The Chessboard City of Alexander the Great

The second largest city of Egypt after Cairo is the city of Alexandria. Geographically, it is located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt around 179 kms in the north of Cairo. It is unique city named after the name of its creator, The Alexander the Great in 333 BCE. On his way to Oracle temple of Amun at the Siwa Oasis, the Alexander stayed at the village of Re-qdt that lied between the Mediterranean Sea and the lake of Mariott and decided to build a great city on that location. For this, he gave charge to his architect Dinocratis.

alexandria

In 323 BC, Alexander died in Babylon without ever seeing the city that was after his name. However, Dinocratis planned the city very differently like a chessboard, where two main streets got interlaced both vertically and horizontally extending both east to west and north to south. It had five districts named after first five Greek alphabets – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. Among these, alpha was basically a royal district that homes royal palaces, temples, museum, libraries and gardens; Beta was the district of Greek aristocracy; Gamma was home to local greek people; Delta was home to foreign minorities like Syrians, Persian and Jews and lastly Epsilon was home to local Egyptians.

Qaitbay Citadel

In the Roman Era, the city was built afresh by Romans bearing the name Nicopolis which means the city of victory. However, most of this was damaged due to disturbances, wars, revolts; natural disasters etc.

Some of the important monuments of the city of Alexandria at present which dates back to Ptolemaic era are includes, Moustafa Kamel, El-Anfoushy, El-Shatby and El-Wardain. Further, those of Roman periods includes the tomb of Tigran, Pompeii’s pillar, tombs of Kom El-Shouqafa (the Catacombs),Tomb of Silvago and the cemetery of El-Qabbary, discovered recently and many others.

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