This royal Alexandria Library was once the greatest and largest libraries in the ancient world. It was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of arts and flourished during the Ptolemaic dynasty. It functioned as the main scholarship center from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. Alexandria city was once considered to be a great center of knowledge and information because of its great library, which was actually part of the Museum of Alexandria, where many of the amazing thinkers and philosophers studied. Here all the information you need to know about Alexandria library:
- 1. Who Built Alexandria Library?
- 2. History of the Old Alexandria Library
- 3. The Modern Alexandria Library
- 4. Design of Alexandria Library
- 5. Exhibits in Alexandria Library
- 6. Museums Inside Alexandria Library
Who Built Alexandria Library?
Ptolemy I Soter, who was the successor of Alexander the Great, was the one who created this gorgeous library. It is estimated that the library was a house for more than 700.000 books. It was the first public governmental library in history. This great library combined both east and west civilizations. Every scholar studied in this great library has left a copy of his written book. Many fires and a lot of earthquakes have caused a lot of damage to the city of Alexandria and its library.
The History of Burning the Old Alexandria Library
A lot of historians believed that Julius Cesar burned 101 ships, which were landing on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea because of his fight with little Ptolemy, Cleopatra’s brother. This huge fire reached the library and caused terrible cultural damage. Many books were burned and damaged because of this fire and a new library had to be established.
The Modern Alexandria Library
The first action to rebuild this library took place in 1974 but the real step started in the late 1980s. The Egyptian President declared the need to rebuild this majestic library with the help of UNESCO. After the establishment of the modern library, President Hosny Mubarak made an international architectural designing competition and the prize was sixty thousand American dollars in 1988. The prize was won by Snohetta, the Norwegian architectural design grand company. He managed to re-open the library on October 17th, 2002 in the location of the ancient library. It received a donation of 500.000 books from the National Library of France in 2010, which made it the sixth-largest Francophone library in the whole world.
The Design of the Modern Alexandria Library
The modern Alexandria Library consists of four underground stores and six upper stores. Its oval shape is a special architectural germ. This shape is a symbol of the continuity of life. It is surrounded by a great wall that was made out of Aswan Granite. This wall contains writing and inscriptions in 120 languages.
The library is divided into reading sections. It has the same importance as the previous one. It acts as a public research library and supports the people of the Arab world and the Middle East to retain their old position as scholars and researchers in different fields of science and it is the first digital library in the whole world. The library includes 8 million books, six specialized libraries, three museums, research centers, two permanent galleries, six halls to host art exhibitions, an internet archive, audio, and visual library. It also includes a special library for blind people, a library for children, a library for teenagers, a microfilm library, the library of the rare books and a conference center.
Areas and Exhibits in Alexandria Library
There is the main library, it consists of millions of books and its affiliated libraries are:
- The Francophone Library.
- The Depository Library.
- The Maps Library.
- In addition to six specialized libraries
- The Arts and Multimedia Library.
- Taha Hussein’s Library.
- The Young People’s Library.
- The interesting Microforms Library.
- The Rare Books and Special Collections Library.
- The Children’s Library.
Museums Inside Alexandria Library
Antiquities Museum: This museum was established in 2001, which is the first archeological museum in the library. The museum collection provides an interesting glimpse into Egyptian history from the pharaonic era to the Roman civilization before the advent of Islam. It also provides the descriptions of the artifacts in three languages (Arabic-English-French).
Manuscript Museum: This is a unique museum, which provides visitors with rare digital manuscripts and books. It was also established in 2001. Its main target is to preserve the heritage and create a new restorers generation. It contains more than 6,000 rare books, documents, and maps. There are three sections inside the museum. Rare Collections: contains the unique items of the library such as books, maps, and antique coins. Microfilm: includes microfilms for around 30,000 rare manuscripts and 50,000 documents. Museographic Display: is divided into two sections, the Exhibition Gallery, the Travelling Exhibition group.
Sadat Museum: It contains many personal belongings of the greatest Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat and a recording of his voice reading a part of the Quran. This collection includes the president’s military robes, his Nobel Prize medal, his copy of the Qur’an, a few of his handwritten letters, and pictures of him and his family. It also includes the bloodstained military robe he wore the day of his assassination.
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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.