Region: Lower Egypt
Altitude: 0 7m/23ft above sea level Population: about 4.3 million
Port cities have a special charm: proximity to the sea, an open and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Alexandria is no exception. When the rest of the country suffers from the heat, this city has a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Numerous city beaches await after visits to catacombs or museums – sight-seeing at its most relaxing.
With its gleaming white marble facade, the lighthouse was a highly conspicuous landmark and a symbol of the power of Alexandria. it numbered among the seven wonders of the world, was one of the first navigational lights and the model for all future lighthouses. The reason for constructing the tower was the narrow entrance, riddled with shallows, to the port of Alexandria, which was one of the busiest ports in the ancient world during its heyday. The purpose of the Pharos was to guide ships arriving from Greece, Spain, and Syria safely into the bay.
The »pearl of the Mediterranean«, as the Alexandrians like to call their city, has its own special charm, which is not always apparent right away. The few monuments that remain from the time when Alexandria was the cultural center of the Hellenic world now scarcely contribute to the flair of this major Mediterranean city. Even though faceless new construction now marks the face of more than 20km/ 12mi of coastline, a drive along the bay of Alexandria with its many beaches is impressive. The center of the Corniche is planted with palm trees, and tourists, as well as locals, enjoy the numerous cafes and restaurants.
Alexandria Egypt is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre. With a population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the largest city on the Mediterranean – also called the Bride of the Mediterranean by locals – the sixth-largest city in the Arab world and the ninth-largest in Africa. The city extends about 40 km (25 mi) at the northern coast of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination, and also an important industrial centre because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez.
The city was a major center of early Christianity and was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which was one of the major centers of Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage.
By the time of the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 AD, the city had already been largely plundered and lost its significance before re-emerging in the modern era. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
In 331 BC: City founded by Alexander the Great.
At 300 BC: Under Ptolemy l, the city becomes a center of art and science.
At 279 BC: The lighthouse is completed.
At 30 BC: Suicide of Cleopatra, Alexandria falls to the Roman Empire.
In 642 AD: Alexandria was opened by Arabs.
In 1798: Napoleon lands at Alexandria, now only a small town.
In the 19th century: New growth, expansion of the port
In 2002: The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina is opened.
Midan Tahrir is the traffic hub of the city. The square with the equestrian statue of Mohammed Ali is a good starting point for a tour of the places of interest around the eastern and western harbor. The Palace of Justice and the Anglican St Mark’s Church stand on the square.
The square Midan Ahmed Orabi adjoins Midan Tahrir to the north. It leads to the magnificent shore promenade, the Corniche, which forms a wide arc around the old eastern harbor
About 8m/26ft below the surface of the eastern harbor, French diving teams discovered a large number of stone blocks and ancient building fragments from all epochs, which were hastily interpreted as the remains of a palace of Cleopatra.
Island of Pharos
Where the sultan’s fortification of Qaitbey lies today, the lighthouse – one of the seven wonders of the world — stood in ancient times.
23 rooms filled with ancient treasures
Kom el Shuqqafa
Down into the catacombs! The tomb is probably from the 2nd century AD and has an interesting mix of styles.
The royal palace is an oasis of rest at the edge of the city and also serves the government for official issues.