Pearl of the Mediterranean
Alexandria has a larger-than-life history. Founded by none other than Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the city has been the home to an all-star roster of the rich and famous and infamous, including controversial queen Cleopatra and Euclid, the father of geometry. It’s even been the site of one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World (the massive Pharos Lighthouse), and the world’s largest and most important library.
Although little remains of Alexandria’s epic past, there are still ancient treasures to be found such as Pompey’s pillar—a 67-foot, 400-ton, red-granite monolithic column commemorating Diocletian’s victory over an Alexandrian revolt. Then, dig deeper at the Alexandria National Museum, where over 1,800 artifacts help shed light on the complex narrative of the area.
To delve even further into the city’s background, you’ll have to leave dry land and be willing to get a little wet. Just offshore you can find whole palaces, temples, and monuments preserved beneath the waves. If you’ve ever dreamed of discovering Atlantis, this may be the next best thing.) Landlubbers need not worry: You can visit Fort Qaitbey and the 360-acre Montazah Gardens and Palaces, or take a stroll along The Corniche. Just be sure to watch out for traffic in Alexandria, which can be an adventure in itself!
84 feet high and made from Aswan rose granite, Pompey's Pillar was dedicated in AD 297 to Emperor Diocletian. It contains a maze of subterranean galleries and and some 40,000 relics.
Fort Qait Bey
Fort Qait Bey
Fort Qait Bey was built on the foundations of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pharos lighthouse. Completed in 1480, the fort was expanded by Mohammed Ali in the 19th century.
Discover displays honoring the ancient Greek and Roman heritage of the area. Included are 21 rooms of mosaics, glass, coins, sculptures, mummified remains, a Ptolemaic mural, and the Tangra figures.
Alexandria, Egypt At a glance