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Pompey's Pillar 1- Largest pillar in the World

A Unique article in Pompey's Pillar 1Serapeum Temple,  Nilometerand the daughter library.

Pompey's Pillar 1

  •  This area considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites in Alexandria, before Alexander's founding this area, it was part of sixteen Egyptian villages,  and part of the village which called (Raqouda), the first nucleus on which the city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, after Alexander's founded this area, was called the (Acropolis of the Citywhich meaning the elevated place on which the most important temples and buildings are based.


  • It's location  on a mount called in Arabic "tall bab sedra", it flanked by the plateau the Catacomb (Kom el Shoqafa), and cemetery of Muslims which called (El amoud).

Serapeum of Alexandria

  • Serapeum Temple was in one day one of the largesthighest and most important temples in Alexandria during the Greek and Roman eras, it also considered to be one of the greatest temples around the Mediterranean.

Reason for building the Serapeum Temple

After the death of Alexander the Great (the founder of the city), his vast empire was divided, Egypt was given to "Ptolemy I", who was a childhood friend, and trusted general to Alexander the great, Ptolemy I considered to be founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt.

Ptolemy I worked on the participation of both the Egyptians and the Greeks in working on the advancement of the new state, he saw to unite the hearts of these two elements through the religious aspect by creating a new religion that would participate in the worship of the Egyptian gods, and the Greeks together, the clergy managed to present Serapis in two forms to the Egyptians and Greeks in a way that suited their views, beliefs, and decided to portray the new god as Zeus, the chief of the Greek deity, one of the oldest Greek gods, while the Egyptian form was Serapis the sacred calf Apis.

Pompey's Pillar 1

Serapeum of Alexandria architect

  • The Design of Serapeum temple  consisted mainly of a high platform accessed by a staircase of 100 steps, it was taking a rectangular shape, it was taken from the shape of the ancient Greek houses, where the entrance is on the east, the famous traveller Ibn Battuta described it at the beginning of the 14th century, as the strangest thing his eyes saw in that city.

Who destroyed Serapeum?

The temple was destroyed twice once was during the revolt by the Jews of Alexandria, during the reign of Emperor Trajan, on the ruins of the Ptolemaic temple, Emperor Hadrian erected another temple that was destroyed again after the official recognition of Christianity in 391 AD, which resulted in the elimination of all pagan temples, Then a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and Elisha was built on the site, Later during the Arab and Ottoman periods, building material from the abandoned structures of the Serapeum was dismantled, and reused elsewhere in the city.

Pompey's Pillar 1

Pompey's Pillar 1

  • Pompey's pillar considered to be one of the most famous landmarks in Alexandria, it considered to be the highest memorial in the world, due to its importance, Alexandria took it as it's sloganPompey’s pillar been always admired by everyone throughout the ages, due to its majesty, and the symmetry of its parts at the same time, the shaft of Pompey's Pillar  was made of red granite, its height was 20.75 m and its diameter at the base was 2.70 m, and at the crown was 2.30 m, the total height of the column reached 26.85 meters, its weighs about 500 tons.
  •  The size, and weight of the pillar may be probably the reason that it has been preserved in the antiquity, it was transported by the Nile, after it was cut from the granite quarries in Aswan, then, it was carried through the Nile that supplied Alexandria with fresh water.

                                                              《To be CONTINUED part 2


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Asmaa Ahmed

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