends and contemporaries with the French-Romanian avant-garde poet and artist, Tristan Tzara, one of the central figures of the Dada movement. In 1920, Tzara solicited over four dozen Dadaist artists, among which were Tauber-Arp, Jean Arp, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Hoch. Tzara planned to use the contributed text and images to create an anthology of Dada work entitled Dadaglobe. A worldwide release of 10,000 copies was planned, but the project was abandoned when its main backer, Francis Picabia, distanced himself from Tzara in 1921.
In 1926 Taeuber-Arp and Jean Arp moved to Strasbourg. There Taeuber-Arp received numerous commissions for interior design projects. In 1927 she co-authored a book entitled Welly Lowell with Blanche Gauchet. From the late 1920s, she lived in Paris and continued experimenting with design; the couple became French citizens in 1926 and in 1928 they moved to Meudon-Val Fleury, outside Paris, where she designed their new house and some of its furnishings. She was an exhibitor at the Salon des Surindépendents in Paris in 1929–30. In the 1930s, she was a member of the group Cercle et Carré, founded by Michel Seuphor and Joaquín Torres García as a standard-bearer of non-figurative art, its successor, the Abstraction-Création group. Sophie Taeuber-Arp explored the circle which represented the cosmic metaphor, the form that contains all others, she referred to this period as “ping pictures”. She appears to be the first artist to use polka dots in fine art with works such as Dynamic Circles, 1934, in the footsteps of Kazimir Malevich and his Black Circle.
In the decade she founded a Constructivist review, Plastique in Paris. Her circle of friends included the artists Sonia Delaunay, Robert Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, she was a member of Allianz, a union of Swiss painters, from 1937 to 1943. In 1940, Taeuber-Arp and Arp fled Paris ahead of the Nazi occupation and moved to Grasse in Vichy France, where they created an art colony with Sonia Delaunay, Alberto Magnelli, other artists. At the end of 1942, they had to flee to Switzerland. In early 1943, Taeuber-Arp died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning due to a malfunctioning stove at the house of Max Bill. Wassily Kandinsky said: "Sophie Taeuber-Arp expressed herself by means of the'colored relief,' in the last years of her life, using exclusively the simplest forms, geometric forms
Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist, who practiced painting, writing and architecture. He is best known as the leader of De Stijl, he was married to artist and choreographer Nelly van Doesburg. Theo van Doesburg was born Christian Emil Marie Küpper on 30 August 1883, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, as the son of the photographer Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catherina Margadant. After a short training in acting and singing, he decided to become a storekeeper, he always regarded his stepfather, Theodorus Doesburg, to be his natural father, so that his first works are signed with Theo Doesburg, to which he added the insertion "van". His first exhibition was in 1908. From 1912 onwards, he supported his works by writing for magazines, he considered himself to be a modern painter, at that time, although his early work is in line with the Amsterdam Impressionists and is influenced by Vincent van Gogh, both in style and subject matter. This changed in 1913 after reading Wassily Kandinsky's Rückblicke, in which he looks back at his life as a painter from 1903–1913.
It made him realize there was a higher, more spiritual level in painting that originates from the mind rather than from everyday life, that abstraction is the only logical outcome of this. It was in 1912 that Van Doesburg was criticizing Futurism in an art article in Eenheid no. 127, on 9 November 1912, because "The mimetic expression of velocity is diametrically opposed to the character of painting, the supreme origin of, to be found in inner life". On 6 November 1915, he wrote in the same journal: "Mondrian realizes the importance of line; the line has become a work of art in itself. The white canvas is solemn; each superfluous line, each wrongly placed line, any color placed without veneration or care, can spoil everything—that is, the spiritual". It was while reviewing an exposition for one of these magazines he wrote for, in 1915, that he came in contact with the works of Piet Mondrian, eight years older than he was, had by already gained some attention with his paintings. Van Doesburg saw in these paintings his ideal in painting: a complete abstraction of reality.
Soon after the exposition Van Doesburg got in contact with Mondrian, together with related artists Bart van der Leck, Antony Kok, Vilmos Huszár and Jacobus Oud they founded the magazine De Stijl in 1917. Although De Stijl was made up of many members, Van Doesburg was the "ambassador" of the movement, promoting it across Europe, he moved to Weimar in 1922, deciding to make an impression on the Bauhaus principal, Walter Gropius, in order to spread the influence of the movement. While Gropius accepted many of the precepts of contemporary art movements he did not feel that Doesburg should become a Bauhaus master. Doesburg installed himself near to the Bauhaus buildings and started to attract school students interested in the new ideas of Constructivism, De Stijl; the friendship between Van Doesburg and Mondrian remained strong in these years, although their primary means of communication was by letter. In 1923 Van Doesburg moved to Paris, together with his wife Nelly van Moorsel; because the two men got to see each other on a much more regular basis the differences in character became apparent: Mondrian was an introvert, while van Doesburg was more flamboyant and extravagant.
During 1924 the two men had disagreements, which led to a temporary split that year. The exact reason for the split has been a point of contention among art historians. Mondrian accepted some concepts of diagonals, such as in his "Lozenge" paintings, where the canvas was rotated 45 degrees, while still maintaining horizontal lines. In recent years, this theory has been challenged by art historians such as Carel Blotkamp, who cites the artist's different concepts about space and time. After the split, Van Doesburg launched a new concept for his art, characterized by the diagonal lines and which rivaled Mondrian's Neo-Plasticism. In 1929 the two men reconciled. Van Doesburg had other activities apart from painting and promoting De Stijl: he made efforts in architecture, designing houses for artists, together with Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Hans Arp he designed the decoration for the Aubette entertainment complex in Strasbourg. Together with El Lissitzky and Kurt Schwitters, Van Doesburg pioneered the efforts to an International of Arts in two congresses held in Düsseldorf and Weimar, in 1922.
A geometrically constructed alphabet Van Doesburg designed in 1919 has been revived in digital form as Architype Van Doesburg. This typeface anticipates similar experimentation by Kurt Schwitters in his typeface Architype Schwitters. In the mid 1920s, Van Doesburg worked together with Schwitters and the artist Kate Steinitz to produce a series of children's fairy-tale books that featured unusual typography, including Hahnepeter, Die Märchen vom Paradies, Die Scheuche. Van Doesburg kept a link with DADA, publishing the magazine Mécano under the heteronym of I. K. Bonset, he published Dada poetry under the same name in De Stijl. U
Jean Arp or Hans Arp was a German-French sculptor, painter and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper. Arp was born in Strasbourg, the son of a French mother and a German father, during the period following the Franco-Prussian War when the area was known as Alsace-Lorraine after France had ceded it to in 1871. Following the return of Alsace to France at the end of World War I, French law determined that his name become Jean. Arp would continue referring to himself as "Hans". In 1904, after leaving the École des Arts et Métiers in Strasbourg, he went to Paris where he published his poetry for the first time. From 1905 to 1907, Arp studied at the Kunstschule in Weimar, in 1908 went back to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian. Arp was a founder-member of the Moderne Bund in Lucerne, participating in their exhibitions from 1911 to 1913. In 1912, he went to Munich, called on Wassily Kandinsky, the influential Russian painter and art theorist, was encouraged by him in his researches and exhibited with the Der Blaue Reiter group.
That year, he took part in a major exhibition in Zürich, along with Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay and Kandinsky. In Berlin in 1913, he was taken up by Herwarth Walden, the dealer and magazine editor, at that time one of the most powerful figures in the European avant-garde. In 1915, he moved to Switzerland to take advantage of Swiss neutrality. Arp told the story of how, when he was notified to report to the German consulate in Zurich, he pretended to be mentally ill in order to avoid being drafted into the German Army: after crossing himself whenever he saw a portrait of Paul von Hindenburg, Arp was given paperwork on which he was told to write his date of birth on the first blank line. Accordingly, he wrote "16/9/87". Hans Richter, describing this story, noted that "they believed him." In 1916, Hugo Ball opened the Cabaret Voltaire, to become the center of Dada activities in Zurich for a group that included Arp, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara, others. In 1920, as Hans Arp, along with Max Ernst and the social activist Alfred Grünwald, he set up the Cologne Dada group.
However, in 1925, his work appeared in the first exhibition of the surrealist group at the Galérie Pierre in Paris. In 1926, Arp moved to the Paris suburb of Meudon. In 1931, he broke with the Surrealist movement to found Abstraction-Création, working with the Paris-based group Abstraction-Création and the periodical, Transition. Beginning in the 1930s, the artist expanded his efforts from collage and bas-relief to include bronze and stone sculptures, he produced several small works made of multiple elements that the viewer could pick up, rearrange into new configurations. Throughout the 1930s and until the end of his life, he published essays and poetry. In 1942, he fled from his home in Meudon to escape German occupation and lived in Zürich until the war ended. Arp visited New York City in 1949 for a solo exhibition at the Buchholz Gallery. In 1950, he was invited to execute a relief for the Harvard University Graduate Center in Cambridge and would be commissioned to do a mural at the UNESCO building in Paris.
In 1958, a retrospective of Arp's work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, followed by an exhibition at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, France, in 1962. Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Wurttembergischer Kunstverein of Stuttgart, a 150-piece exhibition titled "The Universe of Jean Arp" concluded an international six-city tour at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1986; the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain of Strasbourg houses many of his sculptures. Arp's career was distinguished with many awards including the Grand Prize for sculpture at the 1954 Venice Biennale, a sculpture prizes at the 1964 Pittsburgh International, the 1963 Grand Prix National des Arts, the 1964 Carnegie Prize, the 1965 Goethe Prize from the University of Hamburg, the Order of Merit with a Star of the German Republic. Arp and his first wife, the artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp, became French nationals in 1926. In the 1930s, they built a house at the edge of a forest. Influenced by the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, Taeuber designed it.
She died in Zürich in 1943. After living in Zürich, Arp was to make Meudon his primary residence again in 1946. Arp married the collector Marguerite Hagenbach, his long-time companion, in 1959, he died in Basel, Switzerland. - "I hereby declare that on February 1916, Tristan Tzara discovered the word Dada. I was present with my twelve children...and I wore a brioche in my left nostril. I am convinced that this word has no importance and that only imbeciles and Spanish professors can be interested in dates. What interests us is the Dada spirit and we were all Dada before the existence of Dada.." - "Art is fruit growing out of man like the fruit out of a plant like the child out of the mother... Reason tells man to stand above nature and to be the measure of all things....through reason man became a tragic and ugly figure.." - "These paintings, these sculptures – these objects – should remain anonymous, in the great workshop of nature, like the clouds, the mountains, the seas, the animals, man himself.
Yes! Man should go back to nature! Artists should work together like the artists of the Middle Ages." -"Sculpture should walk on the tips of its toes, unpre
Aubette is a historical building on Place Kléber in Strasbourg, France. It was built by Jacques-François Blondel in 1765–1772. Between 1926 and 1928 it was redecorated by Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Jean Arp and De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg; the work of the three artists had been called "the Sistine Chapel of abstract art"
Jacques-François Blondel was an 18th-century French architect and teacher. After running his own successful school of architecture for many years, he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Académie Royale d'Architecture in 1762, his Cours d'architecture superseded a titled book published in 1675 by his famous namesake, François Blondel, who had occupied the same post in the late 17th century. Born in Rouen, he trained under his uncle Jean-François Blondel, architect of Rouen. Jacques-François was in Paris by 1726 and continued his studies with Gilles-Marie Oppenord, from whom he acquired a knowledge of rococo, he worked with Jean Mariette, contributing to the latter's L'Architecture françoise, as a writer and as an architectural engraver. Blondel developed into a conservative and thorough architect, whose rationally ordered mind consolidated French classical tradition and practice, his first independent publication was the hugely influential encyclopedic work, De la Distribution des Maisons de Plaisance, et de la Décoration des Edifices en General, issued at Paris, 1737–38.
It contained 155 engraved plates. His Distribution des Maisons de Plaisance and other engraved work attracted a commission to produce thirteen of the engravings for the festival book commemorating the fêtes that celebrated the wedding of Madame Elizabeth of France with Dom Philippe of Spain, published in 1740; that same year he opened his own private school in Paris, the École des Arts, sanctioned by the Académie in 1743. In the ensuing years a long sequence of architects profited from his discourse: Boullée, Chalgrin, La Guêpière, Desprez, de Wailly, Ledoux and Rondelet, to foreigners who would bring Neoclassicism home with them: the Anglo-Swedish Sir William Chambers, the Dane Caspar Frederik Harsdorff. "Blondel was the most significant French architectural educator of the eighteenth century.....his objective was to establish design principles for domestic architecture that correspond to the classical principles in practice for civil structures". In his clear and rational Architecture françoise, a four-volume work published from 1752 to 1756, he covered the past century and more of French buildings in and near Paris, setting them in their historical context and providing a wealth of detailed information that would otherwise have been lost.
In the preface, he remarked, "I have used simple terms and a popular style with the intention of being understood by layman and artist alike. He planned eight volumes, but only the first four were published; the work brought him to official notice. Though his executed body of work was small confined to work he executed at Metz under commission of the duc de Choiseul, his approach was soundly grounded: for Diderot's Encyclopédie he wrote the article on masonry, as well as architecture, contributed nearly 500 articles between 1751 and his death in 1774. In 1762, he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Académie, closing his own school and introducing his comprehensive curriculum to the Académie, his Cours d'architecture ou traité de la décoration, distribution et constructions des bâtiments contenant les leçons données en 1750, et les années suivantes began appearing in 1771 and ran to nine volumes by 1777, a volume of plates to each two volumes of text. His Cours d'architecture is sometimes referred to as the "Petit Blondel" to distinguish it from the "Grand Blondel", his Architecture françoise.
Blondel's practical, encyclopedic approach ignoring the excesses of Rococo, had survived changes in taste and remained in the mainstream of French architectural training for several decades more. Blondel married Marie Anne Garnier in 1729, their son, Georges-François Blondel, born in 1730, became an architectural engraver. They had a daughter, Claudine Angelique. After his first wife's death in 1755, Jacques-François married Manon Balletti in 1760, their son, Jean-Baptiste Blondel, who became an architect for the city of Paris, was born in 1764. During his final illness, Jacques-François requested to be taken to his classrooms at the Louvre, where he died surrounded by his books, his architectural models, his students. Notes Sources Arnold, Dana. "Blondel" in Turner 1998, vol. 4, pp. 162–165. Braham, Allan; the Architecture of the French Enlightenment. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520067394. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Blondel, Jacques François". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press.
Colognola, Rita. "Jacques-François Blondel". Antiquariaat Papyrus. Retrieved January 3, 2012. Harrington, Kevin. "Blondel, Jacques-François" in Placzek 1982, vol. 1, pp. 220–223. Hermann, Wolfgang. "Blondel, François" in Placzek 1982, vol. 1, pp. 216–219. The Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection: French Books 1993. ISBN 0-8076-1281-2 Placzek, Adolf K. editor. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. New York: Collier Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780029250006. Schwab, Richard N.. Inventory of Diderot's Encyclopédie. VII. Inventory of the plates, with a study of the contributors to the Encyclopédie by John Lough. Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation at The Tayor Institution. ISBN 9780729403108. Smith, Benjamin Eli; the Century Cyclopedia of Names. New York: The Century Co. View at Google Books. Smith, Edward R.. "The Topographical Evolution o
Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East, the 15th-largest in the world, is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Middle East, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media and organizations have regional headquarters in the city.
With a population of over 9 million spread over 3,085 square kilometers, Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other megacities, suffers from high levels of traffic. Cairo's metro, one of two in Africa, ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides; the economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, 43rd globally on Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. Egyptians refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's importance for the country, its official name al-Qāhirah means "the Vanquisher" or "the Conqueror" due to the fact that the planet Mars, an-Najm al-Qāhir, was rising at the time when the city was founded also in reference to the much awaited arrival of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz who reached Cairo in 973 from Mahdia, the old Fatimid capital. The location of the ancient city of Heliopolis is the suburb of Ain Shams.
The Coptic name of the city is Kashromi which means "man breaker", akin to Arabic al-Qāhirah . Sometimes the city is informally referred to as Kayro by people from Alexandria; the area around present-day Cairo Memphis, the old capital of Egypt, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile; this fortress, known as Babylon, was the nucleus of the Roman and the Byzantine city and is the oldest structure in the city today. It is situated at the nucleus of the Coptic Orthodox community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine churches in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, including the Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo.
Following the Muslim conquest in 640 AD, the conqueror Amr ibn As settled to the north of the Babylon in an area that became known as al-Fustat. A tented camp Fustat became a permanent settlement and the first capital of Islamic Egypt. In 750, following the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphate by the Abbasids, the new rulers created their own settlement to the northeast of Fustat which became their capital; this was known as al-Askar. A rebellion in 869 by Ahmad ibn Tulun led to the abandonment of Al Askar and the building of another settlement, which became the seat of government; this was al-Qatta ` closer to the river. Al Qatta'i was centred around a ceremonial mosque, now known as the Mosque of ibn Tulun. In 905, the Abbasids re-asserted control of the country and their governor returned to Fustat, razing al-Qatta'i to the ground. Since 1860s, Cairo expanded west as far as what is called now In 968, the Fatimids were led by general Jawhar al-Siqilli to establish a new capital for the Fatimid dynasty.
Egypt was conquered from their base in Ifriqiya and a new fortified city northeast of Fustat was established. It took four years to build the city known as al-Manṣūriyyah, to serve as the new capital of the caliphate. During that time, Jawhar commissioned the construction of the al-Azhar Mosque by order of the Caliph, which developed into the third-oldest university in the world. Cairo would become a centre of learning, with the library of Cairo containing hundreds of thousands of books; when Caliph al-Mu'izz li Din Allah arrived from the old Fatimid capital of Mahdia in Tunisia in 973, he gave the city its present name, al-Qāhiratu. For nearly 200 years after Cairo was established, the administrative centre of Egypt remained in Fustat. However, in 1168 the Fatimids under the leadership of vizier Shawar set fire to Fustat to prevent Cairo's capture by the Crusaders. Egypt's capital was permanently moved to Cairo, expanded to include the ruins of Fustat and the previous capitals of