Alexandria counts today about four million inhabitants. It was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 bC.
With the untimely death of this last one , one of its Generals, Ptolemy, founded his own dynasty in Egypt, and made of Alexandria the centre of the Hellenistic world.
Ptolemy is at the origin of the construction of the lighthouse, the city quickly became the capital of Egypt and its larger port.
During the antiquity times, it was one of the greatest arts centres in the Mediterranean, thanks to its famous Library. It known a Roman domination period then a Byzantine one, until 646 when it was conquered by the Arabs, after a Persian interlude.
The city is located at the west of the delta of the Nile, between the lake Mareotis and the island of Pharos to which one it is attached.
Monuments of Alexandria and places of interest
Column of Diocletian or Pompey's pillar (photo above)
It is a column of red granite from Aswan, 25 meters height, which were built in the honour of the Diocletian emperor at the end of the IVth century.
It was at the origin in the temple of Serapis.
Catacombs of Kom-el-Chouqafa
These Roman catacombs, most important of Egypt known, were used from the Ist to the IVth centuries.
The decorations of the tombs refer to the old Egyptian religion (representations of Horus, Thoth, Anubis...) although their construction is inspired by the Greek-Roman models. These engravings reflect the unique mixture of the Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures in Alexandria.
Qaït Bay fortress (Qaytbay)
There were two large ports in Alexandria, separated by the island of Pharos. The fortress was built about 1480 by the Sultan Qaït Bey, on the place of the lighthouse of Alexandria. It was entirely restored in 2002. It shelters the Museum of the Navy which contains objects of the battles from Roman and Napoleonean times.
Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, it was about 135 meters high and counted three hundred rooms.
Built in the IIIth century before our era by Ptolemy, at the beginning of the reign of its Hellenistic dynasty on Egypt. The legend tells that its fires could be visible from the sea more than 300km far. It was destroyed by an earthquake in about 1302.
See also Lighthouse of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
Built during the Ptolemic dynasties and considered for its richness, a fire destroyed its 700 000 volumes. UNESCO and Egypt joined together for the construction of the library of the Mediterranean world on the ruins of the ancient building.
The Roman amphitheatre of Kom-el-Dick
The Greek-Roman museum
The national museum of Alexandria
Gardens of Montaza
Pictures and paints of Alexandria