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Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ;
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the third-largest city in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
after
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
and
Giza Giza (; sometimes spelled ''Gizah ''or ''Jizah''; ar, الجيزة ', ) is the list of cities and towns in Egypt, second-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and List of cities in Africa by population, fourth-largest city in Africa after Kinshasa, ...

Giza
, seventh-largest city in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
, and a major economic centre. With a total population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the largest city on the Mediterranean – also called the "Bride of the Mediterranean" by locals – the fourth-largest city in the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
and the ninth-largest urban area in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
. The city extends about at the
northern coast of Egypt The Northern Coast of Egypt ( ar, الساحل الشمالي, "'", North Coast, commonly shortened to "'", "The Coast" or "The Egyptian Coast") extends for about along the Mediterranean Sea, it covers entirely the northern territory of Egypt. ...
along the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination, and also an important industrial centre because of its
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxid ...

natural gas
and
oil An oil is any nonpolar In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound ...

oil
pipelines from
Suez Suez ( ar, السويس '; ) is a Port#Seaport, seaport city (population of about 750,000 ) in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez (a branch of the Red Sea), near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having ...

Suez
. Alexandria was founded in by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
,
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...

Macedon
and leader of the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
League of Corinth The League of Corinth, also referred to as the Hellenic League (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country lo ...
, during his conquest of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
. An Egyptian village named
Rhacotis Rhacotis (Egyptian: ''r-ꜥ-qd(y)t'', Greek ''Ῥακῶτις''; also romanized as Rhakotis) was the name for a city on the northern coast of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental cou ...
existed at the location and grew into the Egyptian quarter of Alexandria. Alexandria grew rapidly to become an important centre of
Hellenistic civilization The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic ...
and remained the capital of
Ptolemaic Egypt The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , o ...
and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the
Muslim conquest of Egypt Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pron ...
in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt The current capital of Egypt is Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩ ...
(later absorbed into
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the
Lighthouse of Alexandria The Lighthouse of Alexandria, sometimes called the Pharos of Alexandria (; Ancient Greek: ὁ Φάρος τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας, Koine Greek phonology#Learned pronunciation, 4th century BCE until early Roman period, contemporary Koine ...
(''Pharos''), one of the
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World 324px, Timeline and map of the Seven Wonders. Dates in bold green and dark red are of their construction and destruction, respectively. The Seven Wonders of the World or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (simply known as Seven Wonders) is a ...

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the
Necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cem ...
, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural centre of the ancient Mediterranean world for much of the
Hellenistic age The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...
and
late antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
. It was at one time the largest city in the ancient world before being eventually overtaken by
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
. The city was a major centre of
early Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religi ...
and was the centre of the
Patriarchate of Alexandria The Patriarch of Alexandria is the archbishop of Alexandria ) , name = Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''A ...
, which was one of the major centres of Christianity in the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
. In the modern world, the
Coptic Orthodox Church The Coptic Orthodox Church ( cop, Ϯⲉⲕ̀ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⲛ̀ⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ, translit=Ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos, lit=the Egyptian Orthodox Church; ar, الكنيسة القبطي ...

Coptic Orthodox Church
and the
Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa ( grc, Πατριαρχεῖον Ἀλεξανδρείας καὶ πάσης Ἀφρικῆς, Patriarcheîon Alexandreías kaì pásēs Aphrikês, The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa), al ...
both lay claim to this ancient heritage. By the time of the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 AD, the city had already been largely plundered and lost its significance before re-emerging in the modern era. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major centre of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centres in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
, and the lucrative trade in .


History


Ancient era

Recent
radiocarbon dating Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter refers to the large source of ...
of seashell fragments and lead contamination show human activity at the location during the period of the
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associate ...
(27th–21st centuries BC) and again in the period 1000–800 BC, followed by the absence of activity thereafter. From ancient sources it is known there existed a trading post at this location during the time of Rameses the Great for trade with
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
, but it had long been lost by the time of Alexander's arrival. A small Egyptian fishing village named Rhakotis (
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
: ''rꜥ-qdy.t'', 'That which is built up') existed since the 13th century BC in the vicinity and eventually grew into the Egyptian quarter of the city. Just east of Alexandria (where
Abu Qir Bay The Abū Qīr Bay (sometimes transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → , Cyrillic → ...
is now), there was in ancient times marshland and several islands. As early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of
Canopus Canopus () is the brightest star in the southern constellation A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological ...
and
Heracleion Heracleion ( grc, Ἡράκλειον), also known by its Egyptian name Thonis (, , ) and sometimes called Thonis-Heracleion, was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated ...
. The latter was recently rediscovered under water. Alexandria was founded by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
in April 331 BC as (''Alexandreia''). Passing through Egypt, Alexander wanted to build a on Egypt's coast that would bear his name. He chose the site of Alexandria, envisioning the building of a causeway to the nearby island of
Pharos The Lighthouse of Alexandria, sometimes called the Pharos of Alexandria (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 ...

Pharos
that would generate two great natural harbours. Alexandria was intended to supersede the older
Greek colony Greek colonization was an organised Colonies in antiquity, colonial expansion by the Archaic Greece, Archaic Greeks into the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in the period of the 8th–6th centuries BC (750 and 550 BC). This colonization differed ...
of
Naucratis Naucratis or Naukratis ( grc-gre, Ναύκρατις, "Naval Command"; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Afr ...

Naucratis
as a
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...
centre in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
valley. A few months after the foundation, Alexander left Egypt and never returned to the city during his life. After Alexander's departure, his
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
Cleomenes continued the expansion. The architect Dinocrates of Rhodes designed the city, using a Hippodamian
grid plan In urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, ...
. Following Alexander's death in 323 BC, his general Ptolemy Lagides took possession of Egypt and brought Alexander's body to Egypt with him. Ptolemy at first ruled from the old Egyptian capital of
Memphis Memphis is the name of: *Memphis, Egypt , alternate_name = , image = , alt = , caption = Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses IIat Mit Rahina , map_type = Egypt , map_alt = , map_size = , reli ...
. In 322/321 BC he had Cleomenes executed. Finally, in 305 BC, Ptolemy declared himself
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

Pharaoh
as Ptolemy I Soter ("Savior") and moved his capital to Alexandria. Although Cleomenes was mainly in charge of overseeing Alexandria's early development, the ''
Heptastadion The Heptastadion (Greek: Ὲπταστάδιον) was a giant causeway, often referred to as a mole or a dyke built by the people of Alexandria ) , name = Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسك ...
'' and the mainland quarters seem to have been primarily Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined
Tyre Tyre may refer to: * Tire, the outer part of a wheel Places * Tyre, Lebanon, a city ** See of Tyre, a Christian diocese seated in Tyre, Lebanon ** Tyre Hippodrome, a UNESCO World Heritage site * Tyre District, Lebanon * Tyre, New York, a town in t ...
and becoming the centre of the new commerce between Europe and the
Arabian The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciati ...
and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome. It became Egypt's main Greek city, with
Greek people The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish ...

Greek people
from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a centre of Hellenism, but was also home to the largest urban
Jewish community Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', " Judah", via Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is ...
in the world. The
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
, a Greek version of the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages o ...
, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic centre of learning (
Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum, Mouseion, which was dedicated to the ...

Library of Alexandria
), but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek, Jewish, and
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
.Ptolemaic Egypt The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , o ...
p. 42-43"> By the time of
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km, and the total population during the Roman
principate The Principate is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republ ...
was around 500,000–600,000, which would wax and wane in the course of the next four centuries under Roman rule. According to
Philo of Alexandria Philo of Alexandria (; grc, Φίλων, Phílōn; he, , Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; ), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from ...
, in the year 38 of the
Common era Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar), the world's most widely used calendar era. Before the Common Era (BCE) is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives ...
, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by King
Agrippa I Herod Agrippa, also known as Herod II or Agrippa I (; 11 BC – AD 44), was a Herodian Dynasty, King of Judea from AD 41 to 44 and of Philip's tetrarchy from 39. He was the last ruler with the royal title reigning over Judea (Roman province), J ...

Agrippa I
to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Herodian nation to the Roman emperor, and which quickly escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues. This event has been called the Alexandrian pogroms. The violence was quelled after
Caligula Caligula (; 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD), formally known as Gaius (Gaius Gaius, sometimes spelled ''Gajus'', Cajus, Caius, was a common Latin praenomen The praenomen (; plural: praenomina) was a given name, personal name chosen by th ...

Caligula
intervened and had the Roman governor, Flaccus, removed from the city. In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the
Kitos War The Kitos War (115–117; he, מרד הגלויות: ''mered ha'galuyot'' or ''mered ha'tfutzot'' רד התפוצות "rebellion of the diaspora" la, Tumultus Iudaicus) was one of the major Jewish–Roman wars (66–136). The rebellions er ...
, which gave
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. Hi ...

Hadrian
and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
Caracalla Caracalla ( ; 4 April 188 – 8 April 217), formally known as Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), was Roman emperor from 198 to 217. He was a member of the Severan dynasty, the elder son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Co-ruler ...

Caracalla
visited the city and, because of some insulting
satire Satire is a of the , , and s, usually in the form of and less frequently , in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, often with the intent of shaming or exposing the perceived flaws of individuals, corpora ...
s that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a
tsunami A tsunami ( ; from ja, 津波, lit=harbour wave, ) is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, t ...

tsunami
( 365 Crete earthquake),
Ammianus Marcellinus Ammianus Marcellinus (born , died 400) was a Roman soldier This is a list of Roman army units and bureaucrats. *''Accensus'' – Light infantry men in the armies of the early Roman Republic, made up of the poorest men of the army. *''Actuarius' ...

"Res Gestae", 26.10.15–19
an event annually commemorated years later as a "day of horror".


Islamic era

In 619, Alexandria
fell A fell (from Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia ...
to the Sassanid Persians. Although the
Byzantine Emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse ...
Heraclius Heraclius ( el, Ἡράκλειος, ''Hērakleios''; c. 575 – 11 February 641), sometimes called Heraclius I, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinop ...
recovered it in 629, in 641 the Arabs under the general 'Amr ibn al-'As invaded it during the
Muslim conquest of Egypt Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pron ...
, after a
siege A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from la, sedere, lit=to sit. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characteri ...
that lasted 14 months. The first Arab governor of Egypt recorded to have visited Alexandria was
Utba ibn Abi Sufyan Utba ibn Abi Sufyan ibn Harb ( ar, عتبة بن أبي سفيان بن حرب, ʿUtba ibn Abī Sufyān ibn Ḥarb) was a member of the Umayyad ruling family and served as the Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِ ...
, who strengthened the Arab presence and built a governor's palace in the city in 664–665. After the
Battle of Ridaniya The Battle of Ridaniya or Battle of Ridanieh ( tr, Ridaniye Muharebesi; ar, معركة الريدانية) was fought on January 22, 1517, in Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the ...
in 1517, the city was conquered by the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, tr, Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish language , Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but the ...
and remained under
Ottoman rule Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman ( ar, عُثْمان, ‘uthmān). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empire The Ott ...
until 1798. Alexandria lost much of its former importance to the Egyptian port city of
Rosetta Rosetta or Rashid (; ar, رشيد ' ; french: Rosette  ; cop, ⲣⲁϣⲓⲧ ''Rashit'', Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from a ...

Rosetta
during the 9th to 18th centuries, and only regained its former prominence with the construction of the
Mahmoudiyah Canal
Mahmoudiyah Canal
in 1807. Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
's expedition to Egypt in 1798. French troops stormed the city on 2 July 1798, and it remained in their hands until the arrival of a British expedition in 1801. The British won a considerable victory over the French at the
Battle of Alexandria The Battle of Alexandria, or Battle of Canope, was fought on 21 March 1801 between the army of Napoleon's French First Republic under General Jacques-François Menou and the British expeditionary corps under Sir Ralph Abercromby. The battle took ...
on 21 March 1801, following which they besieged the city, which fell to them on 2 September 1801.
Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer, poet and philanthropist. Nicknamed The Greatest, he is widely regarded as one of the most significa ...
, the Ottoman governor of Egypt, began rebuilding and redevelopment around 1810, and by 1850, Alexandria had returned to something akin to its former glory. Egypt turned to Europe in their effort to modernize the country. Greeks, followed by other Europeans and others, began moving to the city. In the early 20th century, the city became a home for novelists and poets. In July 1882, the city came under
bombardment A bombardment is an attack by artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to ...

bombardment
from British naval forces and was occupied. In July 1954, the city was a target of an Israeli bombing campaign that later became known as the
Lavon Affair Pinhas Lavon The Lavon affair was a failed Israeli covert operation A covert operation is a military operation intended to conceal the identity of (or allow plausible denial by) the operation. Covert operations should not be confused with clan ...
. On 26 October 1954, Alexandria's Mansheya Square was the site of a failed assassination attempt on
Gamal Abdel Nasser Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, ( ɡəˈmɑːl æbdɛl ˈnɑːsər; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East Th ...

Gamal Abdel Nasser
. Europeans began leaving Alexandria following the 1956
Suez Crisis The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression ( ar, العدوان الثلاثي, Al-ʿUdwān aṯ-Ṯulāṯiyy) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,Also known as the Suez War or 1956 War ...
that led to an outburst of Arab nationalism. The nationalization of property by Nasser, which reached its highest point in 1961, drove out nearly all the rest.


Ibn Battuta in Alexandria

In reference to Alexandria, Egypt,
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an e ...
speaks of great saints that resided here. One of them being Imam Borhan Oddin El Aaraj. He was said to have the power of working miracles. He told Ibn Battuta that he should go find his three brothers, Farid Oddin, who lived in India, Rokn Oddin Ibn Zakarya, who lived in Sindia, and Borhan Oddin, who lived in China. Battuta then made it his purpose to find these people and give them his compliments. Sheikh Yakut was another great man. He was the disciple of Sheikh Abu Abbas El Mursi, who was the disciple of Abu El Hasan El Shadali, who is known to be a servant of God. Abu Abbas was the author of the Hizb El Bahr and was famous for piety and miracles. Abu Abd Allah El Murshidi was a great interpreting saint that lived secluded in the Minyat of Ibn Murshed. He lived alone but was visited daily by emirs, viziers, and crowds that wished to eat with him. The Sultan of Egypt (El Malik El Nasir) visited him, as well. Ibn Battuta left Alexandria with the intent of visiting him. Ibn Battuta also visited the Pharos lighthouse on 2 occasions; in 1326 he found it to be partly in ruins and in 1349 it had deteriorated further, making entrance to the edifice impossible.


Timeline

The most important battles and sieges of Alexandria include: *
Siege of Alexandria (47 BC) The Siege of Alexandria was a series of skirmishes and battles occurring between the forces of Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city o ...
, Julius Caesar's civil war * Battle of Alexandria (30 BC), final war of the Roman Republic * Siege of Alexandria (619), Byzantine-Persian Wars * Siege of Alexandria (641), Rashidun conquest of Byzantine Egypt *
Alexandrian Crusade The brief Alexandrian Crusade, also called the sack of Alexandria, occurred in October 1365 and was led by Peter I of Cyprus against Alexandria, Egypt, Alexandria in Egypt. Relatively devoid of religious impetus, it differs from the more prominen ...

Alexandrian Crusade
(1365), a crusade led by Peter de Lusignan of Cyprus which resulted in the defeat of the Mamluks and the sack of the city. * Battle of Alexandria (1801), Napoleonic Wars *
Siege of Alexandria (1801) The Siege of Alexandria was fought between 17 August and 2 September 1801, during the French Revolutionary Wars, between French and British forces and was the last action of the Egyptian Campaign. The French had occupied Alexandria ) , name ...
, Napoleonic Wars * Alexandria expedition (1807), Napoleonic Wars *
Bombardment of Alexandria The Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia by a la ...

Bombardment of Alexandria
(1882), followed by the
British occupation of Egypt The history of Egypt under the British lasts from 1882, when it was occupied by British forces during the Anglo-Egyptian War, until 1956 after the Suez Crisis, when the last British forces withdrew in accordance with the Anglo-Egyptian agreement ...

British occupation of Egypt


Ancient layout

Greek Alexandria was divided into three regions: ;Brucheum :Brucheum is the Royal or Greek quarter and forms the most magnificent portion of the city. In
Roman times In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC ...
Brucheum was enlarged by the addition of an official quarter, making four regions in all. The city was laid out as a grid of parallel streets, each of which had an attendant subterranean canal; ;The Jewish quarter :This quarter is the northeast portion of the city; ;Rhakotis : Rhakotis is the old city that was absorbed into Alexandria. It was occupied chiefly by Egyptians. (from
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
''Rakotə'' "Alexandria"). Two main streets, lined with
colonnade In classical architecture Classical architecture usually denotes architecture which is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Ancient Roman architecture, Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even m ...

colonnade
s and said to have been each about wide, intersected in the centre of the city, close to the point where the Sema (or Soma) of Alexander (his
Mausoleum A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type ...

Mausoleum
) rose. This point is very near the present
mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Salah, Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, w ...

mosque
of Nebi Daniel; and the line of the great East–West "Canopic" street, only slightly diverged from that of the modern Boulevard de Rosette (now Sharia Fouad). Traces of its pavement and canal have been found near the Rosetta Gate, but remnants of streets and canals were exposed in 1899 by German excavators outside the east fortifications, which lie well within the area of the ancient city. Alexandria consisted originally of little more than the island of Pharos, which was joined to the mainland by a mole (architecture), mole and called the ''Heptastadion'' ("seven stadia"—a ''stadium'' was a Greek unit of length measuring approximately ). The end of this abutted on the land at the head of the present Grand Square, where the "Moon Gate" rose. All that now lies between that point and the modern "Ras al-Tin" quarter is built on the silt which gradually widened and obliterated this mole. The Ras al-Tin quarter represents all that is left of the island of Pharos, the site of the actual lighthouse having been weathered away by the sea. On the east of the mole was the Great Harbour, now an open bay; on the west lay the port of Eunostos, with its inner basin Kibotos, now vastly enlarged to form the modern harbour. In Strabo's time, (latter half of the 1st century BC) the principal buildings were as follows, enumerated as they were to be seen from a ship entering the Great Harbour. #The Palace, Royal Palaces, filling the northeast angle of the town and occupying the promontory of Lochias, which shut in the Great Harbour on the east. Lochias (the modern Pharillon) has almost entirely disappeared into the sea, together with the palaces, the "Private Port," and the island of Antirrhodus. There has been a land subsidence here, as throughout the northeast coast of Africa. #The Great Theater, on the modern Hospital Hill near the Ramleh station. This was used by Julius Caesar as a fortress, where he withstood a siege from the city mob after he took Egypt after the battle of Pharsalus #The Poseidon, or Greek temple, Temple of the Sea God, close to the theater #The Timonium built by Mark Antony, Marc Antony #The Emporium (Exchange) #The Apostases (Magazines) #The Navalia (Docks), lying west of the Timonium, along the seafront as far as the mole #Behind the Emporium rose the Great Caesareum, by which stood the two great obelisks, which become known as "Cleopatra's Needles," and were transported to New York City and London. This temple became, in time, the Patriarchal Church, though some ancient remains of the temple have been discovered. The actual Caesareum, the parts not eroded by the waves, lies under the houses lining the new seawall. #The Gymnasium (ancient Greece), Gymnasium and the Palaestra are both inland, near the Boulevard de Rosette in the eastern half of the town; sites unknown. #The Temple of Saturn (mythology), Saturn; alexandria west. #The Mausolea of Alexander (Soma) and the Ptolemies in one ring-fence, near the point of intersection of the two main streets. #The Musaeum with its famous Library of Alexandria, Library and theater in the same region; site unknown. #The Serapeum of Alexandria, the most famous of all Alexandrian temples. Strabo tells us that this stood in the west of the city; and recent discoveries go far as to place it near "Pompey's Pillar," which was an independent monument erected to commemorate Diocletian's siege of the city. The names of a few other public buildings on the mainland are known, but there is little information as to their actual position. None, however, are as famous as the building that stood on the eastern point of Pharos island. There, Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Great Lighthouse, one of the Wonders of the World, Seven Wonders of the World, reputed to be high, was situated. The first Ptolemy began the project, and the second Ptolemy (Ptolemy II Philadelphus) completed it, at a total cost of 800 Talent (measurement), talents. It took 12 years to complete and served as a prototype for all later lighthouses in the world. The light was produced by a furnace at the top and the tower was built mostly with solid blocks of limestone. The Pharos lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century, making it the second longest surviving ancient wonder, after the Great Pyramid of Giza. A temple of Hephaestus also stood on Pharos at the head of the mole. In the 1st century, the population of Alexandria contained over 180,000 adult male citizens, according to a census dated from 32 CE, in addition to a large number of freedmen, women, children and slaves. Estimates of the total population range from 216,000 to 500,000 making it one of the largest cities ever built before the Industrial Revolution and the largest pre-industrial city that was not an imperial capital.


Geography

Alexandria is located in the country of Egypt, on the southern coast of the Mediterranean. It is in the Nile delta area.


Climate

Alexandria has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification: BWh), bordering on a hot semi-arid climate (BSh). As the rest of northern coast of Egypt, Egypt's northern coast, the prevailing north wind, blowing across the Mediterranean, gives the city a less severe climate from the desert hinterland. Rafah, Egypt#Climate, Rafah and Alexandria are the wettest places in Egypt; the other wettest places are Rosetta#Climate, Rosetta, Baltim#Climate, Baltim, Kafr el-Dawwar#Climate, Kafr el-Dawwar, and Mersa Matruh#Climate, Mersa Matruh. The city's climate is influenced by the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
, moderating its temperatures, causing variable rainy winters and moderately hot and slightly prolonged summers that, at times, can be very humid; January and February are the coolest months, with daily maximum temperatures typically ranging from and minimum temperatures that could reach . temperature sometimes gets lower than 5 and it sometimes rains snow. Alexandria experiences Severe weather, violent storms, rain and sometimes Ice pellets, sleet and hail during the cooler months; these events, combined with a poor drainage system, have been responsible for occasional flooding in the city in the past though they rarely occur anymore. July and August are the hottest and driest months of the year, with an average daily maximum temperature of . The average annual rainfall is around but has been as high as Port Said#Climate, Port Said, al-Qusayr, Egypt#Climate, Kosseir, Baltim#Climate, Baltim, Damietta#Climate, Damietta and Alexandria have the least temperature variation in Egypt. The highest recorded temperature was on 30 May 1961, and the coldest recorded temperature was on 31 January 1994.


Cityscape

Due to the constant presence of war in Alexandria in ancient times, very little of the ancient city has survived into the present day. Much of the royal and civic quarters sank beneath the harbour and the rest has been built over in modern times. "Pompey's Pillar (column), Pompey's Pillar", a Roman triumphal column, is one of the best-known ancient monuments still standing in Alexandria today. It is located on Alexandria's ancient acropolis—a modest hill located adjacent to the city's Arab cemetery—and was originally part of a temple colonnade. Including its pedestal, it is 30 m (99 ft) high; the shaft is of polished red granite, in diameter at the base, tapering to at the top. The shaft is high, and made out of a single piece of granite. Its volume is and weight approximately 396 tons. Pompey's Pillar may have been erected using the same methods that were used to erect the ancient obelisks. Ancient Rome, The Romans had cranes but they were not strong enough to lift something this heavy. Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehrner conducted several Obelisks#Obelisk erecting experiments, obelisk erecting experiments including a successful attempt to erect a 25-ton obelisk in 1999. This followed two experiments to erect smaller obelisks and two failed attempts to erect a 25-ton obelisk. The structure was plundered and demolished in the 4th century when a bishop decreed that Paganism must be eradicated. "Pompey's Pillar" is a misnomer, as it has nothing to do with Pompey, having been erected in 293 for Diocletian, possibly in memory of the rebellion of Domitius Domitianus. Beneath the acropolis itself are the subterranean remains of the Serapeum, where the mysteries of the god Serapis were enacted, and whose carved wall niches are believed to have provided overflow storage space for the ancient Library. In more recent years, many ancient artifacts have been discovered from the surrounding sea, mostly pieces of old pottery. Alexandria's catacombs, known as ''Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Kom El Shoqafa'', are a short distance southwest of the pillar, consist of a multi-level labyrinth, reached via a large Stairway, spiral staircase, and featuring dozens of chambers adorned with sculpted pillars, statues, and other syncretism, syncretic Romano-Egyptian Religious symbolism, religious symbols, burial niches, and sarcophagus, sarcophagi, as well as a large Roman-style banquet room, where memorial meals were conducted by relatives of the deceased. The catacombs were long forgotten by the citizens until they were discovered by accident in 1900. The most extensive ancient excavation currently being conducted in Alexandria is known as Kom El Deka. It has revealed the ancient city's well-preserved theater, and the remains of its Thermae, Roman-era baths. Persistent efforts have been made to explore the antiquities of Alexandria. Encouragement and help have been given by the local Archaeology, Archaeological Society, and by many individuals, notably Greeks proud of a city which is one of the glories of their national history. Excavations were performed in the city by Greeks seeking the tomb of Alexander the Great without success. The past and present directors of the museum have been enabled from time to time to carry out systematic excavations whenever opportunity is offered; David George Hogarth, D. G. Hogarth made tentative researches on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Society, Egypt Exploration Fund and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies in 1895; and a German expedition worked for two years (1898–1899). But two difficulties face the would-be excavator in Alexandria: lack of space for excavation and the underwater location of some areas of interest. Since the great and growing modern city stands immediately over the ancient one, it is almost impossible to find any considerable space in which to dig, except at enormous cost. Cleopatra VII's royal quarters were inundated by earthquakes and tsunami, leading to gradual subsidence in the 4th century AD. This underwater section, containing many of the most interesting sections of the Hellenistic city, including the palace quarter, was explored in 1992 and is still being extensively investigated by the French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio and his underwater archaeology, team. It raised a noted head of Caesarion. These are being opened up to tourists, to some controversy. The spaces that are most open are the low grounds to northeast and southwest, where it is practically impossible to get below the Roman stratum, strata. The most important results were those achieved by Dr. G. Botti, late director of the museum, in the neighborhood of "Pompey's Pillar", where there is a good deal of open ground. Here, substructures of a large building or group of buildings have been exposed, which are perhaps part of the Serapeum. Nearby, immense catacombs and ''columbaria'' have been opened which may have been appendages of the temple. These contain one very remarkable vault with curious painted reliefs, now artificially lit and open to visitors. The objects found in these researches are in the museum, the most notable being a great basalt bull, probably once an object of cult in the Serapeum. Other catacombs and tombs have been opened in Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, Kom El Shoqafa (Roman) and Ras El Tin (painted). The German excavation team found remains of a Ptolemaic colonnade and streets in the north-east of the city, but little else. Hogarth explored part of an immense brick structure under the mound of Kom El Deka, which may have been part of the Paneum, the Mausolea, or a Roman fortress. The making of the new foreshore led to the dredging up of remains of the Patriarchal Church; and the foundations of modern buildings are seldom laid without some objects of antiquity being discovered. The wealth underground is doubtlessly immense; but despite all efforts, there is not much for antiquarians to see in Alexandria outside the museum and the neighborhood of "Pompey's Pillar".


Temple of Taposiris Magna

The temple was built in the Ptolemy era and dedicated to Osiris, which finished the construction of Alexandria. It is located in Abusir, the western suburb of Alexandria in Borg el Arab city. Only the outer wall and the pylons remain from the temple. There is evidence to prove that sacred animals were worshiped there. Archaeologists found an animal necropolis near the temple. Remains of a Christian church show that the temple was used as a church in later centuries. Also found in the same area are remains of public baths built by the emperor Justinian, a seawall, quays and a bridge. Near the beach side of the area, there are the remains of a tower built by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The tower was an exact scale replica of the destroyed Alexandrine Pharos Lighthouse.


Places of worship


Islam

The most famous mosque in Alexandria is Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque in Bahary. Other notable mosques in the city include Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib mosque in Somouha, Bilal ibn Ribah, Bilal mosque, al-Gamaa al-Bahari in Mandara, Hatem mosque in Somouha, Hoda el-Islam mosque in Sidi Bishr, al-Mowasah mosque in Hadara, Sharq al-Madina mosque in Miami, al-Shohadaa mosque in Mostafa Kamel, Al Qa'ed Ibrahim Mosque, Yehia mosque in Zizinia, Sidi Gaber mosque in Sidi Gaber, Sidi B esher mosque, Rokay el-Islam mosque in Elessway, Elsadaka Mosque in Sidibesher Qebly, Elshatbi mosque and Sultan mosque. Alexandria is the base of the Salafi movements in Egypt. Al-Nour Party, which is based in the city and overwhelmingly won most of the Salafi votes in the 2011–12 Egyptian parliamentary election, 2011–12 parliamentary election, supports the president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.


Christianity

After
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and Constantinople, Alexandria was considered the third-most important seat of Christianity in the world. The Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope of Alexandria was second only to the bishop of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire until 430. The Church of Alexandria had jurisdiction over most of the continent of Africa. After the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Church of Alexandria was split between the Miaphysitism, Miaphysites and the Melkites. The Miaphysites went on to constitute what is known today as the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The Melkites went on to constitute what is known today as the
Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa ( grc, Πατριαρχεῖον Ἀλεξανδρείας καὶ πάσης Ἀφρικῆς, Patriarcheîon Alexandreías kaì pásēs Aphrikês, The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa), al ...
. In the 19th century, Catholic and Protestantism, Protestant missionaries converted some of the adherents of the Orthodox churches to their respective faiths. Today, the Patriarchal seat of the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church is Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria), Saint Mark Cathedral . The most important Coptic Orthodox churches in Alexandria include Cyril of Alexandria, Pope Cyril I Church in Cleopatra, Saint Georges Church in Sporting, Mark the Evangelist, Saint Mark & Pope Peter I of Alexandria, Pope Peter I Church in Sidi Bishr, Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary Church in Assafra, Saint Mary Church in Gianaclis, Saint Menas, Saint Mina Church in Fleming, Saint Mina Church in Mandara and St. Takla Haymanot's Church (Alexandria), Saint Takla Haymanot's Church in Ibrahimeya. The most important Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox churches in Alexandria are Holy Unmercenaries, Agioi Anárgyroi Church, Church of the Annunciation, Anthony the Great, Saint Anthony Church, Gabriel, Archangels Gabriel & Michael (archangel), Michael Church, Taxiarchon Church, Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Catherine Church, Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Dormition in Mansheya, Church of the Dormition, Elijah, Prophet Elijah Church, Saint George Church, Saint Joseph Church in Fleming, Joseph of Arimathea, Saint Joseph of Arimathea Church, Mark the Evangelist, Saint Mark & Nectarios of Aegina, Saint Nektarios Chapel in Ramleh, Saint Nicholas Church, Paraskevi of Rome, Saint Paraskevi Church, Saint Sava Cathedral in Ramleh, Theodore of Amasea, Saint Theodore Chapel and the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian church of Alexander Nevsky, Saint Alexander Nevsky in Alexandria, which serves the Russian speaking community in the city. The Apostolic Vicariate of Alexandria in Egypt-Heliopolis-Port Said has jurisdiction over all Latin Church Catholics in Egypt. Member churches include Saint Catherine Church in Mansheya and Church of the Society of Jesus, Jesuits in Cleopatra. The city is also the nominal see of the Melkite Greek Catholic titular Patriarchate of Alexandria (generally vested in its leading Patriarch of Antioch) and the actual cathedral see of its Patriarchal territory of Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan, which uses the Byzantine Rite, and the nominal see of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Alexandria (for all Egypt and Sudan, whose actual cathedral is in Cairo), a suffragan of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, using the Armenian Rite. The Saint Mark Church in Shatby, founded as part of Collège Saint Marc, Alexandria, Collège Saint Marc, is multi-denominational and holds liturgies according to Latin Catholic, Coptic Catholic Church, Coptic Catholic and Coptic Orthodox rites. In antiquity, Alexandria was a major centre of the cosmopolitan religious movement called Gnosticism (today mainly remembered as a Christian heresy).


Judaism

Alexandria's once-flourishing Jewish community declined rapidly following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, after which negative reactions towards Zionism among Egyptians led to Jewish residents in the city, and elsewhere in Egypt, being perceived as Zionist collaborators. Most Jewish residents of Egypt fled to the newly established Israel, France, Brazil and other countries in the 1950s and 1960s. The community once numbered 50,000 but is now estimated at below 50. The most important synagogue in Alexandria is the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue (Alexandria), Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue.


Education


Colleges and universities

Alexandria has a number of higher education institutions. Alexandria University is a public university that follows the Egyptian system of higher education. Many of its faculties are internationally renowned, most notably its Alexandria Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Faculty of Engineering. In addition, the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology in New Borg El Arab city is a research university set up in collaboration between the Japanese and Egyptian governments in 2010. The Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport is a semi-private educational institution that offers courses for high school, undergraduate level, and postgraduate students. It is considered the most reputable university in Egypt after the AUC American University in Cairo because of its worldwide recognition from board of engineers at UK & ABET in US. Senghor University, Université Senghor is a private French university that focuses on the teaching of humanities, politics and international relations, which mainly recruits students from the African continent. Other institutions of higher education in Alexandria include Alexandria Higher Institute of Engineering and Technology, Alexandria Institute of Technology (AIT) and Pharos University in Alexandria.


Schools

Alexandria has a long history of foreign educational institutions. The first foreign schools date to the early 19th century, when French missionaries began establishing French charitable schools to educate the Egyptians. Today, the most important French schools in Alexandria run by Catholic missionaries include Collège de la Mère de Dieu, Collège Notre Dame de Sion, Collège Saint Marc, Alexandria, Collège Saint Marc, Ecoles des Soeurs Franciscaines (four different schools), École Girard, École Saint Gabriel, École Saint-Vincent de Paul, École Saint Joseph, École Sainte Catherine, and Institution Sainte Jeanne-Antide. As a reaction to the establishment of French religious institutions, a secular (laic) mission established Lycée el-Horreya, which initially followed a French system of education, but is currently a public school run by the Egyptian government. The only school in Alexandria that completely follows the French educational system is Lycée Français d'Alexandrie (École Champollion). It is usually frequented by the children of French expatriates and diplomats in Alexandria. The Italian school is the Istituto "Don Bosco". English schools in Alexandria are becoming the most popular. English-language schools in the city include: Riada American School, Riada Language School, Alexandria Language School, Future Language School, Future International Schools (Future IGCSE, Future American School and Future German school), Alexandria American School, British School of Alexandria, Egyptian American School, Pioneers Language School, Egyptian English Language School, Princesses Girls' School, Sidi Gaber Language School, Taymour English School, Sacred Heart Girls' School, Schutz American School, Alexandria, Schutz American School, Victoria College, Alexandria, Victoria College, Manar English Girls School, El Manar Language School for Girls (previously called Scottish School for Girls), Kawmeya Language School, El Nasr Boys' School (previously called British Boys' School), and El Nasr Girls' College (previously called English Girls' College). There are only two German schools in Alexandria which are Deutsche Schule der Borromäerinnen Alexandria, Deutsche Schule der Borromärinnen (DSB of Saint Charles Borromé) and Neue Deutsche Schule Alexandria, which is run by Frau Sally Hammam. The Montessori education, Montessori educational system was first introduced in Alexandria in 2009 at Alexandria Montessori. The most notable public schools in Alexandria include El Abbassia High School and Gamal Abdel Nasser High School.


Women

Circa the 1890s, twice the percentage of women in Alexandria knew how to read compared to the same percentage in Cairo. As a result, specialist women's publications like ''al-Fatāh'' by Hind Nawal, the country's first women's journal, appeared.Kendall, Elisabeth. "Between Politics and Literature: Journals in Alexandria and Istanbul at the End of the Nineteenth Century" (Chapter 15). In: Fawaz, Leila Tarazi and C. A. Bayly (editors) and Robert Ilbert (collaboration). ''Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean''. Columbia University Press, 2002. , 9780231114271. Start: p
330
CITED: p
340


Transport


Airports

The city's principal airport is currently Borg El Arab Airport, which is located about away from the city centre. From late 2011, El Nouzha Airport (Alexandria International Airport) was to be closed to commercial operations for two years as it underwent expansion, with all airlines operating out of Borg El Arab Airport from then onwards, where a brand new terminal was completed there in February 2010. In 2017, the government announced that Alexandria International Airport will shut down permanently for operational reasons.


Port

Alexandria has four ports; namely the Western Port also known as ''Alexandria Port'', which is the main port of the country that handles about 60% of the country's exports and imports, Dekhela Port west of the Western Port, the Eastern Port which is a yachting harbour, and Abu Qir Port at the northern east of the governorate. It is a commercial port for general cargo and phosphates.


Highways

*International Coastal Road (Mersa Matruh – Alexandria – Port Said) *Cairo–Alexandria desert road (Alexandria – Cairo – , 6–8 lanes) *Cairo-Alexandria Agriculture Road (Alexandria –
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
) *Mehwar El Ta'meer – (Alexandria – Borg El Arab)


Rail

Alexandria's intracity commuter rail system extends from Misr Station (Alexandria's primary intercity railway station) to Abu Qir, parallel to the Alexandria Tram, tram line. The commuter line's locomotives operate on diesel locomotive, diesel, as opposed to the railway electrification system#Overhead systems, overhead-electric tram. Alexandria plays host to two intercity railway stations: the aforementioned Misr Station (in the older Manshia district in the western part of the city) and Sidi Gaber railway station (in the district of Sidi Gaber in the centre of the eastern expansion in which most Alexandrines reside), both of which also serve the commuter rail line. Intercity passenger service is operated by Egyptian National Railways.


Trams

An extensive tramway network was built in 1860 and is the oldest in Africa. The network begins at the Mahatet El Raml, El Raml district in the west and ends in the Victoria (neighborhood), Victoria district in the east. Most of the vehicles are blue in colour. Some smaller yellow-coloured vehicles have further routes beyond the two main endpoints. The tram routes have one of four numbers: 1, 2, 5, and 6. All four start at El Raml, but only two (1 and 2) reach Victoria. There are two converging and diverging points. The first starts at Bolkly (Isis) and ends at San Stefano (neighborhood), San Stefano. The other begins at Sporting (neighborhood), Sporting and ends at Mostafa Kamel. Route 5 starts at San Stefano and takes the inner route to Bolkly. Route 6 starts at Sidi Gaber El Sheikh in the outer route between Sporting and Mustafa Kamel. Route 1 takes the inner route between San Stefano and Bolkly and the outer route between Sporting and Mustafa Kamel. Route 2 takes the route opposite to Route 1 in both these areas. The tram fares used to be 50 piastres (0.50 pounds), and 100 piastres (1.00 pounds) for the middle car, but have been doubled sometime in 2019. Some trams (that date back the 30s) charge a pound. The tram is considered the cheapest method of public transport. A café operates in the second floor of the first car of tram 1 (a women-only car) which costs 5 L.E per person, also offering a WiFi service. A luxury light blue tram car operates from San Stefano to Ras El Tin, with free WiFi and movies and songs played inside for 5 L.E per ticket. Stations: # Baccos – Victoria (Number 1) # Al Seyouf # Sidi Beshr # El Saraya # Laurent Louran # Tharwat # San Stefano # Gianaklis # Schutz # Safar # Abou Shabana (Baccos) # Al Karnak (Fleming) # Al Wezara (The Ministry) # Isis Bolkly Bulkley # Roushdy # Mohammed Mahfouz # Mustafa Kamil # Sidi Gaber Al-Sheikh # Cleopatra Hammamat (Cleopatra Baths) # Cleopatra El Soghra # El Reyada El Kobra (Sporting El Kobra) # El Reyada El Soghra (Sporting Al Soghra) # Al Ibrahimiyya # El Moaskar (Camp Caesar) # Al Gamaa (The University) # Al Shatby # El Shobban El Moslemin # El Shahid Moustafa Ziean # Hassan Rasim (Azarita) # Gamea' Ibrahim (Mosque of Ibrahim) # Mahattet Al Ramleh (Ramlh Station) Route 2 serves: # El Nasr – Victoria (Number 2) # Al Seyouf # Sidi Beshr # El Saraya # Louran # Tharwat # San Stefano # Kasr El Safa (Zizini Al Safa Palace) # Al Fonoun Al Gamella (The Fine Arts) # Ramsis (Glym or Gleem) # El Bostan (Saba Pasha) # Al Hedaya (The Guidance) # Isis Bolkly # Roushdy # Mohammed Mahfouz # Mustafa Kamil # Sidi Gaber El Mahata (Railway station) # Cleopatra (Zananere) # El Reyada El Kobra (Sporting El Kobra) # El Reyada El Soghra (Sporting Al Soghra) # Al Ibrahimiyya # El Moaskar (Camp Chezar) # Al Gamaa (The University) # Al Shatby # El Shobban El Moslemin # El Shahid Moustafa Ziean # Hassan Rasim (Azarita) # Gamea' Ibrahim (Mosque of Ibrahim) # Mahattet Al Ramlh (Ramlh Station)


Metro

Construction of the Alexandria Metro is due to begin in 2020 at a cost of $1.05 billion.


Taxis and minibuses

Taxis in Alexandria sport a yellow-and-black livery and are widely available. While Egyptian law requires all cabs to carry taximeter, meters, these generally do not work and fares must be negotiated with the driver on either departure or arrival. The minibus share taxi system, or ''Share taxi#Mashrū', mashrū''' operates along well-known traffic arteries. The routes can be identified by both their endpoints and the route between them: *Corniche routes: **El Mandara – Bahari **El Mandara – El Mansheya **Asafra – Bahari **Asafra – El Mansheya **El Sa'aa – El Mansheya *Abu Qir routes: **El Mandara – Misr Railway Station, El Mahata (lit. "the Station", i.e. Misr Railway Station) **Abu Qir – Misr Railway Station, El Mahata **Victoria – Misr Railway Station, El Mahata **El Mandara – Victoria *Interior routes: **Cabo – Bahari **El Mansheya – El Awayid **El Mansheya – El Maw'af El Gedid (the New Bus Station) **Hadara – Misr Railway Station, El Mahata The route is generally written in Arabic on the side of the vehicle, although some drivers change their route without changing the paint. Some drivers also drive only a segment of a route rather than the whole path; such drivers generally stop at a point known as a major hub of the transportation system (for example, Victoria) to allow riders to transfer to another car or to another mode of transport. Fare is generally L.E. 3.00 to travel the whole route. Shorter trips may have a lower fare, depending on the driver and the length of the trip.


Culture


Libraries

The Royal
Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum, Mouseion, which was dedicated to the ...

Library of Alexandria
, in Alexandria,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, was once the largest library in the world. It is generally thought to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Ptolemy II of Egypt. It was likely created after his father had built what would become the first part of the library complex, the temple of the Muses—the Musaeum, Museion, Greek ''Μουσείον'' (from which the Modern English word ''Museum#Etymology, museum'' is derived). It has been reasonably established that the library, or parts of the collection, were destroyed by fire on a number of occasions (library fires were common and replacement of handwritten manuscripts was very difficult, expensive, and time-consuming). To this day the details of the destruction (or destructions) remain a lively source of controversy. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2002, near the site of the old Library.


Museums

*The Alexandria National Museum was inaugurated 31 December 2003. It is located in a restored Italian style palace in Tariq El Horreya Street (formerly Rue Fouad), near the centre of the city. It contains about 1,800 artifacts that narrate the story of Alexandria and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
. Most of these pieces came from other Egyptian museums. The museum is housed in the old Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace, who was one of the wealthiest wood merchants in Alexandria. Construction on the site was first undertaken in 1926. *Cavafy Museum *Graeco-Roman Museum, The Graeco-Roman Museum - it's Director from 2004 to 2010 was archaeologist Mervat Seif el-Din *The Museum of Fine Arts *The Royal Jewelry Museum


Theaters

*Alexandria Opera House, where classical music, Arabic music, ballet, and opera are performed and bearm basha theatre in elshatby.


Architecture

Throughout Alexandria, there is art that resembles some of the oldest architectural styles of the Hellenic city, and its ancient decorations, especially in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, is based on reviving the ancient
Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum, Mouseion, which was dedicated to the ...

Library of Alexandria
. The Kom el shoqafa Catacombs are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages and date back to the 2nd century. The remnants of Pompey's Pillar still remain today. This single pillar represents the elaborate temple which once stood in Alexandria. It remains at the site of the Serapeum, Alexandria's acropolis. The Serapeum, which stood for ancient tradition, conflicted with the rise of Christianity. It is a large tourist destination, today. the Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria is another popular destination. Here, there remains a stage with around seven hundred to eight hundred seats. They also have numerous galleries of statues and details leftover form this time. Alexandria's tourism office announced plans to reserve some beaches for tourists in July 2018. File:Shalalat gardens.JPG, Shalalat Gardens File:Tree House.jpg, Montaza, Montaza Garden File:Zentrum der Kunst in Alexandria, Ägypten.jpg, Alexandria Art Centre File:Pict0179.jpg, Alexandria Opera House File:Fawzia fahmy palace.jpg, Fawzia Fahmy Palace File:مقابر اللاتين (103).jpg,
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
's statue File:Monument of the Navy Unknown Soldier in Alexandria (6).jpg, Monument of the Unknown Navy Soldier File:King Farouk palace.jpg, Montaza Palace File:015 fhdrمسجد القائد ابراهيم.jpg, Al Qa'ed Ibrahim Mosque


Sports

The main sport that interests Alexandrians is football, as is the case in the rest of Egypt and Africa. Alexandria Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Alexandria,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
. It is currently used mostly for football matches, and was used for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, 2006 African Cup of Nations. The stadium is the oldest stadium in Egypt, being built in 1929. The stadium holds 20,000 people. Alexandria was one of three cities that participated in hosting the Africa Cup of Nations, African Cup of Nations in January 2006, which Egypt national football team, Egypt won. Sea sports such as surfing, Personal water craft, jet-skiing and water polo are practiced on a lower scale. The Skateboarding culture in Egypt started in this city. The city is also home to the Alexandria Sporting Club, which is especially known for its basketball team, which traditionally provides the Egypt national basketball team, country's national team with key players. The city hosted the AfroBasket, the continent's most prestigious basketball tournament, on four occasions (1970, 1975, 1983, 2003). Alexandria has four stadiums: *Alexandria Stadium *Borg El Arab Stadium *El Krom Stadium *Harras El Hodoud Stadium Other less popular sports like tennis and squash (sport), squash are usually played in private Social club, social and sports clubs, like: *Acacia Country Club *Alexandria Sporting Club – in "Sporting, Alexandria, Egypt, Sporting" *Alexandria Country club *Al Ittihad Alexandria Club *Olympic Club (Egypt), Olympic Club *Haras El Hodoud SC Club *Koroum Club *Lagoon Resort Courts *Smouha SC – in "Smouha" Started in 2011, Cross Egypt Challenge is an international cross-country motorcycle and scooter rally conducted throughout the most difficult tracks and roads of Egypt. Alexandria is known as the yearly starting point of Cross Egypt Challenge and a huge celebration is conducted the night before the rally starts after all the international participants arrive to the city.


Twin towns – sister cities

Alexandria is sister city, twinned with: *Almaty, Kazakhstan *Baltimore, United States *Bratislava, Slovakia *Catania, Italy *Cleveland, United States *Constanța, Romania *Durban, South Africa *Incheon, South Korea *Kazanlak, Bulgaria *Limassol, Cyprus *Odessa, Ukraine *Paphos, Cyprus *Port Louis, Mauritius *Saint Petersburg, Russia *Shanghai, China *Thessaloniki, Greece


See also

*Baucalis *Cultural tourism in Egypt *List of cities and towns in Egypt *List of cities founded by Alexander the Great *Of Alexandria


References


Further reading

*A. Bernand, ''Alexandrie la Grande'' (1966) *A. J. Butler, ''The Arab Conquest of Egypt'' (2nd. ed., 1978) *P.-A. Claudel, ''Alexandrie. Histoire d'un mythe'' (2011) *A. De Cosson, ''Mareotis'' (1935) *J.-Y. Empereur, ''Alexandria Rediscovered'' (1998) *E. M. Forster, ''Alexandria A History and a Guide'' (1922) (reprint ed. M. Allott, 2004) *P. M. Fraser, ''Ptolemaic Alexandria'' (1972) *M. Haag, ''Alexandria: City of Memory'' (2004) [20th-century social and literary history] * M. Haag, ''Vintage Alexandria: Photographs of the City 1860–1960'' (2008) *M. Haag, ''Alexandria Illustrated'' *R. Ilbert, I. Yannakakis, ''Alexandrie 1860–1960'' (1992) *R. Ilbert, ''Alexandrie entre deux mondes'' (1988) *Judith McKenzie et al., ''The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, 300 B.C.–A.D. 700.'' (Pelican History of Art, Yale University Press, 2007) * Philip Mansel, ''Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean'', London, John Murray, 11 November 2010, hardback, 480 pages, , New Haven, Yale University Press, 24 May 2011, hardback, 470 pages, *Don Nardo, ''A Travel Guide to Ancient Alexandria'', Lucent Books. (2003) *V. W. Von Hagen, ''The Roads that Led to Rome'' (1967)


External links

* *
Details on the archaïc port with a pdf of Gaston Jondet's report, 1916Map of Alexandria, ca.1930
Eran Laor Cartographic Collection, The National Library of Israel. {{Authority control Alexandria, Governorate capitals in Egypt Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Egypt Populated places in Alexandria Governorate Populated coastal places in Egypt Historic Jewish communities Metropolitan areas of Egypt Roman towns and cities in Egypt Mediterranean port cities and towns in Egypt Populated places along the Silk Road Cities in Egypt Cities founded by Alexander the Great 330s BC establishments 330s BC 4th-century BC establishments Populated places established in the 4th century BC Former capitals of Egypt