Matruh Mersa Matruh (Arabic: مرسى مطروح, romanized: Marsā Maṭrūḥ, also transliterated as Marsa Matruh, is a port in Egypt and the capital of Matrouh Governorate. It is located 240 km (150 mi) west of Alexandria and 222 km (138 mi) east of Sallum on the main highway from the Nile Delta to the Libyan border. The city is also accessible from the south via another highway running through the Western Desert towards Siwa Oasis and Bahariya Oasis. In ancient Egypt and during the reign of Alexander the Great, the city was known as Amunia. In the Ptolemaic Kingdom and later during the Byzantine Empire, it was known as Paraitónion (Koinē Greek: Παραιτόνιον). During the Roman Empire, it was called Paraetonium in Latin, which became al-Bāritūn (Arabic: البارتون) after the mid-7th century Muslim conquest of Egypt. As a British military base during World War II, several battles were fought around its environs as the Italo German Panzer Army Africa attempted to capture the port. It fell to the Axis during the Battle of Mersa Matruh, but was recaptured following the Second Battle of El Alamein. Mersa Matruh is served by Mersa Matruh International Airport. The city features soft white sand beaches and calm transparent waters; the bay is protected from the high seas by a series of rocks forming a natural breakwater, with a small opening to allow access for light vessels.
History Mersa Matruh started as a small fishing town during Ancient Egyptian times and the reign of Alexander the Great and was named Amunia. There are ruins of a temple for Ramesses II (1200 BC). The city became known as Paraitonion in the Ptolemaic era. Ovid wrote that its goddess is Isis. After Egypt came under Roman rule, the town became an important harbor for trade and shipping goods and crops to Rome. After the Arabic conquest, the city’s name changed to Al-Baretun. The city also bore other names from at least the beginning of the 20th century – Berek Marsa, Port Mhaddra (Mithr), and Port Bardiah.
Geography Mersa Matruh has a dry-summer hot desert climate (BWhs) according to Köppen climate classification, but winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea greatly moderate the temperature, making its summers moderately hot and humid while its winters are mild and moderately wet. Summers are sunny and dry, while in the colder months, there is some rain and cloud cover. Sleet and hail are common in Winter.