Alexandria City Orientation Tour 3, Alexandria (Self Guided)

Alexandria is a beautiful city, surrounded by marvelous monuments and buildings. It is considered to be one of the most historical cities of Egypt. The city of Alexandria features a large number of wonderful mosques, palaces and other buildings, which are mostly remains from Roman times. These amazing attractions are unique and worth seeing. Take the following self-guided tour to explore beautiful attractions of Alexandria.
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Alexandria City Orientation Tour 3 Map

Guide Name: Alexandria City Orientation Tour 3
Guide Location: Egypt » Alexandria (See other walking tours in Alexandria)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.7 km
Author: derek
1
Serapeum

1) Serapeum

The Serapeum was a temple built by Ptolemy III and dedicated to Serapis, the syncretic Hellenistic-Egyptian god who was made the protector of Alexandria. The Serapeum was the largest and most magnificent of all temples in the Greek quarter of Alexandria. Besides the image of the god, the temple precinct housed an offshoot collection of the great Library of Alexandria. The Serapeum in Alexandria was destroyed by a Christian crowd or Roman soldiers in 391.

A film called Agora was released in 2009 depicting these and other events, with semi-historical accuracy . The destruction of the Serapeum, described by Christian writers Tyrannius Rufinus and Sozomen, was but the most spectacular of such conflicts, according to Peter Brown. Several other ancient and modern authors, instead, have interpreted the destruction of the Serapeum in Alexandria as representative of the triumph of Christianity and an example of the attitude of the Christians towards pagans.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Pompey's Pillar

2) Pompey's Pillar (must see)

The largest Roman triumphal column constructed outside of the imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople, Pompey's Pillar is one of the best-known ancient monuments still standing in Alexandria today. The only known free-standing column in Roman Egypt which was not composed of drums, it is one of the largest ancient monoliths and one of the largest monolithic columns ever erected. It is located on Alexandria's ancient acropolis - a modest hill located adjacent to the city's Arab cemetery—and was originally part of a temple colonnade. Including its pedestal, it is 30 meters high; the shaft is of polished red granite, 2.7 meters in diameter at the base, tapering to 2.4 meters at the top. The shaft is 27 meters high made out of a single piece of granite. Pompey's Pillar may have been erected using the same methods that were used to erect the ancient obelisks. The structure was plundered and demolished in the 4th century when a bishop decreed that Paganism must be eradicated. "Pompey's Pillar" is a misnomer, as it has nothing to do with Pompey, having been erected in 293 for Diocletian, possibly in memory of the rebellion of Domitius Domitianus.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa

3) Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (must see)

A historical archaeological site, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa lie on the western necropolis of Alexandria and consist of three levels cut through solid rock, the third level being now completely underwater. It houses a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. The Catacombs were named Kom El Shoqafa, meaning Mound of Shards, because the area used to contain a mound of shards of terra cotta which mostly consisted of jars and objects made of clay belonging to those visiting the tombs, who would bring food and wine for their consumption during the visit, but didn't wish to carry them back home from this place of death so they would break them.
The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa is, according to some lists, also one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. One of the more gruesome features of the catacombs is the so called Hall of Caracalla. According to tradition, this is a mass burial chamber for the humans and animals massacred by order of the Emperor Caracalla.
Due to the time period, many of the features of the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa merge Roman, Greek and Egyptian cultural points; some statues are Egyptian in style, yet bear Roman clothes and hair style whilst other features share a similar style. A circular staircase, which was often used to transport deceased bodies down the middle of it, leads down into the tombs that were tunneled into the bedrock during the age of the Antonine emperors. The facility was then used as a burial chamber from the 2nd century to the 4th century, before being rediscovered in 1900 when a donkey accidentally fell into the access shaft. It is believed that the catacombs were only intended for a single family, but it is unclear why the site was expanded in order to house numerous other individuals.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Museum of Fine Arts

4) Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts features a great collection of paintings, sculptures and various artworks. A lot of interesting exhibitions by Egyptian and international artists take place here. Museum of Fine Arts is well known because of Alexandria Biennially, that showcases works from Mediterranean countries. The museum is open every day during the week, except on Fridays.
5
Alexandria National Museum

5) Alexandria National Museum (must see)

The Alexandria National Museum in Egypt was inaugurated the 31st of December, 2003 by Hosni Mubarak and it's located in a restored Italian style palace in Tariq Al-Horreya Street, near the center of the city. It contains about 1.800 artifacts that narrate the story of Alexandria and Egypt. Most of these pieces came from other Egyptian museums. The museum mainly focuses on three collections: Ancient Egyptian, Coptic, and the Muslim world. The museum includes works from the Hellenistic period, including pieces from Heraklion and Canopus and it also has a collection of jewelry, weapons, statuary, coins, and glassware. The museum is housed in the old Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace, who was one of the wealthiest wood merchants in Alexandria. Construction on the site was first undertaken in 1926.
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 9 am -5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral

6) Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral

Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral is the historical seat of the Pope of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The cathedral is said to stand on the site of the church founded by St. Mark the Evangelist in AD 60. Mark converted many to Christianity and performed many miracles, he is considered the founder of the church in Alexandria and the first Bishop of Alexandria.

In the time of Pope Yusab II, the church building was pulled down and another, larger building was built with reinforced concrete after the basilique style. The six marble pillars were transferred into the outer entrance of the church. The icon carrier was accurately cut into parts, each part given a number, and then it was cautiously returned to where it was originally. The two minarets were not pulled down as they were reinforced with concrete and were decorated with beautiful Coptic engravings. Two new bells – brought from Italy – were provided, one for each minaret. Between 1985 and 1990 the church was widened from the western side after the former style with great accuracy, keeping the two minarets in their places, so the entire area of the church was doubled. The six pillars were transferred to the new western entrance of the church supervised by Pope Shenouda III.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Bibliotheca Alexandrina

7) Bibliotheca Alexandrina (must see)

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is both a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, and an attempt to rekindle something of the brilliance that this earlier center of study and erudition represented. The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974, when a committee set up by Alexandria University selected a plot of land for its new library, between the campus and the seafront, close to where the ancient library once stood.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is trilingual, containing books in Arabic, English and French. In 2010, the library received a generous donation of 500,000 books from the National Library of France which makes it the sixth-largest Francophone library in the world. The main reading room stands beneath a 32-meter-high glass-paneled roof, tilted out toward the sea like a sundial, and measuring some 160 m in diameter. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, carved with characters from 120 different human scripts. The dimensions of the project are vast: the library has shelf space for eight million books, with the main reading room covering 70,000 sq.m. (750,000 sq ft) on eleven cascading levels. The complex also houses a conference center; specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, the blind and visually impaired, young people, and for children; four museums; four art galleries for temporary exhibitions; 15 permanent exhibitions; a planetarium; and a manuscript restoration laboratory. The library's architecture is equally striking.
Opening hours: Saturday – Thursday: 11 am - 7 pm; Friday: 3 pm - 7 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Alexandria, Egypt

Create Your Own Walk in Alexandria

Create Your Own Walk in Alexandria

Creating your own self-guided walk in Alexandria is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Alexandria City Orientation Tour 1

Alexandria City Orientation Tour 1

The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria used to be one of the most significant and famous cities in the world. Founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was Egypt's capital for about a thousand years. The city was well known because of its library, the biggest in the ancient world, the light house and many other outstanding buildings. Check out Alexandria's top attractions in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Alexandria City Orientation Tour 2

Alexandria City Orientation Tour 2

Alexandria is a beautiful city, surrounded by marvelous monuments and buildings. It is considered to be one of the most historical cities of Egypt. The city of Alexandria features a large number of wonderful mosques, palaces and other buildings, which are mostly remains from Roman times. These amazing attractions are unique and worth seeing. Take the following self-guided tour to explore beautiful...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Alexandria for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Alexandria has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Alexandria, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.