Built by the Alexander the Great, Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt also called as “The Pearl of the Mediterranean”. It is called as such because it has the atmosphere which is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern. The ambience of this city and its cultural heritage is interestingly distinct from the rest of Egypt although it is only 225 kilometers away from Cairo.
Alexandria, Egypt is a must-see for the history-lover. It was the capital of the Graeco-Roman Egypt and was the beacon of culture represented by the Pharos, the Legendary Lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). This was also the setting of the infamous romance of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.
When you get the chance to visit Alexandria, here are things what you should not miss:
- Pharos – Well, there are actually no more lighthouse these days since this used-to-be great structure did not survive the earthquakes in the 14th century. However, some of its remnants are said to have been incorporated in the Fortress of Quit Bye. The famous lighthouse was designed by So stratus in the 3rd century BC under the rule of Satrap Ptolemy I, the country’s first Hellenistic ruler.
- The Roman Cemetery Of Kom el-Shouqafa – The name actually means “mound of shards” and it lies on the site of the village and fishing port of Rhakotis – the oldest part of the city which predates Alexander the Great’s existence. These underground tunnels of catacombs are in the populated Karmouz district. The cemetery is believed to date back as far as 1st century AD. It is distinctive for both the plan and decoration.
- Kom el-Dikka – A small Roman theater which has been excavated.
- Antiques District – This is where you can find dealers of antiquities, old weapons, furniture, and books. This is where Attarine Mosque also is. This was a church dedicated to Athanasius.
- Eliahu Hanabi Synagogue — This is the only active synagogue in Alexandria, Egypt which also houses the combined treasures of the former Alexandrian synagogues (all seven of them).
- Caesareum – A magnificent temple which was started by Cleopatra or her beloved Anthony and was subsequently completed by their opponent Octavian.
- Midan Saad Zaghlul – This is the heart of entertainment and the nerve center of the city. This is where you can find train stations and terminals going everywhere. You can also enjoy a variety of restaurants, cinemas, and night spots here, perfect for those who love the bustling metro.