Founded by Alexander, the Great and designed by architect Denokrates II in the shape of a chessboard in 332 BC, Alexandria lies on the Northern Coast of Egypt. The two main roads connected perpendicularly and parallel are extending from east to west and north to south. The five districts of the city were named after the five letters of the Greek alphabet Alpha (A), Beta (B), Gamma (G), Delta (D) and Epsilon (E). Alpha was the royal district with the royal palaces, temple, museum, libraries and gardens. 'Gateway to Egypt' for the Europe and Mediterranean countries, Alexandria is a busy trade port and a canter of tourist activity. It is the second largest city of Egypt but is less crowded than Cairo and is called the 'Cultural Capital of Europe'.
Major Tourist Attractions
Pompeii's Pillar is a granite pillar with a height of 25 m surrounded by the ruins of the Serapuim. The pillar was built in 297 AD in the honor of Emperor Diocletian. The Catacombs of Kom-al-Shoqafa is the largest Roman cemetery dating back to the 2nd century AD. Cut in the rock to a depth of 100 ft, the cemetery is built in three levels representing Pharaonic and Roman art. The Tombs of Al-Anfushi comprises of five Ptolemic tombs built around 3rd century AD. The Tombs of Mustafa Kemal Pasha comprises of four rock-cut tombs belonging to 2nd century BC. Remarkable for bright colors, the relief inscriptions inform about the religious beliefs and daily routines of the dead person. Al-Shatby Necropolis lies towards the north of St. Mark's College built beside the old Greek houses. It comprises of a doorway, passageway and two compartments and is datable to the 3rd century BC. Fort Qait Bey is a fort built in the 15th century AD on the foundation of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, the Pharos Lighthouse.
The Royal Jewelry Palace is housed in the former Palace of Fatma-al-Zahra'a in Zizinia. A splendid piece of architecture, the palace contains many rooms and halls displaying rare paintings, extraordinary statues and invaluable jewels of the Mohammad Ali Dynasty. Museum of Fine Arts is a storehouse of exclusive sculptures, paintings and architectural pieces. The museum holds the Alexandria Biennial every two years to display the work of art of the Mediterranean countries. Egyptian and foreign artists also display their exhibitions over here. The Hydrobiological Institute and Museum is nestled near the Qait Bey Fortress area and displays a unique collection of fish and marine life. The Graeco-Roman Museum is known for an extraordinary assortment of 40,000 Greek and Roman relics and coins from the period 3rd century BC to the 7th century AD. The masterpiece of the museum is the Tanafra Statues.
Bibliotheka Alexandria is a newly built library at the cost of more than US$ 300 Million. It is the best library for the ancient world and is a prominent research center for the research scholars. Al-Montazah Palace and Gardens is built over a low plateau towards the east of Alexandria and commands a marvelous view of the beach. The most special building of the palace is the Al-Haramlek, the Summer Palace of the erstwhile Royal family, which has been converted into a luxury hotel. The palace is surrounded by extant garden lined with trees, palms and flowers. Mosque of Mursi Abul Abbas is positioned on the Sharia Tatwig in Al-Anfushi. Built in Andalusian style, it is the largest mosque in the city with four domes and a very lofty minaret.
Alexandria is lined with many charming sandy beaches extending from the east to the west. The beaches, namely, Ma'amura, Montazah, Mandara, Assafra, Miami, Sidi Bishr, San Stefano, Glymonopolou, Stanley, Rushdy, Sidi Gaber, Sporting, Ibrahimia and Shatby, lies along the Corniche, which is a beachfront avenue. The most serene of all the beaches is the Abu Kir Suburb. It is also famous for fishing ad specialty seafood restaurants.
How to Reach
By Air: There are daily flights from Cairo and weekly flights from many Arab countries to Alexandria.
By Train: There is a railway line between Alexandria and several Egyptian countries.
By Bus: Regular bus service plies between Cairo and Alexandria.