Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria, Egypt
Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria is the second capital of Egypt and was its capital in the past. It is the capital of Alexandria Governorate and its largest city. It is located on the Mediterranean coast at a length of about 55 km northwest of the Nile Delta, on an area of ​​2679 km², bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the south by Lake Mariout.  Up to the 71st kilometer on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road, and it is bordered from the east by Abu Qir Bay and the city of Idku in the Buhaira Governorate, and from the west until the 36.30th kilometer on the international coastal road, and the center of Burj Al Arab.

The city of Alexandria includes many distinctive landmarks, as there is the largest sea port in Egypt, which is the port of Alexandria, which passes through about 60% of the total Egyptian imports and exports,  and also includes the new Library of Alexandria, which contains more than eight million books, and receives about 1.5  One million visitors annually,  It also includes many museums such as the Alexandria National Museum and the Greco-Roman Museum, and archaeological sites such as Qaitbay Citadel and the column of the pillars, the population of the city of Alexandria is about 4,123,869 people (according to the 2006 census), engaged in fishing activities, trade  , industry, and agriculture, Alexandria is divided into nine administrative districts: the first district of Al-Montazah, the second district of Al-Montazah, the eastern district, the central district, the western district, Al-Jumrok district, Al-Ajami district, the first district of Al-Amriyah, and the second district of Al-Amriya.

 Work on the establishment of Alexandria began at the hands of Alexander the Great in 332 BC by filling in a part of the water separating an island stretching in front of the main coast called “Pharos” with an ancient port, and a small village called “Ractos” or “Raquda” surrounded by other small villages.  It also spreads between the sea and Lake Mariout, and Alexander the Great and his successors took it as the capital of Egypt for nearly a thousand years, until the Islamic conquest of Egypt by Amr ibn al-Aas in the year 641. Alexandria was famous throughout history through many landmarks such as the ancient Library of Alexandria, which included more than  700,000 volumes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was considered one of the seven wonders of the world, ] due to its enormous height, which reaches about 120 meters, and this lighthouse remained standing until it was destroyed by a strong earthquake in 1307.

 Some historians believe that Alexander the Great’s choice of the city of Alexandria to be the capital of his state was guided by the guidance of his spiritual mentor Homer in the epic “The Odyssey”, where “Telemach”, the son of “Odysseus” King of Ithaca, went to Menelaus, King of Sparta, asking him if he knew anything about  The fate of his disappeared father, Menelaus told about the horrors of war and the courage of the King of Ithaca and his lost army, and that after exhausting their armies, they reached the shores of Egypt, at the island of Pharos, and there, as the King of Sparta says: “We drank from the kawthar of this country under which rivers flow.”

Archaeological and tourist attractions in Alexandria

pole pole

The pillar column is considered one of the most famous archaeological monuments in Alexandria. It was erected over the Bab Sidra hill between the area of the current Muslim burial grounds, known as the “Cumn Burials” and the ancient plateau of Kom el Shoqafa. It is about 27 meters long. The column was erected to commemorate Emperor Diocletian in the third century AD, and it is the last surviving relic of the Serapeum temple erected by Emperor Postumus  and is the highest monument in the world, and it was said that this column was dedicated to Christianity after its victory in Alexandria. The body of the column is one piece, and its total height, including the base, is about 26.85 meters,  On the western side of the column are two bases that can be reached by an underground ladder. There are also two statues similar to the Sphinx made of pink granite dating back to the era of Ptolemy VI.

Bey Citadel

Qaitbay Citadel is located in the Bahri region in the far west of Alexandria, and it was built on the old site of the Alexandria Lighthouse, which was demolished in the year 702 AH, following the devastating earthquake that occurred during the reign of Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad bin Qalawun,  Sultan Al-Ashraf Abu Al-Nasr Qaitbay began building this castle in the year 882 AH and finished It was built in the year 884 AH, and the reason for his interest in Alexandria was the large number of direct threats to Egypt from the Ottoman Empire, which threatened the entire Arab region.

Bey Citadel.

Roman Theater

The Roman theater is located in the Kom El-Dikka area in the city center. It is one of the ruins of the Roman era and was built at the beginning of the fourth century AD.  It is the only Roman theater in Egypt. This site was discovered by chance while removing soil to search for the tomb of Alexander the Great by the Polish mission in 1960. Archaeologists called it the Roman theater when the marble steps were discovered, but a great controversy arose about the function of this archaeological building,   It took about 30 years to excavate it.

New Alexandria Library

New Alexandria Library

The Library of Alexandria is one of the newest and most prominent cultural edifices in Egypt and the world. It was established in order to restore the glories of the ancient Library of Alexandria, which was a beacon to the whole world nearly two thousand years ago. The library is located on the Mediterranean coast in the Shatby region, and includes more than 8 million books, The current library is a revival of the old library, which was the largest library of its time, and it is believed that Ptolemy II was the one who ordered its establishment in the early third century BC, and that the number of books it contained reached 700,000 volumes.

New Alexandria Library

Eastern port

The eastern port of Alexandria is generally considered one of the oldest ports located on the Mediterranean Sea, The eastern port includes the areas of Shatby, Raml Station, Al-Mansheya and Bahri, and Alexander the Great aimed behind the founding of the city to establish a new port that occupies a great place in the world of trade after he destroyed the port of Tire He is on his way to Egypt, as well as among his goals was the establishment of a large new port linking the countries of the ancient world and the eastern port.

Eastern port.

Tombs of Mustafa Kamel archaeological

The Mustafa Kamel tombs are located in the Mustafa Kamel area, and that is why it was named by this name, and it consists of four tombs, all of which were carved into the rock, The first and second tombs were carved below the surface of the earth, while the third and fourth tombs part of them rise above the surface of the earth, and it was discovered This group of tombs happened by chance between 1933 and 1934, These tombs date back to the late third and early second centuries BC, specifically to the Greek and Roman era.

The altar is in the inner courtyard of Tomb No. 1.

Anfushi tombs

The Anfushi tombs are located in the Bahri region, west of Alexandria, and they date back to the third century BC, to about the year 250 BC, that is, in the late Ptolemaic era and the early Roman era.

These tombs were discovered in 1901, when two funerary buildings were discovered, each with two tombs, then the discoveries of the Anfushi cemetery continued until the number of its funerary buildings became five buildings, and there is a sixth funerary building that disappeared and no longer has a trace at the present time, and these tombs are characterized by beautiful fresco decorations, Many of them were decorated with alabaster and marble.

A scene depicting the deceased in the other world in the presence of Isis, Osiris and Horus at the entrance of a tomb.

The ancient tombs of Kom el Shoqafa

The Kom al-Shuqafa tombs are located in the Kom al-Shuqafa area, south of the Mina al-Basal neighborhood, and it is considered one of the most important cemeteries in the city. One of the clearest examples of the overlapping of Pharaonic art with Roman art in the city and the finest examples of funerary architecture, and the tomb was found by chance on September 28, 1900, although excavations had begun in this area since 1892.

A picture from inside a tomb

El-Shatby Tombs

These tombs are located between Port Said Street and Corniche Road in Al-Shatby area, facing St. Mark’s College. They were also discovered by chance in 1893, and date back to the end of the second century and the beginning of the third century BC. The cemetery was carved out of rock, and many relics of the Ptolemaic era were discovered in it, the most important of which were the Tanagara statues. These tombs are among the oldest Ptolemaic tombs in Alexandria, being outside the walls of the ancient city.

General view of the tombs of El-Shatby.

Alexandria National Museum

It is one of the museums of Alexandria, located on Fouad Street in the city center, and contains more than 1,800 artifacts  representing all the eras that the city went through from the Roman era until the modern era. The museum is a former palace for one of the wealthy wood merchants in the city.