Leuchtturm of Alexandria (2023)

The Lighthouse of Alexandria [Artist's rendering] Ubisoft Entertainment SA (copyright, fair use)

It isthe lighthousePort of AlexanderBuilt on the island of Pharos off Alexandria,Egyptapprox. 300 - 280 BC BC, reignPtolomeo Iand two. At over 100 meters (330 feet) tall, the lighthouse is so impressive that it has been placed on the established list.seven miraclesof antiquity.

Though lost today, the building's lasting legacy is more than 1,600 years later that it donatedGreekName the architectural style of each tower with lights to guide the sailors "Pharos". perhaps influenced later Arabsalmina architectureOf course, there will also be a whole series of imitation buildings in the surrounding ports.the Mediterranean, the lighthouse is afterPyramidvonGuiza, the tallest man-made building in the world.

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Port of Alexander

Was the founder of the Egyptian city of AlexandriaKing AlexanderBC, thanks to its two natural harbors in the Atlantic OceanDer NilDelta AirlinesCityThrive as a trading portPtolemaic dynasty(305-30 BC) and throughout antiquity. The city is a cosmopolitan city with citizens from all over the Greek world and has its own Parliament and Parliament.CurrencyAnd become a famous learning center.

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The purpose of a lighthouse is to guide and protect seafarers and it is dedicated to that purposeZeusSauter (delivery).

Around the year 300 BC Ptolemy I Soter (r. 323–282 BC) built a huge lighthouse to guide ships to Alexandria and serve as a permanent reminder of his power and greatness. About 20 years later, the project was completed by his son and his successors.Ptolemy II(285-246 BC). The building adds to the impressive list of attractions of this great city, which includesGrabvonAlejandro, Museum (Institution of Scholars), Serapim MuseumTempleand the magnificent library.


According to some ancient sources, the lighthouse was the work of the architect Sóstrato (Cnido), but he may have financed the project. The building is located on the limestone island of Faros, overlooking the port of Alexandria. The two natural harbors are Grand Harbour, whimsically named 'Eunostos' or 'Harbour of Happy Return'. The mainland is connected to the island of Pharos by the Heptastadion, a causeway about 1.2 kilometers long. A contemporary writer named Poseidipos tells us that the purpose of this lighthouse was to guide and protect sailors and that for this purpose it was dedicated to two gods, Zeus Soter (Saviour): the inscription on the tower is in letters from half a meter wide written high. - possibly with the Greek sea proteusGood, also known as the "Old Man of the Sea".

Leuchtturm of Alexandria (2)

The Alexandria Lighthouse is certainly not the first lighthouse to provide such assistance to ancient navigators, but it may well be the first monumental lighthouse. Northern ThassosAegean SeaFor example, it is known that there is a lighthouse on the island.archaic period, beacons and waypoints are widely usedCityHelp the sailors to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Ancient lighthouses were built primarily as navigational aids in localized harbors and not as a warning of dangerous shoals or underwater rocks, although due to the dangerous waters of the port of Alexandria, lighthouses served both functions.

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Leuchtturm of Alexandria (3)

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The Greek geographer and traveler Strabo (c. 64 BC – c. 24 AD) made the following observations about Pharos:

This end of the island itself is a rock surrounded by the sea on all sides, on which stands the island's homonymous tower, built of white marble and having several floors. According to the inscription, Sostratus of Cnidus, a friend of the king, had it built for the safety of his sailors. Since the coasts are low on both sides, there are no ports, there are reefs and shoals, but the height is very noticeable.MarkeBoaters coming from the open sea must be able to accurately chart their course to the harbor entrance. (Geography,17.1)

Unfortunately, ancient authors did not make clear the exact structure of the lighthouse, and descriptions were often vague, confusing, and contradictory. Most sources agree that the tower was white (to make it more visible) and had three tiers: the lower tier was rectangular, the middle tier was octagonal, and the upper tier was circular. It is also (mostly) agreed that there is a statue of Zeus Soter on the top. Later Arabic authors describe ramps leading externally around the lower part of the tower and internal stairs leading to the upper floors. Modern historians question the tower's height, estimating it at 100 to 140 meters (330 to 460 ft), which would definitely make the lighthouse the second tallest architectural structure in the world after the Giza Pyramids.

Due to the lack of firewood, a fire was lit at the top of the tower so that it could be seen at night. However, whether this was the case from the beginning is a matter of debate among historians, largely because the earliest references to lighthouses in the works of ancient writers do not mention light at all. Later sources described the lighthouse as a beacon rather than simply a landmark tower useful only during the day. The flame and other points of the lighthouse are mentioned in the following description from the 1st century AD.RomawriterPliny the Elder:

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They say it cost eight hundred talents to build; And in order not to overlook the magnanimity King Ptolemy displayed on the occasion, he allowed his name to be engraved on the building itself. Their aim was to warn ships and adjacent shoals of night fires and to signal them to enter port. (natural history,36,18)

According to later Arabic sources, there was even a mirror (probably polished).Bronze) to reflect the flames more seaward. Mirrors can also act as solar reflectors. The tower, which has no visible light, appears on the city's Roman imperial coins (frommany secret goodnessesarriveComfortable, AD 81-192), clearly shows a large tower with narrow windows, on which are a colossal statue and two smaller statues of Triton blowing a conch shell. These coins show the entrance to the tower below, while later Arabic descriptions place it higher. The lighthouse also appears on mosaics and sarcophagi throughout antiquity, testifying to its far-reaching reputation.

The lighthouse disappeared from historical records and it is possible that it was eventually shot down by a lighthouse.earthquakeSometime in the 1330s AD

It isseven miracles

Some ancient monuments impress tourists from all over the world with their beauty, their artistic and architectural quality and their sheer size, so that they are celebrated as "must-sees".him) Places of interest to ancient travelers and pilgrims. if ancient writers likeHerodotus,Callimachus von Cyrene,anti fathervonsit onand philoByzantiumA short list of the most beautiful places of antiquity has been compiled. The Alexandria Lighthouse was included in the established list of the Seven Wonders, albeit later than the others because it is a very tall and unique structure. The tower's design was copied to protect harbors and sailors throughout antiquity, and it became so famous as a lighthouse that the word "lighthouse" became known as "lighthouse".will doIt has since been applied to any tower meant to serve navigation, and in many modern languages ​​it is still the word for lighthouse.

Leuchtturm of Alexandria (6)
As part of the empire, Alexander continued to prosper.Roman Empire, the second most important city in the Roman world and the most important port in the eastern Mediterranean. The Alexandria lighthouse suffered significant damage over the centuries, notably from the earthquakes of 796 and 950 (it partially collapsed six years later, in 1303 and 1323), but there are records of regular repairs and extensions. For example, a rock dome was attached to the top. In the year 1000 an important reconstruction was carried out. In 1161 it came under the rule of the Fatimids. Some historians believe that the tower had an influence on the architecture of Arabic minarets and, interestingly, the Arabic word for minaret and lighthouse is the same:al-manara

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After the 14th century, the lighthouse disappeared from historical records, possibly brought down by another earthquake in the 1330s. Built in the 15th century, Qait Bey Fort reused the granite foundations of the towers. modern navigationarcheologyIn an area where sea levels have been rising since ancient times, several stone fragments and two commemorative statues of Ptolemy I and his queen Berenice were found, which probably belonged to the tower and its surroundings.

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Finally, an interesting footnote: the Alexandria lighthouse may have been a true marvel, copied in large numbers, but it could not always help sailors, as marine archaeologists have found more than 40 shipwrecks from the ancient port of Alexandria. . On the other hand, who can say how many more disasters there would have been had there not been a great lighthouse to keep ships safe?

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How many days should I spend in Alexandria? ›

Most people will be able to cover all the major sites, and some minor ones, by spending 3 days in Alexandria. If you just want to visit a few of the major highlights, you can do this on a day trip from Cairo or by spending a full day and overnighting in Alexandria.

Which is better Cairo or Alexandria? ›

Where Alexandria is laid-back and less crowded, Cairo is bustling and full of traffic. However, both Alexandria and Cairo will show you different sides of modern Egyptian life. Visit these two amazing cities during your Egypt Tour is the best choice for every travel lover.

Is it worth it to go to Alexandria Egypt? ›

It's a stunning city full of amazing things to do based on the North coast of Egypt. It felt so good to breathe in the fresh air and you could see the Mediterranean sea for miles. Thousands of years ago, Alexandria was a famous and powerful city.

Why is Alexandria so famous? ›

The second largest Egyptian city, after Cairo, and one of the largest ports on the Mediterranean coast, Alexandria was a major centre of civilization in the ancient world, controlling commerce between Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean, and has continued throughout its long history to act as a vital crossing point for ...

Is one day enough for Alexandria? ›

Today, Egypt's second city combines Mediterranean charm with a wealth of Greek and Roman ruins. With one day in Alexandria, you can take in the city's essential ancient sights, savor delicious seafood, stroll royal gardens, and more.

How many days in Cairo is enough? ›

How Many Days in Cairo? Cairo is a really massive city, the second-largest in Africa in terms of population. You could spend weeks and weeks touring it all, but for a first visit, we recommend spending at least three days in Cairo.

Is Alexandria or Cairo safer? ›

Crime Comparison Between Cairo and Alexandria
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery41.9535.54
Problem corruption and bribery80.0272.22
Last Update:August 2023July 2023
12 more rows

Is Alexandria or Arlington better? ›

You should decide where to live based on a few factors. Alexandria is a greater option if you're looking for affordable housing, less traffic, and walkable streets. Arlington is superior if you're looking for a high-paying job, public safety, and major attractions.

Is it safe to walk around in Alexandria Egypt? ›

Alexandria is somewhat safe and although there is some crime in this city, it's mostly petty crime and rarely violent. Pickpockets are a problem in Egypt's major cities, like Alexandria. When it comes to violent crime, it is rare, and you shouldn't worry too much about being mugged or robbed.

Is Alexandria a walkable city? ›

Known for its walkable lifestyle, Alexandria is a city best experienced on foot.

Can you drink alcohol in Alexandria Egypt? ›

Alcohol in Egypt

As Egypt is a majority Muslim country, many locals abstain from alcohol completely. However, it is possible to find liquor stores and bars in some upmarket neighborhoods, and many hotels and resorts serve alcohol.

Is it safe for Americans to travel to Alexandria Egypt? ›

Many travellers travel from Cairo to Alexandria by bus or taxi but you can also travel by train, which takes a bit longer, but is also safer. Alexandria is a major city and the third largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza. Like all major cities in Egypt, Alexandria is a very safe destination for tourists.

How much is a taxi from Alexandria to Cairo? ›

The fastest way to get from Alexandria to Cairo is to taxi. Taking this option will cost $13 - $16 and takes 2h 7m.

What was so special about the city of Alexandria in Egypt? ›

Alexandria played an important role in preserving and transmitting Hellenic culture to the wider Mediterranean world and was a crucible of scholarship, piety, and ecclesiastical politics in early Christian history.

Why should I visit Alexandria Egypt? ›

Visiting The Ruins Of The Past.

Alexandria has a lot of history that spans the classical world, from the Hellenistic civilisation and influences from the Greek and Roman empires, to Ptolemaic and Byzantine Egypt, and there are enough ruins and sites that you can easily fill a week visiting them all properly.

Is it better to stay in Arlington or Alexandria? ›

You should decide where to live based on a few factors. Alexandria is a greater option if you're looking for affordable housing, less traffic, and walkable streets. Arlington is superior if you're looking for a high-paying job, public safety, and major attractions.

Should I stay in Alexandria when visiting DC? ›

A nationally designated historic district founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria hums with more than 200 independent restaurants tucked into 18th- and 19th-century architecture still intact from the city's days as George Washington's hometown, making Alexandria the perfect place to come home to after a busy day exploring ...

What is the best time to visit Alexandria Egypt? ›

The best time of year to visit Alexandria is probably autumn or fall (late September to early November) and spring (March and April). It is possible to swim in the sea or a pool without getting too hot.


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