Sights & Landmarks In Alexandria
- Citadel of Qaitbay, Ras el-Tin (yellow tram #25), +20 3-4809144. 9AM-4PM. The stronghold, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the city itself, is one of the city’s emblems and is situated in a lovely position. Built in 1477 AD by Mameluke Sultan Abdul-Nasser Qa’it Bay, it has been demolished and rebuilt thrice since then. Sultan Qaitbay erected this castle on the location of the Pharos Lighthouse in 1480 to safeguard the city from crusaders who used to assault it by water. On the eastern tip of Pharos Island, the Citadel is located at the entrance to the eastern port. It was built on the identical location of Alexandria’s iconic Lighthouse. The lighthouse remained operational until the Arab invasion, during which various calamities happened, and the lighthouse’s design was altered to some amount, although it continued to work. The top of the lighthouse was damaged by an earthquake in the 11th century, and the basement was utilized as a watchtower. On top of the hill, a tiny mosque was constructed. The site was fortified in 1480 A.D. as part of the coastal defensive edifices. Later, a castle-like citadel was constructed as a jail for princes and governmental officials. It now serves as a Maritime Museum.
- Cemetery of Mostafa Kamel. Four graves from the second century BC may be found in the cemetery, all of which are in outstanding condition and elegantly adorned. Mostafa Kamel, one of Egypt’s most famous political figures of the twentieth century, is buried here. He was the one who said, “If I hadn’t been born as an Egyptian, I would prefer to be an Egyptian.”
- Kom el-Shouqafa, Karmouz. The Arabic name Kom el-Shouqafa is derived from the ancient Greek name Lofus Kiramaikos, which means “mound of shards” or “potsherds.” Its ancient Egyptian name was Ra-Qedillies, and it was built on the location of the hamlet and fishing harbor of Rhakotis, Alexandria’s oldest neighborhood that predates Alexander the Great. The catacombs are located in the heavily populated area of Karmouz, which is located to the east of Alexandria. The catacombs were most likely utilized as a single affluent family’s private burial before being transferred to a public cemetery. They are made up of a burial chapel on the main level, a steep spiral staircase, and three subterranean levels for the funerary ceremony and entombment. The catacombs are unusual in both their layout and their décor, which symbolizes a fusion of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures and customs.”
- Pompey’s Pillar, Karmouz. This 25-meter-high granite column, which was built in AD 297 in honor of Emperor Diocletian, is an old monument. Other ruins and sculptures, such as the Serapium oracle, may be found in the limited region where the column sits. Also nearby is “El-Saa3a,” a large retail complex for fabric and furnishings where you can buy a wide variety of textile and clothing. LE 20, LE 15, LE 10 (student).
- Roman Theatre, Kom El-Dikka, +20 3-3902904. This Roman amphitheater, built in the second century AD, comprises 13 semicircular levels composed of white and gray marble, with marble seats for up to 800 spectators, galleries, and mosaic-flooring portions. This region was formerly known as the Park of Pan, a pleasure garden surrounded by Roman villas and baths during Ptolemaic times.
- Montazah Palace, El Montazah, +20 3-5477153, +20 3-5473056. Abbas II of Egypt Abbas Hilmi Pasha, Egypt’s last khedive, built it in 1892. The Haramlek, one of the palace structures, currently houses a casino on the first floor and a museum of royal treasures on the upper floors, while the Salamlek has been transformed into a luxury hotel. Parts of the sprawling gardens (nearly 200 acres) are accessible to the public. The park charges an entry fee.
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Mansheya. Egypt’s military is honored with a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- El-Mursi Abul-Abbas Mosque, Anfoushi. The mosque was erected in 1775 by Algerians over the grave of Ahmed Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, a notable thirteenth-century sufi saint. The mosque’s walls are made of artificial stone, and the minaret on the south side rises to a height of 73 meters.
- Attarine Mosque, Attarine. Originally built in 370 as a church dedicated to Saint Athanasius, it was turned into a mosque during the Muslim conquest of Egypt.
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Shatby, +20 3-4839999.Open daily except Tuesday 11AM to 7PM, but opens only at 3PM on Friday and Saturday. On the location of the old Library of Alexandria, a massive contemporary library and research center was built. It also contains a large meeting facility, a planetarium, and exhibits of old books from the collection.
- Corniche. The Corniche is a magnificent 15-kilometer waterfront promenade (wharf/pier/boardwalk) lined with restaurants, markets, and historic sites.