Alexandria, also called “Al-Iskandariya” in Arabic, held the celebrated title of capital of Egypt for nearly a millennium earlier than progressively shedding its significance.
In fashionable instances, nonetheless, Alexandria has emerged as a primary vacation spot to discover when visiting the African continent. What distinctive experiences await you on this fascinating metropolis?
Uncover extra about Alexandria and its charms via our unique Egypt tour packages and thrilling Egypt Journey.
Alexandria, the second largest metropolis in Egypt after Cairo, is situated on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. Also known as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’, Alexandria attracted many European entrepreneurs till 1952 with its wealth of sights, in depth sandy seashores, cultural festivals and temperate local weather.
In consequence, regardless of being solely 225km from Cairo, this port metropolis exudes a Mediterranean quite than an Arab ambiance.
Historical past of the 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, the town of Alexandria served because the capital of Egypt in the course of 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 rework it into what we all know right this moment as the 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 Historical 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 in the course of the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by the Ptolemaic Kingdom of historic Egypt, it stood at a staggering peak of a minimum of 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 via scuba diving.
Curiously, 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 the 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 time 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.
Format of the 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 distinguished colonnaded streets, every about 60 meters broad, which intersected within the coronary heart of Alexandria. Its strategic location between the Mediterranean and the Purple Sea established it as an important hub for commerce, making it one in all Egypt’s most vital business facilities.
Finest 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 instances, the climate is pleasantly temperate, making it excellent for taking within the metropolis’s architectural wonders.