Alexandria, also called “Al-Iskandariya” in Arabic, held the distinguished title of capital of Egypt for nearly a millennium earlier than step by step shedding its significance.
In fashionable occasions, nonetheless, Alexandria has emerged as a first-rate vacation spot to discover when visiting the African continent. What distinctive experiences await you on this fascinating metropolis?
Alexandria, the second largest metropolis in Egypt after Cairo, is positioned on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. Also known as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’, Alexandria attracted many European entrepreneurs till 1952 with its wealth of points of interest, intensive sandy seashores, cultural festivals and temperate local weather.
In consequence, regardless of being solely 225km from Cairo, this port metropolis exudes a Mediterranean fairly than an Arab ambiance.
Historical past of town
Town of Alexandria dates again to 322 BC when Alexander the Nice based it on the age of 25.
Located on the Mediterranean coast, town of Alexandria served because the capital of Egypt throughout the Ptolemaic period till it will definitely misplaced its significance and place because the capital.
Alexander the Nice, after liberating Egypt from the Persian Empire, determined to construct a brand new metropolis related by sea to his homeland of Macedonia. He selected the fishing village of Rhakotis, which had a pure harbor, and commissioned his architect, Deinocrates, to remodel it into what we all know right now as town of Alexandria. It’s value noting that Alexander was not allowed to be buried within the historic capital of Memphis, having rejected it in favor of constructing Alexandria.
What’s the metropolis of Alexandria well-known for?
The Lighthouse of the Pharaohs in Alexandria is famend as one of many Seven Wonders of the Historic World and the world’s first lighthouse. French archaeologists have uncovered over 3,300 fragments of the lighthouse, which at the moment are on show in Alexandria’s museums.
Constructed throughout the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by the Ptolemaic Kingdom of historic Egypt, it stood at a staggering peak of not less than 100 meters (330 toes). For hundreds of years it held the title of the world’s tallest constructing till the Eiffel Tower was in-built 1889.
Though it not exists as a result of injury from three main earthquakes, the stays of this historic landmark can nonetheless be admired underwater by means of scuba diving.
Apparently, nonetheless, elements of Alexandria are actually underwater. The stays of Cleopatra’s palace, over 7,000 colossal statues, numerous gold and silver cash and numerous different artefacts which have surfaced all through historical past lie at depths of 8-15 meters under sea stage within the Abu Kir harbor basin. Recognizing their significance, the Egyptian authorities has made plans for an underwater museum the place divers can already marvel at these extraordinary discoveries.
Alexandria’s notable landmarks embody the Qait Bay Fortress with its panoramic views of town, the Greco-Roman Museum with its historic treasures, the catacombs often known as Kom El-Shokafa, the towering Morsi Abu El-Abbas Mosque, an almost 27 meter excessive Pompey’s Column and the Montazah Palace – as soon as King Farouk’s summer season residence – with its enchanting park.
The crowning glory of this vibrant metropolis is undoubtedly the Bibliotheca Alexandrina – the brand new library of Alexandria – and its accompanying cultural heart.
Structure of town
Alexandria was initially divided into three distinct areas:
- Rhakotis, which was the unique metropolis assimilated into Alexandria;
- Brucheum, the opulent royal or Greek quarter;
- and the Jewish area within the northeast.
Town boasted two outstanding colonnaded streets, every about 60 meters broad, which intersected within the coronary heart of Alexandria. Its strategic location between the Mediterranean and the Pink Sea established it as a significant hub for commerce, making it one in every of Egypt’s most necessary industrial facilities.
Greatest time to go to
The best time to discover Alexandria is in autumn (late September to early November) and spring (March and April). At these occasions, the climate is pleasantly temperate, making it good for taking within the metropolis’s architectural wonders.