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1. Temple of Bastet

2. Cat cemetery

3. Statue of Hathor


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Egypt's greatest orgy

Bubastis, Egypt

The main temple area of Bubastis, with the modern city of Zagazig in the background.

Bubastis, Egypt

Bubastis, Egypt

Being a part of modern-day Zagazig with its conservative but honest and friendly population, it is strange to remind yourself what went on in Bubastis. It was for centuries the centre of the largest annual orgy of all of the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps the entire world. In the 5th century BCE, Herodotus reported that 700,000 people participated, drinking wine without limits and having sex with whoever and wherever.
The history of Bubastis goes back to the great pyramid builder Khufu, and lasted for a long period of time. Although the festival would never have survived the arrival of monotheistic religions in Egypt, at first Christianity, it was the Persians who destroyed it all around 350 BCE. But there might be one trace left, the people of Zagazig must be among Egypt's most handsome...
Bubastis, Egypt

One of the few surviving sphinxes of Bubastis, put up in a little park with a handful of statues.

By Tore Kjeilen