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Alexandria Alexandria
Photo by Raymon Kondos © 2009 Your Egypt

Alexandria is Egypt's second largest city and its main port. It was founded over an ancient site of Rhakotis by Alexander the Great himself, hence bore his name. From the Ptolemaic era, Alexandria was made the capital of Egypt until the Arab conquest in 641 AD.

   
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During that period, it was a center of science and literature shining over the Mediterranean nations. It had an atmosphere that is different than the rest of Egypt due to the presence of a large Greek community, therefore reflecting a Greek-oriented culture. For the first time, the Greek language was used as a vernacular while the Coptic language replaced hieroglyphicWhat does it mean? dialects by time.

The city had once two of the most important world monuments that unfortunately vanished: the ancient library and the PharosWhat does it mean? described as one of the Seven Wonders of the WorldWhat does it mean?.

The library was a center of learning in the area and a desirable destination for ancient scholars who sought knowledge and wisdom. It was burnt and ruined in unknown circumstances. A recently inaugurated library was built to recall the memory of Alexandria's ancient one. The latter was built under the auspices of UNESCO and has a unique design. It was meant to house a unique collection of books and artifacts. It was opened in a great ceremony on 16 October 2002.
   
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On the other hand, the Pharos, the lighthouse of Alexandria, was one of the highest monuments on earth at that time that stood at an imposing scale. It ruined by successive earthquakes and its stones were finally taken for building a fort built on its site.

Alexandria is also the city were the legendary Queen Cleopatra once lived with her lover Mark Antony. It saw her final suicide with a snakebite.
Alexandria was the first city in Egypt to embrace the budding Christian religion when Saint Mark visited it, preaching the religion, in the 1st century AD. It remained the seat of Coptic Christian patriarchs to the present day.
By the advent of Arabs and the decline of the Byzantine rule, the glamour of the city started to dim, as Arabs preferred to shift their capital to the south neat modern Cairo. But even after that, Alexandria remained Egypt's northern gate and second important city.

Today the city has unparalleled collection of monuments of Greek and Roman touch. Its beaches are always jammed with Egyptian swimmers as the city is considered the first local summer.

Monuments

Catacombs of Kom El-Shokafa
Qaitbay Fort
Mosque of El-Morsi Abul Abbas
Anfushi Tombs
Mustafa Kamel Necropolis
Montaza Complex
Pompey Pillar
Kom El-Dikka (Roman Amphitheater)
St. Mark Cathedral
Zoo and Antoniadis Gardens
Ras El-Tin Palace
Taposiris Magna

Museums:
Maritime Museum
Greco-Roman Museum
Royal Jewelry Museum
Cavafy Museum
   
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