Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Visiting Alexandria

Although Alexandria is just a shadow of its former glory as the former capital of Egypt, this city still offers its visitors many interesting sites, both modern and ancient.

Originally founded by Alexander the Great back in 331BC, Alexandria was well known for its Lighthouse of Alexandria (also known as the Pharos), one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. It was one of the tallest man-made structures of that time at about 140 meters and was a symbol of the city. Unfortunately, it was badly damaged and destroyed by three earthquakes. Today, you can visit the Citadel of Qaitbay which was built on the ruins of the Lighthouse by Sultan Mameluke Qa'it Bay in 1480AD to protect the city from Turkish crusaders attacking by sea.

Another famous site was the Library of Alexandria, as many of the great philosophers of that time came to seek knowledge there. Sadly, the Library was destroyed and sacked during the many times the city changed hands from Rome to Byzantine to Persia to Arab control. Today, you can find the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on the site of the former Library of Alexandria. This huge modern library and research center houses many ancient texts and special exhibitions as well as a planetarium.

Other sites visitors may enjoy seeing are Pompey's Pillar, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Montazah Palace, and the Roman Theatre.

If you are considering visiting this beautiful city, join our escorted Egypt Treasures & Alexandria tour that takes you through Cairo, down the Nile River, and into Alexandria. Or take the Cairo and Alexandria city package. As with all of our tours, accommodations are 5-stars and many meals and sightseeing are included.


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