The ancient capital of Al-Qasr is west of the town centre.
In Al-Qasr, stones from a 26th Dynasty temple have been used to build houses and there are the remains of a Roman triumphal arch. When the archaeologist Ahmed Fakhry came here in 1938, the arch was still standing. Now the arches and pillars have collapsed, but the 10-m high platform can still be seen in one of the gardens.
Al-Qasr is built on a ridge, from where there are lovely views of palm gardens and green crops growing on the edge of the desert. It is a maze of mud-brick walls and houses, some are still inhabited while others are used as store rooms.