The Legend of the city

Alexandria Travel Blog

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The library of Alexandria is a legend. Not a myth, but a legend. The destruction of the library of the ancient world has been retold many times and attributed to just as many different factions and rulers, not for the purpose of chronicling that ediface of education, but as political slander. Much ink has been spilled, ancient and modern, over the 40,000 volumes housed in grain depots near the harbor, which were supposedly incinerated when Julius Caesar torched the fleet of Cleopatra's brother and rival monarch.

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria became the capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt, its status as a beacon of culture symbolized by Pharos, the legendary lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the center of learning in the ancient world. But ancient Alexandria declined, and when Napoleon landed, he found a sparsely populated fishing village.

From the 19th century Alexandria took a new role, as a focus for Egypt's commercial and maritime expansion. This Alexandria has been immortalized by writers. Generations of immigrants from Greece, Italy and the Levant settled here and made the city synonymous with commerce, cosmopolitanism and bohemian culture.

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photo by: Nzelvis