CAIRO is the name given to the capital of Egypt by the Italians, and adopted by us; the native name is Musr el Kaherah, though it was originally called Dar el Memlekeh, or the "Royal Abode." It was founded by Goher, a general sent by El Moëz with a powerful army to invade Egypt, from Cayrawan, near Tunis, the capital of the Fowátem, and thus the Fatimite dynasty was founded in Egypt A.D. 967, 358 of the Hegira. Having conquered the country, he founded a new city, which, in 973, became, and has continued, the capital of Egypt. The sovereign, El Moëz, soon after arrived with his court, and, having brought with them the bones of their ancestors, deserted their old country and established themselves in this which they had conquered.

The walls of Cairo were originally built of brick, and continued in the same state till the reign of the celebrated Saladin; but there are in the circuit some towers that appear to be of Roman origin. Saladin having expelled the Fowátem became the founder of the Eiyoobite dynasty of Arabs in Egypt, and after repelling an attack of the Franks about the year 1171, he guarded his city more effectually by walls of stone masonry, and the construction of a fortress in a commanding position- the present citadel. Here, on clearing the spot, he discovered a large well,- an ancient work, which now bears the name of Joseph's Well, which had been filled up; this, and another supply of water from the Nile led to the citadel by an aqueduct of wood, insured a supply to the garrison; but a stone aqueduct was substituted for the latter in 1518, built by order of the Sultan El Ghorée. The citadel, which is built on a spur or buttress of the Mokatam hills, that flank the plain on the right bank of the Nile, on which Cairo lies, appears on the left of our drawing; its commanding and impregnable situation fits it for the arsenal, the Pasha's palace, and other buildings which require security. A new mosque is now building there by Mehemet Ali, on the site where a large and lofty building, supported by numerous granite columns, formerly existed; it was called the Hall of Joseph: but these have been removed. Here, too, is the Hareem of the Pasha, with gardens which join the mosque.

This view is taken from the high mounds beyond the walls; these mounds, that have been raised in the course of many ages by the refuse and sweepings of the city which were thrown or deposited there, accumulated to such a degree as to overtop the city-walls, particularly on the south side. The French, when in occupation of Cairo, took advantage of their position to build a line of forts upon them, so as to control and command the city. On the north and east sides there were also such mounds, but not so large; these, however, have been removed or levelled by order of Ibrahim Pacha, and the space planted as olive-ground and gardens.

Between the extreme left of this view, in which a part of the citadel is seen, and the vast Mosque of the Sultan Hassan, lies the large square or place called the Roumelia. The Pyramids of Geezeh, the most striking objects in Egypt, are seen, beyond the Nile, at a distance of about six or seven miles; and the long line of the Libyan hills, as they subside to the Delta, bound the horizon.

All and everything is Oriental in the scene,- the flat roofs of the dwellings, the handsome domes, and the numerous and elegant minarets of the mosques, have no resemblance to Western architecture; we have in delicacy of structure a few examples of light towers and steeples, but none that does not suffer in comparison with the minarets of Cairo: these are carried to a great height, and finish in some with forms as elegant as the monument of Lysicrates in Athens, but slighter in the columns of marble which support them, and raised on a pinnacle which, while it increased the danger of construction, makes the success of their erection more striking.