The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (meaning "Mound of Shards") is a historical archaeological site located in Alexandria, Egypt and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. The necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. Due to the time period, many of the features of the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa merge Roman, Greek and Egyptian cultural points; some statues are Egyptian in style, yet bear Roman clothes and hair style whilst other features share a similar style. A circular staircase, which was often used to transport deceased bodies down the middle of it, leads down into the tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century AD). The facility was then used as a burial chamber from the 2nd century to the 4th century, before being rediscovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the access shaft. To date, three sarcophagi have been found, along with other human and animal remains which were added later. It is believed that the catacombs were only intended for a single family, but it is unclear why the site was expanded in order to house numerous other individuals. The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is, according to some lists, also one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. One of the more gruesome features of the catacombs is the so called Hall of Caracalla. According to tradition, this is a mass burial chamber for the humans and animals massacred by order of the Emperor Caracalla in 215 AD. The Catacombs lies on the western necropolis of Alexandria and it consists of three levels cut in the rock, the third level is completely underwater. The Catacombs has a six-pillared central shaft that opens off the vestibule. On the left there is triclinium, the funeral banquet hall where friends and family gather on stone couches covered with cushions. It is believed by the scholars that the catacombs at first were only for one family but was later expanded into a mass burial site. Down a staircase to the second level is an area eerily alive with sculptures. In the lobby of the building two pillars are topped by the papyrus, lotus, and acanthus leaves of ancient Egypt, two falcons flanking a winged sun decorate the frieze. In the walls are carved figures of a man and a woman. The man’s body has a stiff hieratic pose as its found in ancient Egyptian sculpture while his head is in the lifelike manner of the classic Hellenes and the woman’s figure is also rigid but it sports the Roman hairstyle. There are three huge stone coffins with non-removable covers along the sides of the chamber. It’s assumed that bodies were inserted in them from behind using a passageway that runs around the outside of the funeral chamber. There is a hallway with 91" wall in the central tomb chamber and each one providing burial space for three mummies. Visitors can reach the first level through a breach in the rotunda wall that way probably was not used by the original builders. This way leads to the Hall of Caracalla, in this hall the bones of horses and humans were found.
The Roman theatre is located in the modern area of Kom El-Dikaa, which is almost in the centre of the city of Alexandria, Egypt bordered by Horrya street from the north, Nabi Daniel street from the west, Abdel Moneim street from the south, and Saphia Zaghloul street from the east. Dating from the 2nd century A.D it has a large auditorium, about 42m in diameter. The outer face of this building was probably adorned with columns located in several storey. In later times the theatre was rebuilt and its auditorium was diminished to 33.5 m in diameter. It then counted 16 rows of marble seats The last major rebuild was in the 6th century A.D, when the stage was turned into a huge vestibule, joined with the auditorium by means of a triple–arcade. Two marble pedestals and the bases of the columns are preserved. The auditorium was lowered to 13 rows of seats, and a dome, which soon fell into ruins, covered it.
The Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria is considered one of the most important defensive strongholds, not only in Egypt, but also along the Mediterranean Sea coast. It formulated an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria in the 15th century AD. The Citadel is situated at the entrance of the eastern harbour on the eastern point of the Pharos Island. It was erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The lighthouse continued to function until the time of the Arab conquest, then several disasters occurred and the shape of the lighthouse was changed to some extent, but it still continued to function. Restoration began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun (about 880 AD). During the 11th century an earthquake occurred, causing damage to the octagonal part. The bottom survived, but it could only serve as a watchtower, and a small mosque was built on the top. In the 14th century there was a very destructive earthquake and the whole building was completely destroyed. About 1480 AD, the Circassian Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay fortified the place as part of his coastal defensive edifices against the Turks, who were threatening Egypt at that time. He built the fortress and placed a mosque inside it. The Citadel continued to function during most of the Mameluke period, the Ottoman period and the Modern period, but after the British bombardment of the city of Alexandria in 1882, it was kept out of the spotlight. It became neglected until the 20th century, when it was restored several times by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Pompey's PillarPompey's Pillar is a Roman triumphal column in Alexandria, Egypt, and the largest of its type constructed outside of the imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople. The only known free-standing column in Roman Egypt which was not composed of drums,it is one of the largest ancient monoliths and one of the largest monolithic columns ever erected. The monolithic column shaft measures 20.46 m in height with a diameter of 2.71 m at its base. The weight of the single piece of red Aswan granite is estimated at 285 t. The column is 26.85 m high including its base and capital.Other authors give slightly deviating dimensions. Erroneously dated to the time of Pompey, the Corinthian column was actually built in 297 AD, commemorating the victory of Roman emperor Diocletian over an Alexandrinian revolt
The library of alexandria is a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. It is both a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, and an attempt to rekindle something of the brilliance that this earlier center of study and erudition represented. The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974, when a committee set up by Alexandria University selected a plot of land for its new library, between the campus and the seafront, close to where the ancient library once stood. The notion of recreating the ancient library was soon enthusiastically adopted by other individuals and agencies. One leading supporter of the project was former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; UNESCO was also quick to embrace the concept of endowing the Mediterranean region with a center of cultural and scientific excellence. An architectural design competition, organized by UNESCO in 1988 to choose a design worthy of the site and its heritage, was won by Sn?hetta, a Norwegian architectural office, from among more than 1,400 entries. At a conference held in 1990 in Aswan, the first pledges of funding for the project were made: USD $65 million, mostly from the Arab states. Construction work began in 1995 and, after some USD $220 million had been spent, the complex was officially inaugurated on October 16, 2002. The library of alexandria is trilingual, containing books in Arabic, English and French. In 2010, the library received a generous donation of 500,000 books from the National Library of France, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). The gift makes the library of alexandria the sixth-largest Francophone library in the world.
This 115 acre complex is surrounded by great walls from the south, east and west, and with the beach on its north side. This area used to belong to the Mohamed Ali family, that ruled Egypt from the mid 19th century until 1952. The construction was started in 1892 by King Abbas II, who built a large palace inside the complex called the Salamlek. In 1932, King Fuad built a larger palace and called it the Haramlik. His son, King Farouk, built a bridge to the sea to act as a water front. The rest of the 115 acres is nothing but beautiful gardens. Palm trees and gazelles cover the area. This is a wonderful spot to enjoy the beauty of Alexandria.
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