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 Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • Bibliotheca Alexandria considered to be an Arab, and international beacon, in addition to that it's one of the giant cultural edifices.
  • It is the first digital library in the twenty-first century.
  • It is the fourth largest Francophone libraries in the world.

Brief in the Ancient Library of Alexandria

  •  It was known as the Royal Library.
  • It was one of the greatest library in ancient world.
  • It was founded in 288 B.C, by Ptolemy I the successor of Alexander the Great, he was cultured leader and lover of literature.
  • It held many volumes and Papyrus rolls between 400.000 to 700.000 dealing with all sciences.

Bibliotheca Alexandria

How Bibliotheca Alexandria collection of value books grew so large in ancient period?

  • That happened by decree from Ptolemy III, as he ordered all the visitors of the city to surrender all the books and scrolls in their procession.
  • They were copied by officials scribes the copies were delivered to the previous owner, and the original were kept in ancient library.
  • Ptolemy sent representatives throughout the world, to collect reference works, the huge number of original books inside the library made the great thinkers flocked to it to study and exchange idea.
  • Euclid, Archimedes they were studied there, in addition to Eratothius, who was the first to calculate the diameter of the Earth.
  • Unfortunately it was destroyed due to a huge fire happened in it.
  • Julius Caesar in 48 BC burned 101 ships that were located on the shore of the Mediterranean in front of the Library of Alexandria, and the fire spread to the library, which destroyed everything in it.

Bibliotheca Alexandria after 2000 years
  • That wasn’t the end of this legend building as after 2000 years, the Egyptian government and UNESCO organisation combined their efforts to revive the Great library.
  • They sponsored architecture competition for designing the new library, the first prize was won by Norwegian company among 524 entries from 52 countries.
  • The building of the library took 7 years from 1995 to 2002, while the cost of this project was 200 million dollars.
  • The president of France, GreeceRomania, king of Spainqueen Rania of Jordan, attended the opening ceremonial of it, which was in 16 October 2002

The location

  • It’s location in magnificent site facing the Mediterranean sea on the north side, and Alexandria University on its southern side, it’s very close to the location of the old library.

Statue of Ptolemy I

Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • He was the founder of the old library, it putted here in the entrance of the bibliotheca to welcoming the visitors of the new library.
  • This statue was one of the sunken antiquities that was at the bottom of the sea at the eastern harbor for 2000 years.
  • It was fished out from the sea by the French Egyptologist  Jean Yves Empereur.
  • The statue was made from pink granite and consists of 4 pieces; the body, the head, the crown and the arm. 

The design concept

Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • It is simple circle inclined towards the sea partly submerged in a pool of water this represent the image of the Egyptian sun that illuminate the world and the human civilisation.
  • The outer wall made by grey granite from Aswan, it carved with symbols from 120 letters of known and forgotten languages, symbolize world cultures throughout different historical eras.

Statue of Demetrius

Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • Demetrius was worked as a consultant to Ptolemy the First, and he was the architecture who planed the ancient library of Alexandria.
  • He was an Athenian politician and philosopher, and he was Alexander’s colleague.

Callimachus Triangle

  • It was named by this name callimachus after the Greek poet, as he was the first to lay down the rules for classifying books (indexing) in the ancient Library of Alexandria. 
  • It is located at the entrance of Bibliotheca Alexandria, it is designed to give library visitors the opportunity to peek into the reading room without disturbing the readers.
  • The Bibliotheca Alexandria consists of 11 floors, 4 of them are under the surface of the ground, two floors at the top resemble a ship, they are dedicated to meetings, while the last two floors for the management of the library.
  • The degree of tilt in the roof allows the sun to enter, without disturbing the readers with direct rays.
  • It is used to light up the two colors blue and green, which represent the earth and the sea, because this colours give a feeling of comfort to the visitors and readers.
  • The inner wall of the library contains rectangular openings similar to those of the old library, in which papyrus scrolls were preserved, these openings were created here as simulating the old library, and they also help to absorb noise.

The Bulaq Press

  • It was established under the rule of Mohamed Ali in 1820.
  • It considered to be the first official government printing press in the history of Egypt.
  • It was transferred to the library to preserve it and highlight it's historical value. 
  • The first book was printed on it, was an Arabic-Italian dictionary.

An antique piece from the cladding of holy Kaaba (kiswah)

Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • This antique piece dates back to 1820.
  • It's part from the cladding of the holy Kaabakiswah’, which was made from black silk, the hand inscriptions on it were made from gold and silver threads.
  • They used about 120 kg of gold and 100 kg of silver thread that is used for sewing the Quranic verses.
  • The kiswa change occurs annually on the 9th of Dul Hijja.

The (BA) museums

  • The Manuscripts Museum, the Antiquities Museum, the History of Science Museum, and the Sadat Museum

Bibliotheca Alexandria

The (BA) Specialized research centres

  • It has 7 specialized research centers (Manuscripts, Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Fonts and writing, Informatics Sciences, Alexandria and Mediterranean Studies, Arts, Scientific research, Dialogue forum).

Planetarium Science centre (PSC)

Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • It designed in the shape of a planet that left its outer orbit, to settle in the orbit of the library.
  • Its purpose is to screen films about celestial bodies.
  • The planetarium can accommodate a hundred people and gives each of them the feeling that they are inside a spaceship among the stars and planets with sound and light effects.

Bibliotheca Alexandria

  • All of that made the library as centerpiece for both learning and debate


  • http://www.alexandria.gov.eg/services/tourism/alextourism/culture/%D9%85%D9%83%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%83%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9.html
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiswah
  • https://www.bibalex.org/en/center/details/planetariumsciencecenterpsc
  • http://www.shaboury.com/portfolio_page/president-sadat-museum/