Alexandria
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Alexandria

 

Alexandria's unique location on the Mediterranean with her back to the Nile Valley, as well as the eastern and western deserts has allowed her since the earliest of times to be distinguished among world cities. She saw the mingling of culture from the east and from the west and has seen times when she prospered and times when she waned. There is no doubt that her experiences and imbibing of high values has coloured her people and their religions.

There is no doubt too that the accumulated cultural, social and economic reservoir has allowed her people to achieve as much as they have and have made Alexandria the city of all ages. Alexandria are the second largest city and the second largest metropolitan area in Egypt after Greater Cairo by size and number of population, extending about 32 km  along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. It is also the largest city directly on the Mediterranean coast. Alexandria are Egypt's largest seaport, serving approximately 80% of Egypt's imports and exports. 331 BC by Alexander the Great founded the city of Alexandria, but fate did not allow him to see his city which was completed by Ptolemy I upon his death. Alexander's keen vision enabled him to grasp the importance of Alexandria's location which would serve her for aeons. Alexandria would become the magnet that attracts the ambitious, the seeker of glory just as she would attract the seeker of knowledge and scholarship. Her library would become the beacon of light with all the treasures that she was able to amass from many parts of the world and her fora would witness the dialogue between the best minds and the interaction of civilisations and cultural diversity. Alexandria are also an important tourist resort, there are beautiful gardens at the Montazah Palace has huge textile and tourist industries, The Greco-Roman Museum which contains a very big variety of coins from different countries dating back from 630 BC to the Ottoman period in the 19th century. On Alexandria Greco-Roman and Paranoiac religions mingled in the cult of Serapis; the shift from pagan religions to Christianity can also be seen in the exhibits which include mummies, Hellenistic statues, busts of Roman emperors, Tangara figurines, and early Christian antiquities. Roman amphitheater had been a place more for public meetings than for performances. Recently more ruins of Roman baths had been found complete with the gymnasium and ancient Roman bathing facilities. Pompey's Pillar was built in 297 AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian not Pompey. The Pillar itself is whopping 9 meters in circumference.

 Alexandria Highlights

- Citadel of Qaitbay is a 15th-century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean sea coast, which built upon from the ruins of the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Alexandria. The Citadel is situated on the eastern side of the northern tip of Pharos Island at the mouth of the Eastern Harbour. Sultan Qaitbey built this picturesque fortress during the 15th century to defend Alexandria from the advances of the Ottoman Empire. His efforts were in vain since the Ottomans took control of Egypt in 1512 but the fortress has remained, strategically located on a thin arm of land that extends out into Alexandria’s harbor from the corniche. Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is considered as one of the most important defensive strongholds not only in Egypt but also in the Mediterranean Sea coast. It formulated an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria in the 15th century AD. Parts of the remains of the lighthouse can be seen in the construction of the old fort. One of the seven wonders of the ancient World, the lighthouse was astonishingly 125m in height with approximately three hundred rooms at ground level that were built for workers.

- Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria in Kom El Dekka is one of the most popular monuments located in the city of Alexandria. While the amphitheatres were quite spread during the reign of the Romans in different countries like Greece, Italy, and Turkey over a large empire with many examples of these structures still present in many regions around Europe and the Middle East, the Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria is the only one of its type in Egypt. The Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria, which is considered to be one of the most important Roman architectural achievements in Egypt, was discovered by mere coincidence in the year 1960. The Roman Amphitheatre was most probably neglected during the early Islamic period and onwards until it was discovered during the middle of the 20th century to become one of the most marvelous historical sites of the city of Alexandria

- Pompey's Pillar a Roman triumphal column, is one of the best-known ancient monuments still standing in Alexandria today. It is located on Alexandria's ancient acropolis—a modest hill located adjacent to the city's Arab cemetery—and was originally part of a temple colonnade. Including its pedestal, it is 30 m high; the shaft is of polished red granite, 2.7 meters in diameter at the base, tapering to 2.4 meters at the top. The shaft is 27 m high made out of a single piece of granite. Pompey's Pillar may have been erected using the same methods that were used to erect the ancient obelisks. The Romans had cranes but they were not strong enough to lift something this heavy.

- Alexandria's Catacombs known as Kom al-Shoqafa, are a short distance southwest of the pillar, consist of a multi-level labyrinth, reached via a large spiral staircase, and featuring dozens of chambers adorned with sculpted pillars, statues, and other syncretic Romano-Egyptian religious symbols, burial niches, and sarcophagi, as well as a large Roman-style banquet room, where memorial meals were conducted by relatives of the deceased. The catacombs were long forgotten by the citizens until they were discovered by accident in the 1800s.

- Museum of Alexandria
is located in the Horeya Street and. The building of the museum was the residence of a former wood trading business man, Asa'ad Basily, who constructed his villa which was built over an area of 3480 meters in the Italian style. The palace was a popular gathering place for many of the high level people in the 30s and 40s of the last century. The museum displays more than 1800 items from different eras: Pharonic, Ptolemaic which flourished greatly in Alexandria, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic.

- Library of Alexandria
the most famous library of classical antiquity. It formed part of the research institute at Alexandria in Egypt that is known as the Museum, or the Alexandrian Museum. The Alexandrian library and museum were founded and maintained by the long succession of Ptolemies in Egypt from the beginning of the 3rd century bc. The library’s initial organization was the work of Demetrius of Phaleron, who was familiar with the achievements of the library at Athens. Both the museum and the library were organized in faculties, with a president-priest at the head and the salaries of the staff paid by the Egyptian king. A subsidiary “daughter library” was established about 235 bc by Ptolemy III (Euergetes) in the Temple of Serapis, the main museum and library being located in the palace precincts, in the district known as the Brucheium. It is not known how far the ideal of an international library incorporating not only all Greek literature but also translations into Greek from the other languages of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and India.

- The Temple Of Taposiris Magna was built in the Ptolemy era and dedicated to Osiris, which finished the construction of Alexandria. It is located in Abusir, the western suburb of Alexandria in Borg el Arab city. Only the outer wall and the pylons remain from the temple. There is evidence to prove that sacred animals were worshiped there. Archaeologists found an animal necropolis near the temple. Remains of a Christian church show that the temple was used as a church in later centuries. Also found in the same area are remains of public baths built by the emperor Justinian, a seawall, quays and a bridge. Near the beach side of the area, we can see the remains of a tower built by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The tower was an exact scale replica of the destroyed Alexandrine Pharos Lighthouse.

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