Egypt / Cities and Towns /
Town in northern Egypt with 80,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), on the Rosetta river (branch of the Nile) 13 km from the outlet to the Mediterranean Sea, in Buhayra governorate.
House of Bassiouni.
Today, Rosetta's economy is with rice growing, rice milling, fishing and fish curing.
Rosetta was an important port and a cosmopolitan city from the 16th until the 18th centuries, after which it would lose out to Alexandria. In its heyday, Rosetta prospered from its monopoly on trade in delta-grown rice. During this time, merchants built beautiful mansions in a style known now as the Rosetta style, using red and black bricks in patterns together with wooden details. Compared to these mansions, religious buildings were of a surprisingly modest scale and style.
Rosetta is 65 km east of Alexandria, to which it is connected by a highway and railways.
Around 800 CE: Rosetta is founded by Caliph Harun ar-Rashid, as a port on the Mediterranean Sea. He gave it his name; Rashid.
16th century: The Ottomans conquer Egypt, moving the port privileges from Alexandria to Rosetta.
19th century: The silting of the river ends Rosetta's days as a sea port, losing out to Alexandria.
1799: A huge stone with inscriptions in Greek, hieroglyphs and demotic script is found near Rosetta. The stone which would provide the key to Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, would be known as the Rosetta Stone.