The construction of the great city of Alexandria

Alexandria Harbour, ©Eugene Regis/Flickr

Alexandria Harbour, ©Eugene Regis/Flickr

The famous city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and was named after the great leader. The foundation of the city has an interesting story and is quite different from the other settlements in Egypt. Alexander the Great was on his way to visit the Oracle Temple of Amun that lied at the oasis called Siwa, but stayed overnight at a village called “Re-qdt”.

Alexander was enchanted by this place located between the Mediterranen Ocean and the Lake of Mariott and ordered Dinocratis, his architect, to make the building plans for a fabulous city that he wanted to be built on this area.

The city of Alexander the Great

After this, he went to the oracle in Amun to ask him about his destiny. It is too bad that we don’t know what he heard that day from the oracle, but according to the legends, he was promised to become a great leader. After his visit he was going to continue his campaign leaving the country and meeting the Perians. We all heard about Alexander the Great and his fabulous campaigns. He was a great military leader, but died in Babylon in 323 BC. Sadly he never had the opportunity to see the city that he dreamed to build. The construction of the city of Alexandria was completed only at the reign of Ptolemy II also known as Philadelphus, afterwards becoming the main capital of the country.

Alexandria Coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, ©MrSnooks/Flickr

Alexandria Coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, ©MrSnooks/Flickr

The structure of the city

The plan of the city of Alexandria is really interesting, looks like a chessboard, the street intersections forming the squares. It was made by architect Dinocratis, the one Alexander the Great choose for the job. The ancient city was subdivided in 5 different areas, which had interesting names, each being called after one of the first letters of the Greek Alphabet: the royal district of Alpha with the most important and fancy buildings including palaces, gardens, libraries, museum and temple, the aristocratic district of Beta, the Gamma district of the commoners, the Delta district for minorities and the Epsilon district, that was the area of the native Egyptians. The drinking water reached the city of Alexandria with the help of a canal from the Nile and was kept in Cisterns.

Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria, ©D-Stanley/Flickr

Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria, ©D-Stanley/Flickr

Attractions of the ancient city

The ancient city of Alexandria has numerous tourist attractions that worth to be seen. We mention the ancient City Walls and the old Gates, the charming Lighthoue, the famous Great Library, different museums and many cemeteries and tombs of famous people, including the Tomb of Alexander. Don’t miss the Roman Theater, or the interesting Jewellery Museum and if you like to visit religious buildings, you will find many temples and mosques as well.

Alexandria Harbour, ©Eugene Regis/Flickr

Alexandria Harbour, ©Eugene Regis/Flickr

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