Ancient holy city, Egypt. The city, which is now mainly ruins lying northeast of Cairo, was the seat of worship of the Egyptian sun god Ra. Its great temple of Ra was second in size only to that of Amon at Thebes, and its priesthood wielded great influence. In the New Kingdom, the temple became the repository of royal records. The city's surviving monument is the obelisk of Sesostris I, the oldest in existence. Two obelisks erected there by Thutmose III and known as Cleopatra's Needles now stand on the Thames River embankment in London and in Central Park, New York City.
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