Alexandria (/ˌælɪɡˈzændriə/ or /-ˈzɑːnd-/; Arabic:
الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya; Egyptian Arabic:
إسكندرية Eskendria; Coptic: Ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ,
Ⲣⲁⲕⲟⲧⲉ Alexandria, Rakotə) is the second-largest city in
Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km
(20 mi) along the coast of the
Mediterranean Sea in the north
central part of the country. Its low elevation on the
Nile delta makes
it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels.
Alexandria is an important
industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from
Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.
Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 331 BC
by Alexander the Great. It became an important center of Hellenistic
civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic (Greek)
Roman and Byzantine
Egypt for almost 1000 years, until the Muslim
Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat
(later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic
Alexandria was best known for
Lighthouse of Alexandria
Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the
Ancient World; its
Great Library (the largest in the ancient world;
now replaced by a modern one); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven
Wonders of the Middle Ages.
Alexandria was the second most powerful
city of the ancient world after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in
the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of
Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named
Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.
From the late 18th century,
Alexandria became a major center of the
international shipping industry and one of the most important trading
centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland
connection between the
Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the
lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Among famous neighbourhoods in
Alexandria are: Loran, Miami, Azareeta,
Somouha, Shateby, Ras-El-Teen, Bahary, El-Mandara, Sidi-Bishr, Asafra,
Mansheyya and Abu-Kir.
1.1 Ancient era
1.2 Muhammad's era
1.3 Islamic era
2 Layout of the ancient city
4 Historical sites and landmarks
4.1 Temple of Taposiris Magna
6.1 Colleges and universities
7.5 Taxis and minibuses
9 International relations
9.1 Twin towns/Sister cities
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
History of Alexandria
History of Alexandria and Timeline of Alexandria
Alexander The Great
Alexandria is believed to have been founded by
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great in
April 332 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια (Alexandria). Alexander's
chief architect for the project was Dinocrates.
intended to supersede
Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, and
to be the link between
Greece and the rich
Nile valley. Although it
has long been believed only a small village there, recent radiocarbon
dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show significant
human activity at the location for two millennia preceding
Alexandria's founding 
Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural center of the ancient
world for some time. The city and its museum attracted many of the
greatest scholars, including Greeks, Jews and Syrians. The city was
later plundered and lost its significance.
In the early Christian Church, the city was the center of the
Patriarchate of Alexandria, which was one of the major centers of
Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world,
Coptic Orthodox Church
Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria
both lay claim to this ancient heritage.
Just east of
Abu Qir Bay
Abu Qir Bay 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 and
Heracleion. The latter was recently rediscovered under water.
An Egyptian city, Rhakotis, already existed on the shore and later
gave its name to
Alexandria in the
Egyptian language (Egyptian
*Raˁ-Ḳāṭit, written rˁ-ḳṭy.t, 'That which is built up'). It
continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months
after the foundation, Alexander left
Egypt and never returned to his
city. After Alexander's departure, his viceroy, Cleomenes, continued
the expansion. Following a struggle with the other successors of
Alexander, his general
Ptolemy Lagides succeeded in bringing
Alexander's body to Alexandria, though it was eventually lost after
being separated from its burial site there.
Although Cleomenes was mainly in charge of overseeing Alexandria's
continuous development, the
Heptastadion and the mainland quarters
seem to have been primarily Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of
ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe
and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a
generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century,
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 from diverse backgrounds.
Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was also home to
the largest urban Jewish community in the world. The Septuagint, a
Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies
kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the
leading Hellenistic center of learning (Library of Alexandria), but
were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three
largest ethnicities: Greek, Jewish, and Egyptian.
In AD 115, large parts of
Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos
War, which gave
Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity
to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor
Caracalla visited the city and,
because of some insulting satires 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
Crete earthquake), an event annually commemorated
years later as a "day of horror."
Alexandria: bombardment by British naval forces
Main article: List of expeditions of Muhammad
Entry of General Bonaparte into Alexandria, oil on canvas, 365 cm
× 500 cm (144 in × 197 in), ca. 1800,
Islamic prophet Muhammad's first interaction with the people of
Egypt occurred in 628, during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha
(Hisma). He sent Hatib bin Abi Baltaeh with a letter to the king of
Egypt (in reality Emperor Heraclius) and
Muqawqis In the letter Muhammad said: "I invite you to accept
Islam, Allah the sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse
to do so, you will bear the burden of the transgression of all the
Copts". During this expedition one of Muhammad's envoys Dihyah bin
Khalifa Kalbi was attacked, Muhammad sent
Zayd ibn Haritha
Zayd ibn Haritha to help
him. Dihya approached the Banu Dubayb (a tribe which converted to
Islam and had good relations with Muslims) for help. When the news
reached Muhammad, he immediately dispatched
Zayd ibn Haritha
Zayd ibn Haritha with 500
men to battle. The Muslim army fought with Banu Judham, killed several
of them (inflicting heavy casualties), including their chief,
Al-Hunayd ibn Arid and his son, and captured 1000 camels, 5000 of
their cattle and 100 women and boys. The new chief of the Banu Judham
who had embraced Islam appealed to Muhammad to release his fellow
tribesmen, and Muhammad released them.
The Battle of Abukir, by
Antoine-Jean Gros 1806.
Alexandria fell to the Sassanid Persians. Although the
Heraclius recovered it in 629, in 641 the Arabs
under the general
'Amr ibn al-'As
'Amr ibn al-'As captured it during the Muslim
conquest of Egypt, after a siege that lasted 14 months.
Battle of Ridaniya in 1517, the city was conquered by the
Ottoman Turks and remained under Ottoman rule until 1798. Alexandria
lost much of its former importance to the Egyptian port city of
Rosetta during the 9th to 18th centuries, and only regained its former
prominence with the construction of the
Mahmoudiyah Canal in 1807.
Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of
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
Battle of Alexandria on 21 March 1801,
following which they besieged the city, which fell to them on 2
September 1801. Muhammad Ali, the Ottoman governor of Egypt, began
rebuilding and redevelopment around 1810, and by 1850,
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 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. On 26 October 1954,
Alexandria's Mansheya Square was the site of a failed assassination
attempt on Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Europeans began leaving
Alexandria following the 1956
Suez Crisis 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.
The most important battles and sieges of
Alexandria (47 BC), Julius Caesar's civil war
Battle of Alexandria
Battle of Alexandria (30 BC), final war of the Roman Republic
Alexandria (619), Byzantine-Persian Wars
Alexandria (641), Rashidun conquest of Byzantine Egypt
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
Battle of Alexandria
Battle of Alexandria (1801), Napoleonic Wars
Alexandria (1801), Napoleonic Wars
Alexandria expedition (1807), Napoleonic Wars
Layout of the ancient city
Alexandria was divided into three regions:
the Royal or Greek quarter, forming the most magnificent portion of
the city. In Roman times 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
The Jewish quarter
forming the northeast portion of the city;
The old city of Rhakotis that had been absorbed into
occupied chiefly by Egyptians. (from Coptic Rakotə "Alexandria").
Engraving by L F Cassas of the Canopic Street in Alexandria, Egypt
made in 1784.
Two main streets, lined with colonnades and said to have been each
about 60 meters (200 ft) wide, intersected in the center of the
city, close to the point where the Sema (or Soma) of Alexander (his
Mausoleum) rose. This point is very near the present 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
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 1,260-metre-long
(4,130 ft) mole and called the
Heptastadion ("seven stadia"—a
stadium was a Greek unit of length measuring approximately 180 metres
or 590 feet). 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 Harbor, now an open bay; on the west
lay the port of Eunostos, with its inner basin Kibotos, now vastly
enlarged to form the modern harbor.
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 Harbor.
The Royal Palaces, filling the northeast angle of the town and
occupying the promontory of Lochias, which shut in the Great Harbor 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[clarification needed]
The Poseidon, or Temple of the Sea God, close to the theater
The Timonium built by 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 and the
Palaestra are both inland, near the Boulevard de
Rosette in the eastern half of the town; sites unknown.
The Temple of Saturn; site unknown.
The Mausolea of Alexander (Soma) and the Ptolemies in one ring-fence,
near the point of intersection of the two main streets.
Musaeum with its famous Library and theater in the same region;
The Serapeum of Alexandria, the most famous of all Alexandrian
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, The Great Lighthouse, one of the Seven
Wonders of the World, reputed to be 138 metres (453 feet) high, was
situated. The first
Ptolemy began the project, and the second Ptolemy
Ptolemy II Philadelphus) completed it, at a total cost of
800 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.
Alexandria is located in the country of Egypt, on the southern coast
of the Mediterranean.
Satellite image of
Alexandria and other cities show its surrounding
Alexandria has a borderline hot desert climate (Köppen climate
classification: BWh), approaching a hot semi-arid climate (BSh).
As the rest of Egypt's northern coast, the prevailing north wind,
blowing across the Mediterranean, gives the city a less severe climate
from the desert hinterland. Rafah and Alexandria are the
wettest places in Egypt; the other wettest places are Rosetta, Baltim,
Kafr el-Dawwar, and Mersa Matruh. The city's climate is influenced by
the Mediterranean Sea, moderating its temperatures, causing variable
rainy winters and moderately hot summers that, at times, can be very
humid; January and February are the coolest months, with daily maximum
temperatures typically ranging from 12 to 18 °C (54 to
64 °F) and minimum temperatures that could reach 5 °C
Alexandria experiences violent storms, rain and
sometimes snow, sleet and hail during the cooler months; these events,
combined with a poor drainage system, have been responsible for
occasional flooding in the city. July and August are the hottest
and driest months of the year, with an average daily maximum
temperature of 30 °C (86 °F). The average annual rainfall
is around 200 mm (7.9 in) but has been as high as
417 mm (16.4 in)
Port Said, Kosseir, Baltim,
Alexandria have the least
temperature variation in Egypt.
The highest recorded temperature was 45 °C (113 °F) on May
30, 1961, and the coldest recorded temperature was 0 °C
(32 °F) on January 31, 1994.
Climate data for Alexandria
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization (UN), Hong Kong
Observatory for sunshine and mean temperatures, Climate Charts for
Source #2: Voodoo Skies and Bing Weather for record
Alexandria mean sea temperature
18 °C (64 °F)
17 °C (63 °F)
17 °C (63 °F)
18 °C (64 °F)
20 °C (68 °F)
23 °C (73 °F)
25 °C (77 °F)
26 °C (79 °F)
26 °C (79 °F)
25 °C (77 °F)
22 °C (72 °F)
20 °C (68 °F)
Historical sites and landmarks
Egypt – Obelisk, Alexandria. Brooklyn
Museum Archives, Goodyear
Roman Pompey's Pillar
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 due to
earthquake subsidence in AD 365, and the rest has been built over in
Kom El Shoqafa
"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, 2.7 m (8.9 ft) in diameter at
the base, tapering to 2.4 m (7.9 ft) at the top. The shaft
is 88 feet (27 m) high, and made out of a single piece of
granite. Its volume is 132 cubic meters (4,662 cubic feet) and weight
approximately 396 tons. Pompey's Pillar may have been erected
using the same methods that were used to erect the ancient obelisks.
The Romans had cranes but they were not strong enough to lift
something this heavy. Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehrner conducted several
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 Kom El Shoqafa, are a short distance
southwest of the pillar, consist of a multi-level labyrinth, reached
via a large spiral staircase, and featuring dozens of chambers adorned
with sculpted pillars, statues, and other syncretic Romano-Egyptian
religious symbols, burial niches, and 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 Roman-era baths.
Persistent efforts have been made to explore the antiquities of
Alexandria. Encouragement and help have been given by the local
Archaeological Society, and by many individuals, notably
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
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; D. G. Hogarth made
tentative researches on behalf of the
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.
Side view of The Temple of Taposiris Magna.
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 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
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 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
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
Places of worship in Alexandria
El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque
Catholic church of Saint Catherine in Mansheya
Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue
The most famous mosque in
El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque
El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque in
Bahary. Other notable mosques in the city include
Ali ibn Abi Talib
mosque in Somouha, 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, 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 parliamentary election, supports the
president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
It has been suggested that this section be split out into another
Christianity in Alexandria. (Discuss) (September 2016)
Rome and Constantinople,
Alexandria was considered the
third-most important seat of
Christianity in the world. The 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
Council of Chalcedon in AD
451, the Church of
Alexandria was split between the Miaphysites and
the Melkites. The Miaphysites went on to constitute what is known
today as the
Coptic Orthodox Church
Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The Melkites went
on to constitute what is known today as the Greek Orthodox Church of
Alexandria. In the 19th century,
Catholic and Protestant missionaries
converted some of the adherents of the Orthodox churches to their
Today, the Patriarchal seat of the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church
is Saint Mark Cathedral in Ramleh. The most important Coptic Orthodox
Alexandria include Pope Cyril I Church in Cleopatra, Saint
Georges Church in Sporting, Saint Mark & Pope Peter I Church in
Sidi Bishr, Saint Mary Church in Assafra, Saint Mary Church in
Gianaclis, Saint Mina Church in Fleming, Saint Mina Church in Mandara
and Saint Takla Haymanot's Church in Ibrahimeya.
The most important Eastern Orthodox churches in
Alexandria are Agioi
Anárgyroi Church, Church of the Annunciation, Saint Anthony Church,
Gabriel & Michael Church, Taxiarchon Church, Saint
Catherine Church, Cathedral of the Dormition in Mansheya, Church of
the Dormition, Prophet
Saint George Church, Church of
Immaculate Conception in Ibrahemeya,
Saint Joseph Church in
Saint Joseph of Arimathea Church, Saint Mark & Saint
Nektarios Chapel in Ramleh,
Saint Nicholas Church, Saint Paraskevi
Saint Sava Cathedral in Ramleh, Saint Theodore Chapel and the
Russian church of 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
Jesuits in Cleopatra. The city is also the nominal see of the Melkite
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
of Iskandkeriya (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, is multi-denominational and holds liturgies according to Latin
Catholic and Coptic Orthodox rites.
Alexandria was a major center of the cosmopolitan
religious movement called
Gnosticism (today mainly remembered as a
Jewish girls during Bat Mitzva in Alexandria
See also: History of the Jews in Egypt
Alexandria's once-flourishing Jewish community declined rapidly
following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, after which negative reactions
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,
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
Collège Saint Marc
Lycée Français d'Alexandrie
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 Faculty of Medicine & Faculty of Engineering. In
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology in New Borg
El Arab city, its 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. Université Senghor is a
private French university that focuses on the teaching of humanities,
politics and international relations, which mainly targets students
from the African continent. Other institutions of higher education in
Alexandria Institute of Technology (AIT) and Pharos
University in Alexandria.
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
Catholic missionaries include Collège de la Mère de Dieu,
Collège Notre Dame de Sion, 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, Princesses Girls' School,
Sidi Gaber Language School, Taymour
English School, Sacred Heart Girls' School, Schutz American School,
Victoria College, 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. There are only two German schools in
are Deutsche Schule der Borromärinnen (DSB of Saint Charles Borromé)
and Future Deutsche Schule.
The Montessori educational system was first introduced in Alexandria
in 2009 at
The most notable public schools in
Alexandria include El Abbassia High
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser High School.
Borg El Arab
Borg El Arab International Airport
Alexandria is served by
Alexandria International Airport which is
currently closed and
Borg El Arab Airport
Borg El Arab Airport which is located about
25 km (16 mi) away from the city center.
From late 2011,
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
Borg El Arab Airport from then onwards,
where a brand new terminal was completed in February 2010. In 2017
the government officially announced that
Airport will shut down for good due to operational reasons, after
having initially announced that it was to open during mid-2017.
International Coastal Road (
Mersa Matrouh –
Alexandria – Port
Alexandria Desert Road (
Cairo – 220 km
(137 mi), 6–8 lanes)
Alexandria Agriculture Road (
Alexandria – Cairo)
Mehwar El Ta'meer – (
Alexandria – Borg El Arab)
Misr Railway Station
Alexandria's intracity commuter rail system extends from Misr Station
(Alexandria's primary intercity railway station) to Abu Qir, parallel
to the tram line. The commuter line's locomotives operate on diesel,
as opposed to the 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
Sidi Gaber railway station (in the
Sidi Gaber in the center 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
Main article: Trams in Alexandria
An extensive tramway network was built in 1860 and is the oldest in
Africa. The network begins at the El Raml district in the west and
ends in the Victoria district in the east. Most of the vehicles are
blue in color. Some smaller yellow-colored 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. The other
begins at 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 are 25
piastres (0.25 pounds) during most of the day, and 50 piastres (0.50
pounds) after 9pm. Some trams (that date back the 30s) charge a pound.
The tram is considered the cheapest method of public transport.
Taxis and minibuses
See also: Taxicabs by country § Egypt
Alexandria sport a yellow-and-black livery and are widely
available. While Egyptian law requires all cabs to carry 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 mashrū` operates along well-known
traffic arteries. The routes can be identified by both their endpoints
and the route between them:
El Mandara – Bahari
El Mandara – El Mansheya
Asafra – Bahari
Asafra – El Mansheya
El Sa'aa – El Mansheya
Abu Qir routes:
El Mandara – El Mahata (lit. "the Station", i.e. Misr Railway
Abu Qir – El Mahata
Victoria – El Mahata
El Mandara – Victoria
Cabo – Bahari
El Mansheya – El Awayid
El Mansheya – El Maw'af El Gedid (the New Bus Station)
Hadara – 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
Alexandria has four ports; namely the Western Port, which is the main
port of the country that handles about 60% of the country’s exports
Dekhela Port west of the Western Port, the Eastern Port
which is a yachting harbor, and
Abu Qir Port at the northern east of
the governorate. It is a commercial port for general cargo and
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Main article: Library of Alexandria
The Royal Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, 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 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 Museion, Greek Μουσείον (from which the Modern
English word 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
Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2002, near the site of
the old Library.
Alexandria National Museum
Alexandria National Museum
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 center of the city. It contains about
1,800 artifacts that narrate the story of
Alexandria and 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.
The Cavafy Museum
The Graeco-Roman Museum
Museum of Fine Arts
The Royal Jewelry Museum
Borg El Arab
Borg El Arab Stadium
The main sport that interests Alexandrians is football, as is the case
in the rest of
Egypt and Africa.
Stadium is a multi-purpose
stadium in Alexandria, Egypt. It is currently used mostly for football
matches, and was used for the 2006 African Cup of Nations. The stadium
is the oldest stadium in Egypt, being built in 1929. The stadium holds
Alexandria was one of three cities that participated in
hosting the African Cup of Nations in January 2006, which
Sea sports such as surfing, 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 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:
Borg El Arab
Borg El Arab Stadium
El Krom Stadium
Harras El Hodoud Stadium
Other less popular sports like tennis and squash are usually played in
private social and sports clubs, like:
Acacia Country Club
Alexandria Sporting Club
Alexandria Sporting Club – in "Sporting"
Alexandria Country club
El-Ittihad El-Iskandary Club
Haras El Hodood
Haras El Hodood Club
Lagoon Resort Courts
Smouha SC – in "Smouha"
Alexandria Opera House, where classical music,
Arabic music, ballet,
and opera are performed.
Alexandria is a main summer resort and tourist attraction, due to its
public and private beaches and ancient history and Museums, especially
the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, based on reviving the ancient Library of
One of the main tourism attractions that start every year from the
city is Cross
Egypt Challenge. Started in 2011, Cross
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
Alexandria National Museum
Alexandria Art Center
Alexandria Opera House
Fawzia Fahmy Palace
San Stefano Grand Plaza
Monument of the Unknown Navy Soldier
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2015) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message)
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Egypt
The Italian consulate in Saad Zaghloul Square
Twin towns/Sister cities
Alexandria is twinned with:
United States Cleveland
South Africa Durban
Russia St. Petersburg
List of cities in Egypt
Library of Alexandria
Cultural tourism in Egypt
Governorates of Egypt
List of megalithic sites
Alexandria Governor - Dr.Mohamed
Ali Sultan". 16 February
^ CAPMAS. "الجهاز المركزي للتعبئة العامة
^ "Alexandria". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 24 September
^ "Do fundo do mar... Sea bottom: Sediments Reveal Alexandria's Hidden
History". Retrieved 2017-01-28.
^ a b c d "The
Lighthouse Dims". Foreign Policy. 23 December
^ O'Connor, Lauren (2009) "The Remains of Alexander the Great: The
God, The King, The Symbol," Constructing the Past: Vol. 10: Iss. 1,
^ Erskine, Andrew (April 1995). "
Greece & Rome, 2nd Ser.,".
Culture and Power in Ptolemaic Egypt: the
Museum and Library of
Alexandria. 42 (1): 38–48 . One effect of the newly created
Hellenistic kingdoms was the imposition of Greek cities occupied by
Greeks on an alien landscape. In Egypt, there was a native Egyptian
population with its own culture, history, and traditions. The Greeks
who came to Egypt, to the court or to live in Alexandria, were
separated from their original cultures.
Alexandria was the main Greek
Egypt and within it there was an extraordinary mix of Greeks
from many cities and backgrounds.
^ Erskine, Andrew (April 1995). "Culture and Power in Ptolemaic Egypt:
Museum and Library of Alexandria".
Greece & Rome. 42 (1):
38–48. doi:10.1017/S0017383500025213. The Ptolemaic emphasis on
Greek culture establishes the
Egypt with an identity for
themselves. […] But the emphasis on Greek culture does even more
than this – these are
Greeks ruling in a foreign land. The more
Greeks can indulge in their own culture, the more they can exclude
non-Greeks, in other words Egyptians, the subjects whose land has been
taken over. The assertion of Greek culture serves to enforce Egyptian
subjection. So the presence in
Alexandria of two institutions devoted
to the preservation and study of Greek culture acts as a powerful
symbol of Egyptian exclusion and subjection. Texts from other cultures
could be kept in the library, but only once they had been translated,
that is to say Hellenized.
[…] A reading of Alexandrian poetry might easily give the impression
Egyptians did not exist at all; indeed
Egypt itself is hardly
mentioned except for the
Nile and the
Nile flood, […] This omission
Egyptians from poetry masks a fundamental insecurity.
It is no coincidence that one of the few poetic references to
Egyptians presents them as muggers.
^ Ammianus Marcellinus, "Res Gestae", 26.10.15–19
^ Stiros, Stathis C.: “The AD
365 Crete earthquake
365 Crete earthquake and possible
seismic clustering during the fourth to sixth centuries AD in the
Eastern Mediterranean: a review of historical and archaeological
data”, Journal of Structural Geology, Vol. 23 (2001), pp. 545–562
(549 & 557)
^ Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar, p. 222
^ Akbar Shāh Ḵẖān Najībābādī, History of Islam, Volume 1, p.
194. Quote: "Again, the Holy Prophet «P sent Dihyah bin Khalifa Kalbi
to the Byzantine king Heraclius, Hatib bin Abi Baltaeh to the king of
Egypt and Alexandria; Allabn Al-Hazermi to Munzer bin Sawa the king of
Bahrain; Amer bin Aas to the king of Oman. Salit bin Amri to Hozah bin
Ali— the king of Yamama; Shiya bin Wahab to Haris bin Ghasanni to
the king of Damascus"
^ Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005), The Sealed Nectar, Darussalam
Publications, p. 226 (online)
^ Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University
Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-19-577307-1. Dihyah b. Khalifah
al-Kalbi, who had gone to Syria on an errand for Muhammad, was
returning to Medina with gifts, when he was robbed by a man of Judham
called al-Hunayd. Another clan of Judham, however, or some men from
another tribe, forced al-Hunayd to give the things back. Meanwhile a
leader of Judham, Rifa'ah b. Zayd, had been in Medina, had brought
back to the tribe Muhammad's terms for an alliance, and the tribe had
accepted. Muhammad had not been informed of this decision, however,
and sent out Zayd b. Harithah to avenge the insult to his messenger.
There was a skirmish in which the Muslims killed al-Hunayd and
captured a number of women and animals. CS1 maint: Uses authors
parameter (link) (free online)
^ "Modern""The History of Alexandria". Archived from the original on
24 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
^ "Bombardment of Alexandria".
^ Ted Thornton, "Nasser Assassination Attempt, October 26, 1954,"
Middle East History Database"Nasser Assassination Attempt, October 26,
1954". Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 24 May
^ Rostovtzeff 1941: (1138–39)
^ Josiah Russell, 1958, "Late Ancient and Medieval Population," pp. 67
^ Elio Lo Cascio, 2009, "Urbanization as a Proxy of Growth," p. 97
citing Bagnall and Frier.
^ "Alexandria". Encyclopædia Britannica.
Egypt Climate Index". Climate Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
^ "Deadly flash floods hit Egypt's Alexandria". aljazeera.com.
^ "Clima en
Alexandria / Nouzha – Históricos el tiempo".
Tutiempo.net. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
^ a b "Alexandria, Egypt". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 3 August
^ "Weather Information for Alexandria". Retrieved 21 August
^ "Climatological Information for Alexandria, Egypt" (1961–1990)".
Hong Kong Observatory.
^ "Alexandria, Egypt: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and
Data". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
Egypt Monthly Averages – Bing Weather[You must have an
IP from the United States of America to see the page]
Alexandria Climate and Weather Averages, Egypt". Weather2Travel.
Retrieved 20 January 2014.
^ "The Sarapeion, including Pompay's Pillar In Alexandria, Egypt".
Touregypt.net. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
^ The Pyramids and Sphinx by Desmond Stewart and editors of the
Book Division 1971 p. 80-81
^ "NOVA Online Mysteries of the
Nile 27 August 1999: The Third
Attempt". Pbs.org. 27 August 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
^ Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Ramses II: Magnificence on the
Nile (1993)p. 56-57
^ Planet, Lonely. "
Catacombs of Kom ash-Suqqafa – Lonely Planet".
^ "Fgs Project Alexandria". Underwaterdiscovery.org. Archived from the
original on 7 March 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
^ "Divers probe underwater palace". BBC News. 28 October 1998.
Retrieved 19 January 2009.
^ "New underwater tourist attraction in Egypt". BBC News. 24 September
2000. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
^ "Temple of Taposiris Magna near Abusir in Egypt". Touregypt.net.
Egypt to restore Alexandria’s historic synagogue, (20 December
2010) Archived 24 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "A new gateway for Alexandria". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the
original on 4 September 2009.
^ Raven, James (2004). Lost Libraries: The Destruction of Great Book
Collections Since Antiquity. Springer. p. 12.
^ "Partner (Twin) towns of Bratislava". Bratislava-City.sk. Archived
from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
^ "Sister Cities International (SCI)". Sister-cities.org. Retrieved
^ "Sister Cities Home Page". Archived from the original on 11 October
2012. eThekwini Online: The Official Site of the City of Durban
Limassol Twinned Cities".
Limassol (Lemesos) Municipality. Archived
from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
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)
Alexandria Rediscovered (1998)
E. M. Forster,
Alexandria A History and a Guide (1922) (reprint ed. M.
P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic
M. Haag, Alexandria: City of Memory (2004) [20th-century social and
M. Haag, Vintage Alexandria: Photographs of the City 1860–1960
R. Ilbert, I. Yannakakis, Alexandrie 1860–1960 (1992)
R. Ilbert, Alexandrie entre deux mondes (1988)
Philip Mansel, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean,
London, John Murray, 11 November 2010, hardback, 480 pages,
ISBN 978-0-7195-6707-0, New Haven, Yale University Press, 24 May
2011, hardback, 470 pages, ISBN 978-0-300-17264-5
V. W. Von Hagen, The Roads that led to
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Alexandria travel guide from Wikivoyage
Greek Community of Alexandria
Capital of Egypt
331 BC – AD 641
Neighborhoods in Alexandria
Kom El Deka
Mahatet El Raml
Governorates capitals of Egypt
Beni Suef (Beni Suef)
Kafr El Sheikh
Kafr El Sheikh (Kafr El Sheikh)
Matrouh (Mersa Matrouh)
New Valley (Kharga)
North Sinai (Arish)
Port Said (Port Said)
Red Sea (Hurghada)
South Sinai (El Tor)
Egyptian cities and towns by population
1,000,000 and more
Shubra El Kheima
El Mahalla El Kubra
6th of October
Kafr El Dawwar
Kafr El Sheikh
New Borg El Arab
Shibin El Kom
Sharm El Sheikh
2003: New Delhi
2011: Buenos Aires
2014: Port Harcourt
Greek Dark Ages
Ancient Greek colonies
Antigonid Macedonian army
Army of Macedon
Sacred Band of Thebes
List of ancient Greeks
Kings of Argos
Archons of Athens
Kings of Athens
Kings of Commagene
Kings of Lydia
Kings of Macedonia
Kings of Paionia
Attalid kings of Pergamon
Kings of Pontus
Kings of Sparta
Tyrants of Syracuse
Diogenes of Sinope
Alexander the Great
Milo of Croton
Philip of Macedon
Ancient Greek tribes
Funeral and burial practices
Arts and science
Greek Revival architecture
Funeral and burial practices
Theatre of Dionysus
Tunnel of Eupalinos
Alexandria on the Caucasus
Alexandria on the Indus
Alexandria on the Oxus
Glossary of artifacts
Architecture (Egyptian Revival architecture)
Great Royal Wives
ISNI: 0000 0001 2111 630X