Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. J.-C. Second city of Egypt, less touristic. It is above all a Mediterranean city which draws its roots and its true richness from a mosaic of cultures. Renowned for its Greco-Roman monuments, such as the amphitheater of Kom el Dikka, Citadel of Qaitbay. As well as the ancient city and the Library of Alexandria.

The capital of the country for about 6 centuries, a major center of trade (port of Egypt). And one of the greatest Hellenistic cultural centers of the Mediterranean Sea centered on the famous library. The city during the Hellenistic period presented the largest city in the Greek world.

Nicknamed the “counter of the world. It formed a major commercial center. However leading to the formation of a cosmopolitan population of the order of half a million inhabitants. Unequaled during antiquity. In addition, the city was the capital of lagid power.

This ancient city has suffered various earthquakes. Thus its famous lighthouse and the old great library have disappeared.

This library is the largest in the ancient world. Thus making a place where the great philosophers and scientists of that time came to seek knowledge. Founded in 288 BC. J.-C. And definitively destroyed around the year 48 before our era. The most famous library of antiquity. Although it brings together the most important works of the time. The library was part of a larger complex called the Mouseion dedicated to the Muses. In fact the nine goddesses of the arts. The library quickly acquires many rolls of papyrus. Thus thanks to the voluntarist policy of the Ptolemaic kings. While their number is estimated to be between 40,000 and 400,000 at its peak.

Then the Arabs conquered Egypt in the 7th century. Also decided at that time to build a new capital further south. Cairo. Alexandria thus lost its grandeur and turned to foreign trade.

At the end of the 18th century, Napoleon's troops conquered Alexandria. Similarly, in the middle of the 19th century the British bombed the city.

In modern times, the city of Alexandria experienced significant expansion. Indeed, the medieval city was on dry land, fortified by an enclosure. Although the modern city is built on the ruins of the ancient city which makes excavation difficult.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria one of the Seven Wonders of the World ancient, the lighthouse was 135 meters high with approximately three hundred rooms. Through the center was a double spiral climb. The lantern above the lighthouse remains a mystery. Some say it contained a polished steel mirror that reflected light by day and fire by night. The lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake around 1302/1303. 

The lighthouse was built to protect sailors from the coast ofAlexandria and also as a work of propaganda. The whole city was overbuilt and the lighthouse was to be its symbol. It will become emblematic of the city and still is today. The lighthouse dominated the coast and allowed sailors to have a point of reference.

We can read in Strabo that the lighthouse was built in white stone. Which would in fact be a local limestone which has the particularity of hardening on contact with water. It is also believed that the most critical parts of the lighthouse are made of granite fromAswan. Moreover, Fort Qait Bay, built on the site of the lighthouse built using the same process.

The unavoidable

Citadel (Fort) of Qaitbay is a 15th century fortresse century built on the site of the ancient lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, on the east coast of the northern island of Pharos.

Fort Qaitbay is a fine example of Mamluk era military architecture in Egypt. It was built in the XIVe century under Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay — one of the last Mamluk rulers of Egypt. Construction began in 1477, to be completed two years later.

In order to protect the city against the threat of the Ottoman Empire. Built in a medieval style, the fort was completely restored in 2001/2002; it houses the Navy Museum which contains objects from Roman and Napoleon naval battles.

The entrance is through a passage made of red granite from Aswan. Near the mosque there is a reservoir which was used to store water in case of siege.

From the access to the sea, the underwater excavations, carried out mainly by the teams of Jean-Yves Emperor and Isabelle Hairy of the Center d'études alexandrines, revealed an immense archaeological deposit, with thousands of blocks of architecture, colossal statues, obelisks and sphinx, from the collapse of the Alexandria lighthouse.

Adjacent to the fort, the Hydro-Biological Institute (Alexandria Aquarium) contains a wide variety of rare fish. Further east of the Anfouchi district, there is a small necropolis of five tombs dating from the Ptolemaic period.

Theater (Roman Amphitheater) of Kom el-Dikka means "pile of stones" The site was discovered in 1959 by a team of Poles. Unique in the country The site is still under excavation since 1970. However with the discovery of Roman remains including this theater with galleries. As well as mosaic floor sections. Also marble seats to accommodate up to 800 spectators. At the time of the Ptolemies, this sector was a garden of pleasures. In addition, the theater could be covered to serve as an odeon for musical works. Although inscriptions suggest it was also sometimes used for wrestling contests. So the theater has thirteen semi-circular rows of white marble imported from Europe. Thus its columns are of green marble imported from Asia Minor. And red granite imported from Aswan. Each side is decorated with a geometric mosaic paving made in iie century before our era.

Outside the theater you can see vaults and stone walls. Also Roman brick baths and the remains of Roman houses.

While within the enclosure is installed the open-air underwater museum. To exhibit the sphinxes, obelisks, fragments of colossal statues. Exits from the waters of the Mediterranean by the team of the Center for Alexandrian Studies.

Near this site, towards the fire station, a Ptolemaic temple dedicated to Bastet (Bubasteion).While it has just been discovered by a team of Egyptian archaeologists. In fact this temple built at the request of Queen Berenice, wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes. About six hundred statues, including several with the image of Bastet, are discovered there.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina built approximately on the site of the ancient building of the library of alexandria. While it is a library and a cultural center. Work began in 1995 and cost $220 million. It was inaugurated on October 16, 2002. Although it has the largest reading room in the world. Occupying seven of the main building's eleven floors. Offering 2,000 seats, 180 study rooms and eventually housing eight million books.

Within the framework of a project conducted jointly by Unesco and Egypt. It should be able to accommodate around eight million books. Which makes it a respectable size library on a global scale. However, quite far behind the Library of Congress in the United States, which houses nearly 34.5 million books. Or the François-Mitterrand library in Paris, which contains some twenty million.

In July 2010, the National Library of France donated 500,000 French-language books to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, as the basis for the partnership between the two institutions.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a trilingual establishmen