The glory of Alexandria began since the entry of Alexander the great to Egypt in 332 BC. Its importance backs to the civilizational mixing that was created between the Greko-Roman and the ancient Egypt Civilization as it was the capital of Egypt for approximately 1000 years!
What are the most attractive destinations that can be seen in Alexandria?
There is several important sightseeing in Alexandria as it was the capital of Egypt for about 1000 years,
Here we will give an idea about the most attractive destinations in Alexandria.
1 – The catacomb of Alexandria:
What is the history of the catacomb?
It is underground tunnels dates back to the second century AD, originally was a private tomb established for one family, later on, the catacomb become a public cemetery with hundreds of graves.
The catacomb was used as a public cemetery for about 350 years during the Greco-Roman period.
Why do they call it Catacomb or Kom El Shuqafa?
El Shoqafa is an Arabic name; Kom means hill or pile, while El Shoqafa means many crack pottery or shards.
When the Arabs came to Alexandria, they found the place with many shards so they give it this name.
the reason of having shards or crack pottery outside the catacomb, dates back to the Roman period, that the Egyptian used to visit the catacomb in order to communicate with the dead people by sharing food with them, however, they didn’t need to take the containers of the food back home from the cemetery so they used to break all the jars and the plates outside of the catacomb!
We call it catacomb because it’s similar to Rome Christian catacombs.
What is the description of the catacomb?
The Catacomb consists of three floors underground attached through the Spiral staircase.
What is the special in these tombs are:
- These tombs are carved in the rock.
- It holds beautiful reliefs that indicate to the mixture that was happened between the ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations.
2 – Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria:
What is the history of Pompey’s Pillar?
Pompey’s pillar backs to the Roman era in the 3rd century AD, to commemorate the victory of Emperor Diocletia over the Revolution of the Alexandrians in 297 AD.
It is built from the red granite which coming from Aswan with 26.58 meters high!
It is considered one of the highest monuments in the ancient world.
Why do they call it with Pompey Pillar?
The pillar has nothing to do with Pompey!
It is named Pompey pillar because Europeans mistakenly thought that the head of the Roman leader Pompey who came to Egypt to escape from Julius Caesar was put on the top of the pillar! As we know the pillar was built 340 years later after the death of Pompey!
Also, it is named masts pillar during the Islamic times because they thought that it looks like the masts of the ships!…
3 – Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria:
It is the only Roman amphitheater discovered in Egypt. It was built at the beginning of the 4th century AD in the Roman era. It was discovered in 1960.
What is the Roman amphitheater of Alexandria?
It is a Roman building that takes the horseshoe shape or U letter. It has 13 rows that accommodate 600 people and were divided into seats that were taken the Greek numbers to organize the seating.
What was the usage of this Roman Theater?
It is can be noticed form the stadium design that might it used as a theater for listening music because of existence the domes at past and the orchestra area, but the usage of this place changed during the different historical times whereas it is used in the Roman, Byzantine, Christian era till the beginning of the Islamic era.
4 – The Citadel of Qaitbay in Alexandria:
Qaitbay Citadel is one of the most popular fortresses in Egypt that was built on the Mediterranean Sea in 1477 Ad in order to protect Alexandria from the ottomans.
The citadel of Qaitbay was built on the exact place of the famous light house of Alexandria (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) that was fallen because of an earthquake.
Who is The Sultan Qaitbay?
He is the Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa’itbay, the longest Sultan ruled in the Mamluk state whereas he ruled for 30 years. He built this citadel in 1477 on Pharos Island to protect the Egyptian northern borders against the Turks who were a major threat to his country at the time.
Qaitbay Citadel is a fortress that was built on Pharos Island because of its important strategic location, so it was used as barracks for the soldiers and armories.
This citadel has remained used during the Mameluke, the Ottoman, and the Modern period because of its defense and military importance, but in 1882 the Citadel of Qaitbay was bombed by the English fleet. After this, it became neglected until the Ministry of Antiquities restores it to become a unique tourist destination.
5 – Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi Mosque in Alexandria:
Who is Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi?
Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi was Sufi Sheikh who lived in the 13th century in Andalus, but he went to Alexandria to study jurisprudence and religion as most of the students at that time.
What is the Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi Mosque?
The Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi Mosque or Al-Mursi Abu Al-Abbas as the Alexandrians say is located in El-Sayed Mohammed Karim, Al Mazar, and the Anfoushi neighborhood of Alexandria. It is built on the tomb of Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi.
The Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi Mosque became an important place of pilgrimage where many Muslims that passed through Alexandria on their way to Mecca. Additionally, there is an annual feast for Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi in Alexandria that is held on the 5th of July and it has a lot of activities, for example, one of them is recitation the religious chants by Sheikh Al-Tohamy.
The Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi Mosque is built-in 1775. Its design was influenced by Old Cairo architecture buildings. It has four unique domes and one high minaret, and the most beautiful things that should be seen in this mosque are the colonnade of elongated arches and the arabesque ceiling.
6 – Montazah Palace in Alexandria:
If you want to enjoy seeing a royal palace, picturesque gardens that have rare plants, and the dazzling Alexandria beach, visit Montazah Palace.
It is Montazah Palace in Alexandria a royal palace that dates back to the Mohamed Ali family time. It is built by Khedive Abbas Hilmi II inside the Montazah gardens and its balconies are overlooking a beach on the Mediterranean Sea. The Montazah Palace was used as the dwelling of the Mohamed Ali family during their resort in Alexandria.
7 – Alexandria Library in Alexandria:
It is important to be referred that there are two Alexandria libraries (The Ancient Bibliotheca – The Modern Bibliotheca)
What is the history of the ancient Bibliotheca ?
The Alexandria Library dates back to the Ptolemaic era during Ptolemy II time. What is special in this Alexandria library was it was a public library that is contained many books in various specialties so it was the destination of many science students such as Euclid and Archimedes at that time.
It consisted of 3 parts (the original library or the Muses – the smaller library – the book store). But unfortunately, the Alexandria Library was destroyed during the attack of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII against Ptolemy XIII where the ships in Alexandria port were burned and that fire spread to the library.
The Modern Bibliotheca in Alexandrina
But in another place in Alexandria, the new Alexandria Library comes that is built in 2002 in El Shatby to return the glory of the old library, which holds many books in various specialties as well, as it is considered as a cultural complex.
What is the special in Bibliotheca Alexandrina?
1 – The Culturama is consists of nine screens. It is patented nine-projector interactive technology. It is developed by CULTNAT that won many awards.
2 – Four museums that are The Antiquities Museum, The Manuscripts Museum, The Sadat Museum, and The History of Science Museum.
3 – Six specialized libraries that are The Arts and Multimedia Library, The Taha Hussein Library for the visually-impaired, The Children’s Library, The Young People’s Library, The Exchange and Archive Section, and The Rare Books and Special Collections Library.
4 – The Planetarium Science Center.
8 – Stanley Bridge in Alexandria:
Who is Stanley?
British explorer Henry Morton Stanley who discovered the headwaters of the Nile, so the governor of Alexandria named his name on the rarest gulfs in the Mediterranean to commemorate his memory.
What is the Stanley Bridge?
The Stanley Bridge is opened on September 2, 2001, to solve the traffic problem in Alexandria, but with time it became a popular tourist destination in Alexandria for its amazing design that looks like palaces and the charming sight view of the sunrise and sunset on the Alexandria Corniche what leads to making it an attractive place for tourist and the couples who put locks with their names written on it as that happened in Magere Bridge in Holland.
Explore Egypt Tours will provide this wonderful Alexandria Day Tours to enjoy with this wonderful city that has unparalleled attractions historical monuments. Kindly, submit with to enjoy with an unparalleled day.