City of Alexandria c. 2nd century CE


Map Code: Ax00961

Alexandria was established in 331 BCE by its namesake Alexander the Great as the new capital of his empire following his invasion of Egypt. It was designed by the architect Dinocrates who supposedly orientated the street grid to allow the northerly maritime winds to cool the city. The construction of a stone causeway known as the Heptastadion, which crossed over to Pharos Island, allowed for the creation of two large harbours. Alexandria subsequently served as a vital port for the rich agricultural lands of Egypt and became the epicentre of education and learning in the ancient world thanks to the Library of Alexandria, which was destroyed by fire around 30 BCE. The great temple, or Serapeum, housed the city’s library from then onwards. The city’s most famous landmark and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world was the lighthouse of Alexandria, a monumental structure standing over 400 ft (122 m) tall.

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