The legend of the Alexandria Lighthouse

The legend of the Alexandria Lighthouse


Usually we focus on actually existing lighthouses, but in this case we like to make an exception and discuss a lighthouse that has been lost many centuries ago: the Alexandrian Lighthouse. This forlorn beacon remains on the list of the most intriguing structures of the Ancient World and will appeal to all you lighthouse fans out there.


A Traveler's Delight well into the medieval period, people from all around the globe made the pilgrimage to Alexandria to sight see this amazing feat of architecture. Erected in the 3rd century, it was well ahead of its own time.

 The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria

We would have loved to show a picture of the real lighthouse of Alexandria, but since that one has collapsed a long time ago we have to settle with this great lighthouse of Buchan Ness in Scotland. 


One of the 7 wonders

Just like most lighthouses, the vulnerability of its location subjected it to many natural disasters over the centuries, and it eventually met its demise and completely collapsed. All that remains is now part of the construction of the Citadel of Qaitbay, which dates back into the fifteenth century. One of the original seven world wonders, but all that is left is the reconstruction of how it once guided mariners home with a grandness unheard of for the times.


The specifics of what the original lighthouse featured is continually debated about among scholars. The exact measurements of height and structure are not officially known; they are only estimated by those who were able to see the amazing lighthouse and handed their knowledge down to future generations. Making an impression on those within the Muslim world, the details are very consistent across recollection.


An iconic lighthouse forever

In addition to eyewitness accounts, there is literature that has made it through the centuries recounting the awe-striking sight of the fantastical architectural feat. A building of its magnitude was not something commonplace. That is the reason many traveled far and wide to see it with their own eyes. Although no longer standing, the mystery, legend and cultural icon of the great lighthouse has survived in the hearts of many in the Middle East. A testament to the Alexandrian civilization, it will forever be a wonder of the world even without the specifics of it.