Alexandria

 

Alexandria

 

We will guide you to "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", Alexandria Egypt. Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great. It became the capital of Greco-Roman Empire and the cultural center of the ancient world. Alexandria is rich with its monuments dating back to Greco-roman periods such as Pompey's pillar, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa and Alexandria’s Amphitheatre. Below you can find the must-see attractions and best things to do in Alexandria.

 

Important Sites

 

Montazah Palace

The Montazah Palace was built in 1892 by Abbas II, the ruler of Egypt, as a royal residence. King Fouad made some additions and his son King Farouk built the bridge that extends in the water. The complex includes two hotels: Palestine and Salamlek. In addition to enjoying the greenery, there are fine beaches, whether in the hotels or the public ones. The rest of the complex is nothing but lavish gardens ideal for picnics. The place is really Alexandria's best place for relaxation.

   

Alexandria National Museum

Alexandria National Museum has grown in importance these days and is now considered one of Egypt's finest museums. The national museum is located in a restored palace and contains about 1,800 artifacts that narrate the history of Alexandria throughout the ages, including the Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras. There are even some more modern pieces, including 19th-century glassware, silverware, chinaware and precious jewels, which provide a sense of the richness of the court of Mohammed Ali and his descendants. Mummies are shown in a special underground chamber (basement). Also, some of the items found during the archaeological underwater excavations in Alexandria are now on the same floor as the Greco-Roman artifacts.

   

Pompey’s Pillar

An approximately 25m red Aswan granite column with a circumference of 9 m, was constructed in honor of the Emperor Diocletain. Nearby are subterranean galleries where sacred Apis bulls were buried, and three sphinxes. After his defeat by Julius Caesar in the civil war, Pompey fled to Egypt where he was murdered in 48 BC; mediaeval travelers later believed he must be buried here, and that the capital atop the corner served as a container for his head. In fact, the pillar was raised in honor of Diocletain at the very end of the 4th century. Diocletain captured Alexandria after it had been under siege. The Arabs called it "Amoud el-Sawari", Column of the Horsemen. The Pillar is the tallest ancient monument in Alexandria.

   

The Catacombs of Kom EL Shoqafa

The catacombs are the most interesting Site in Alexandria. They were built in the 2nd century AD during the Roman era. Their architecture is a unique combination of both Egyptian and Greco-Roman art. They probably belonged to one family. The burials are of 3 levels at the depth of 30 meters (100 feet) but the lowest level is unfortunately flooded with water and inaccessible. The entrance is accessible by climbing down a spiral staircase round a shaft through which the body of the deceased was lowered by ropes. The tombs have a banquet hall furnished with rock-cut benches to accommodate visitors who come to visit the departed and dine.

   

Alexandria’s Amphitheatre

The Amphitheatre was recently discovered in 1967 when work was ahead to construct modern building on its site. It is the only Roman Theatre in Egypt and one of its kind. Built in the 2nd century AD in the Roman era, the theater has 13 semicircular tiers made of white and gray marbles imported from Europe. This can accommodate about 800 spectators. Two of the marble columns are still standing by the theatre.

   

Al Morsi Abu El Abbas Mosque

The mosque was built in the 18th century by Algerians over the tomb of Al Morsi Abu El Abbas Mosque, a 13th century Islamic leader. It was rebuilt and renovated in the first half of the 20th century. The Mosque is huge (the biggest in Alexandria) with a high minaret and four remarkable domes. It served as a religious symbol of the city.

 

   

The Fort of Qayetbay

The fort was built in about 1480 by Sultan Qayetbay, the Burgi Mamluk ruler of Egypt. The site of the fort was once occupied by the famous ancient lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The lighthouse was subject to earthquakes and despite efforts of some Arab rulers to restore it; it finally collapsed in a 14th century tremor. Sultan Qayetbay used the lighthouse debris in the construction of his fort.

   

 


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