Ninety-one kilometres east of Al-Balyana, and 62km north of Luxor, Qena sits on a huge bend of the river and at the intersection of the main Nile road and the road running across the desert to the Red Sea towns of Port Safaga and Hurghada. A market town and provincial capital, it is a useful junction for a visit to the spectacular temple complex at Dendara, located just outside the town. It’s also the place to be on the 14th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban, when the city’s 12th-century patron saint, Abdel Rehim al-Qenawi, is celebrated.
Qena is noted for its pottery, in particular the porous water.
In addition to its Ancient Egyptian heritage as the city of Cainepolis. Qena has a considerable Islamic heritage and a famous mosque. The MaghrebiAbd el-Rahim settled in Qena upon his return from Mecca and founded a Sufi center here. Upon his death in 1195, the mosque was built above his tomb and became a place of pilgrimage. There is a huge modern mosque of Sheikh el-Qenawi in the main square which attests to his importance.
Qena has witnessed major restorations, and came third in the UNESCO City Beauty contest.