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Alexandria Lighthouse

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 14:35
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The Lighthouse of Pharos (Alexandria )
It is considered to be one of the old seven wonders of the old world. It was built over the southern east part of the island (Pharos) from which it took its name. It was built by Ptolemy I and completed by Ptolemy II, in order to light the way for the ships in night. It was built by limestone, granite, sandstone, marble, and lead. It was built in a colonnaded court, and its total height was 135m.

It consisted of 4 floors, the 1st floor was a platform square in shape, its height was 60m, its façade was inscribed with a Greek text, which says: “Sostratos of Cnidos son of Dexiphanos built it for the savior gods”, there are 2 suggestions concerning the savior gods, the first: they were Castor and Pollux. The second: they were Ptolemy I and his wife Berenica I (who were deified after their death by their son Ptolemy II). Above the platform there were 4 figures of god (Tritons) which was connected to the sea.

Alexandria LightHouse


Alexandria LightHouse


Alexandria LightHouse


Around the platform was a court divided internally into 300 rooms, some of them were used by the guards, and others were used for storing the oils and fuel. At the bottom of the 1st floor there was a cistern for keeping fresh water. The 2nd floor: was octagonal in shape, and its height was 30m. Above it was the 3rd floor which was circular in shape and its height was 15m. Above it was the 4thfloor, which consisted of 8 columns carrying a dome, their height was 23m., above the dome there was a statue for Poseidon with height of 7m. 
The 8 columns were made out of limestone, sandstone, granite, and alabaster. Behind these columns there is a lantern and a primitive lift for carrying the oils and fuel. Around the lantern there were mirrors in order to reflect the light to all directions. Some historians said that you can see wonders through these mirrors that you can’t see by your eyes only. So, that would mean that they used these mirrors as lenses. All that proofs that the Pharos was one of the old seven wonders of the old world, not only because of its height, but also for its mirrors.
The Pharos was still in use till 7thcentury A.D., however, during the ancient times, an earthquake caused the damage of the 4th floor, and a second earthquake in the 6thcentury damaged it till the 2nd floor. When the Arabs came, it was restored during the Tulunide Period, and they used it as watching tower because of its height, and they built a mosque above it, however, during the 14thcentury, a final third earthquake destroyed the Pharos till the ground.  In 1480 A.D., Qait Bey built his castle above the remain stones of the Pharos, which can be noticed from the dark stones of the Pharos (which are the original ones) and the pale colored stones of the castle.


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