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Ismailia Museum, Ismailia
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THE "City of Gardens and Flowers", Ismailia is the capital city of the Suez Canal region, lying midway between Port Said and Suez on the western shores of Al-Temsah (Crocodile) Lake, 120km from Cairo.

Founded by, and named after Khedive Ismail while the Suez Canal was being dug in the 1860s, the town was mainly built to accommodate the foreign employees of the Suez Canal Company -- of which Ferdinand de Lesseps was the director. This his several nice beaches around Temsah Lake, 12km southeast of the town.

Ismailia has a small but interesting museum housing more than 4000 objects from Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman times. There are statues, scarabs, and records of the first canal, built between the Bitter Lakes and Bubastis by the Persian ruler Darius. The highlight of the collection is a fourth-century AD mosaic depicting characters from Greek and Roman mythology. Other sections cover the canal in modern history, the Battle of Ismailia and the "Crossing" of October 1973.

A visitor can wander amidst the 500 acres of exotic shrubs and trees of Mallaha Park, or cross alongside the shady sweet water canal that was dug to provide fresh water for labourers building the Suez Canal. There are West Delta buses that travel frequently between Ismailia and Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Suez and Sharm El-Sheikh.