Facts about Lighthouse of Alexandria

18 Lighthouse of Alexandria facts

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

For hundreds of years it pointed the way for sailors to the port of Alexandria. Unfortunately it did not survive to our time, the information about the appearance of this magnificent object is obtained from historical sources only.

Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the greatest buildings of antiquity and exerted a great influence on the culture of the region. It was mentioned by Julius Caesar, Chinese historian Zhao Rukuo and Muslim scholar Ibn Battuta.

Due to its geographical location, it was foredoomed to destruction. Successive earthquakes gradually damaged the building until it turned into rubble. It was completely destroyed in 1375 and replaced by a Muslim fort built on the site of the lighthouse at the end of the 15th century.

Lighthouse of Alexandria
The lighthouse of Pharos was ceremonially opened in 279 BC.
It was built by order of Ptolemy I, however, it was put into use only during the reign of Ptolemy II.
Construction of the lighthouse may have taken 14 to 20 years.
The building was constructed according to the plans of the Greek architect Sostratos of Cnidus.
It was built on the island of Pharos, which was located at the entrance to the port of Alexandria, Egypt.
The tower may have been about 120 meters high and was topped by a statue of Poseidon about 7 meters high.
At the time of its commissioning, the Faros lighthouse was the tallest structure that was not a pyramid.
The image of the lighthouse was preserved on coins dating back to the period of its existence.
The most accurate description of the lighthouse's appearance comes from the 11th century records of the Arab geographer and traveler Al-Idrisi.
The lighthouse had a system of mirrors made of polished metal that allowed its light to be seen from places miles away.
On the facade facing the sea were engraved inscriptions in honor of Zeus.
The lighthouse was repeatedly damaged by earthquakes that occurred in the area. Around the 2nd century AD its upper part collapsed.
The lighthouse was damaged by subsequent earthquakes in 796 and 951.
The remaining 20-meter-high upper part of the lighthouse collapsed in 956 and further damage was caused by earthquakes in 1303 and 1323.
Around the 9th century, the lower part of the lighthouse was adapted into a mosque.
The earthquake of 1375 dealt the final blow to the building.
Stone leftovers from the ruins was used to build a fort in 1480.
According to legend, inside the lighthouse Ptolemy II locked 72 scholars to independently translate the Old Testament.
A scaled-down replica of the Faros lighthouse is located in the city of Changsha, China.
In 1994, French archaeologists discovered the remains of a lighthouse at the bottom of an estuary from Alexandria's port.
In 2016, an idea was brought up by the Egyptian government's Ministry of Antiquities to create an underwater lighthouse museum at the site.

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