Nekhebet.com - Wonders of Ancient and Modern Egypt

Play the board
game of wonders,
civilizations
and conquest!


7 Wonders
7 Wonders



Other Bestselling
Egyptian Books



The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The Lighthouse of Alexandria is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is the most recent Wonder to be built, having been built during the reign of Ptolemy I of Egypt, a commander under Alexander the Great who took over control of Egypt after Alexander's death. Historical records indicate that the Lighthouse was commissioned in 290 B.C. and completed some 2 decades later.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria is also the most well-recorded of the six destroyed members of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World (the Pyramids of Giza being the only Wonder still standing), since it was still in operation until a serious of earthquakes demolished the structure over a few decades in the early 14th century.

Since it survived until so recently, the writings of many of the travelers who visited the Lighthouse of Alexandria also survived till this day, vividly describing what the Lighthouse looked like and what it was used for.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was built on the island of Pharos just off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. As such, it was also commonly known as the Pharos Lighthouse. The Pharos Lighthouse was designed by the famed architect Sostratus, and was so complicated that it took 2 decades to be completed. The best description came from the writings of Arab traveler Abou-Haggag Al-Andaloussi when he visited the Pharos Lighthouse in 1166.

Artist's Depiction of The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria The writings indicated that the structure consisted of 4 main sections. At the bottom was a platform filled with statues that are still being discovered by present-day divers off the coast of Alexandria. Some researchers believe that ships docked just off this platform as well.

On top of this platform stood a square structure measuring 18 m (60 ft) on each side and roughly 56 m (184 ft) tall. In the middle of this section is a shaft and stairwell used for transporting material and fuel up the Pharos Lighthouse, and for visitors as well.

The third section was an eight-sided structure measuring roughly 27 m (90 ft) high. It also contained a similar transportation shaft in the middle. On top of this was a circular tower that housed the fire (for use to alert ships during the night) and the great mirror (for use during the day). A statue of Poseidon stood on top this tower.

The Pharos Lighthouse was a true wonder in architecture and engineering, bearing similarities to modern skyscrapers. It measured up to a modern 40-story building. The Greeks were so impressed with it that they included it as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Want to know more about the Lighthouse? Try this book from Amazon:

Pharos - A Lighthouse For AlexandriaPharos - A Lighthouse For Alexandria

This work takes a fresh look at the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and along the way explores both the modern and ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt. Built in 279 B.C. to proclaim Alexandria the Pearl of the Mediterranean, the Pharos served as a beacon of freedom, acceptance, and intellectual fervor for centuries.

The mirror of the Pharos Lighthouse appeared to be quite famous in ancient times. Many people believed that the mirror was so smooth and powerful that it could be used to reflect the sun's rays onto invading ships and burn them.

Another belief was that the mirror was so strong it could be used to observe and spy on competing city-states across the Mediterranean Sea, more than 100 miles away. However, it is highly unlikely that either of these stories are true.

A fort at AlexandriaFrom historical evidence, it appears that the Pharos Lighthouse was also a tourist attraction. Hundreds of visitors climbed the Lighthouse everyday to enjoy the fantastic view around Alexandria. Food vendors also sold their goods at the top of each section of the Pharos.

However, the Pharos Lighthouse was damaged by earthquakes, becoming totally demolished in the early 14th century. Its ruins and location were subsequently used by the Egyptian Sultan Qaitbay to build a fort in 1480, thus ending the story for this Wonder of the World.



BackNext



Share |

Copyright © 2004-2013 Nekhebet All rights reserved  Sitemap |


Try these computer
games for free!


Eternal Night: Realm of Souls
Eternal Night:
Realm of Souls


Settlement: Colossus
Timebuilders:
Pyramid Rising