Fascinating metropolis on the Nile

Categories: Alexandria Egypt

With over 4.3 million inhabitants in its core city, Alexandria is the largest and most important city in Egypt after Cairo. The metropolis is located on the Nile, about 230 kilometers south of Cairo, and stretches along the Mediterranean coast, also known as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean". It is a business location, university city and seaside resort. The port of Alexandria accounts for more than 80 percent of Egypt's foreign trade.
Alexandria - Qaetbay Castle© MidoSemsem / Depositphotos

Overall, Alexandria is now one of the largest conurbations in North Africa. The economic and cultural importance of the city on the Nile is reflected in many buildings and sights. Magnificent mosques, ancient churches and elegant boulevards with shopping centres, parks and museums characterise the cityscape of modern Alexandria. The city was founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great. However, the area has been inhabited for more than 4,000 years.

Alexandria became one of the most important centres of the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine world. The lighthouse of Pharos at the port of Alexandria even counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world. A lighthouse in the field of science was the ancient library of Alexandria. Especially in the 19th century the multicultural city flourished again. The center was modernized.

Many buildings in the style of historicism characterize today's townscape, such as the chic shopping centre Okalle Monferrato. The Roman theatre or the catacombs and numerous relics in the harbour area date back to ancient times. The Bibliotheca Alexandria, rebuilt in 2002, with its museum, modern event centre and planetarium, carries on the great past from antiquity today.

The city centre with its numerous magnificent buildings has developed from the harbour since ancient times. Meanwhile the centre is located near the eastern harbour. Among the most striking sights of the lively metropolis are, for example, the Princess Fatma Al-Zahra' Palace with the Jewel Museum or the Raʾs-at-Tīn-Palace. The former royal palace is now used as a government building.

The cityscape is also dominated by the Abu-l-Abbas-al-Mursi Mosque. One of the most important sacral buildings is also the Attarin Mosque, originally a church from 370. One of the largest churches is St. Catherine Cathedral. There are also numerous synagogues, such as the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue. One should not miss the stately Palais d'Antoniadis with its many statues in the adjacent garden.
Alexandria - New Library© ekor23 / Depositphotos

One of the noble districts is Al-Almriya, a former seaside resort. In the eastern part of the city is the Muntaza district, known for its beautiful beaches and the popular Al-Muntaza city park, which is the former summer residence of the last royal family. The city centre and Al-Gumruk are very busy. There are numerous restaurants, cafés and shops. Alexandria is an ancient cultural and commercial metropolis, whose history is portrayed in the National Museum and the Greek-Roman Museum, among others.

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