Founded by Alexander the Great in 330 BC, Alexandria was once the most renowned city in the ancient world after Athens and Rome. The great lighthouse, the Pharos, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Although little remains from the glorious city of those days, Alexandria is still a fascinating destination.
Sightseeing includes the spectacular new Bibliotheca Alexandrina (below right), built at a cost of 353 million dollars and opened in 2002. Alexandria's library was world-famous in ancient times until destroyed by fire and this stunning new building has a vast reading area, an 'Impressions of Alexandria' exhibit, an Antiquities Museum, Manuscript Museum and Planetarium.
The Catacombs of Kom es-Shoqafa, discovered by chance in 1900, are one of Alexandria's top attractions, although not to everyone's taste (many find them claustrophobic). There are more than 300 bodies interred in the vaults.
Nearby stands Pompey's Pillar (below left) raised to honour the Roman Emperor Diocletian.