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The city is located on the east bank of the Nile on a plain which extends from the river bank to a desert cliff and the town's orientation is influenced by the geography based around two main colonnaded streets. The main civic building of the town are based off of those two main boulevards. The Roman city was founded at the site of an older Egyptian site, where Ramesses II had a temple dedicated to the gods of Khnum and Heliopolis. Apparently the city was founded to commemorate the site where Antinous, the lover of Hadrian, drowned in 130 CE.
The site had been heavily exploited by the locals including the destruction of a Graeco-Roman temple for a cement factory, and the sebakhin.
Rosati, Gloria 2006. The temple of Ramesses II at El-Sheikh Ibada. Egyptian Archaeology 28, 39-41.