Near the village are many remains of ancient buildings, Egyptian, Greek and Roman. About three kilometers (two miles) southeast of the village are ruins supposed to mark the site of Canopus. A little farther east the Canopic branch of the Nile (now dry) entered the Mediterranean.
Stretching eastward as far as the Rosetta mouth of the Nile is the spacious Bay of Abukir, where on August 1, 1798, Horatio Nelson fought the Battle of the Nile, often referred to as the Battle of Abukir Bay. The latter title is applied more properly to an engagement between the French expeditionary army and the Turks fought on July 25, 1799. Near Abukir, on March 8, 1801, the British army commanded by Sir R. Abercromby landed from its transports in the face of a strenuous opposition from a French force entrenched on the beach.