This author first explores place as a complex multimodal sensory experience using the five senses as semiotic resources. This is followed by a discussion of the different modes of reading Cairo and how the historical context, use of multiple languages, and designed reality contribute to the city’s identity. Using the example of Tahrir Square as a symbolic model, the evolution of the space is considered, in accordance with important socio-political events that took place in Cairo at different points in history. The article investigates what semiotic practices are used to reclaim the identity of Tahrir Square as the symbol of Cairo. Finally, the literary mode is considered with analysis of references to Cairo in literary works.