Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, sometimes called the Pharos of Alexandria, was a lighthouse built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280 and 247 BC which was between 120 and 137 m (394 and 449 ft) tall.

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, for many centuries it was one of the tallest man-made structures in the world. Badly damaged by three earthquakes between AD 956 and 1323, it then became an abandoned ruin.
Pharos was a small island located on the western edge of the Nile Delta. In 332 BC Alexander the Great founded the city of Alexandria on an isthmus opposite Pharos. Alexandria and Pharos were later connected by a mole spanning more than 1200 metres. The lighthouse was constructed in the 3rd century BC. After Alexander the Great died at age 32, the first Ptolemy (Ptolemy I Soter) announced himself king in 305 BC, and commissioned its construction shortly thereafter. The building was finished during the reign of his son, the second Ptolemy (Ptolemy II Philadelphus). It took twelve years to complete, at a total cost of 800 talents. The light was produced by a furnace at the top, and the tower was said to have been built mostly with solid blocks of limestone.
The lighthouse was badly damaged in the earthquake of 956, and then again in 1303 and 1323. Finally the stubby remnant disappeared in 1480. Archaeologists re-discovered the physical remains of the lighthouse in late 1994 on the floor of Alexandria's Eastern Harbour.