The Lighthouse of Alexandria used to be the tallest structure and the world’s 7th wonder. It was constructed around 280-278 BC, close to the city of Alexandria on Faros Island in Egypt. It stayed majestically for over 1500 years, and unfortunately got extremely destroyed by multiple earthquakes in 1480. The Lighthouse’s ruins still exist, and being a major archaeological site, attracts many tourists every year in Egypt. People are still interested in the pedestal remains of the ancient giant of the world. Anyone passing through Egypt should visit the ancient world’s 7th wonder.


The Construction of the lighthouse of alexandria

The building of the house began in 280 BCE and took approximately 33 years to complete. It took twice the expense used in building Parthenon (which used to be a temple) at Athenian Acropolis in Greece. The then ruler used slave labor to get the construction complete. It was constructed in three phases and stood more than 300 feet tall when the work was done. The house was completed when Ptolemy’s son (the 1st) was in the ruling. Some historians believe that the builders completed the house in 283 BC when Ptolemy's son was holding a festival to honor his parents. The son, whose name was Ptolemy Philadelphus, commissioned the house. It was among the tallest man-made tower for many centuries; the second tallest structure after the Great Pyramid of Giza. The later rulers put the Lighthouse under a series of modifications before it finally got destroyed by earthquakes.

The Importance of the Lighthouse

According to historians, the building of the structure was important to the locals. It ensured that the sailors returned to the Great Harbor safely while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It was used as the sun during the day, and as a fire at night to guide the ships safely into the harbor. A reflective mirror on the very top of the tower would reflect the sunlight and guide the shipmen. Scientists found it a fascinating mystery. It was so necessary and impressive that it became one of the ancient world’s seven wonders. It stood at its height until it was damaged by strong regular earthquakes. After the damage to this tower, Sultan Qayetbay made the site his coastal defenses and then later built his castle there.

a modern-day Tourist Attraction

The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria became a tourist attraction site from the very beginning. In ancient times, the travelers who came to experience the structure were given food, at the top of the building's first level, which was then, the observation point. From that place, the visitors could have a breathtaking view of the structure because its height was 300 feet above sea level.

The Building’s Destruction

A part of the Lighthouse was damaged when two earthquakes struck the area in 796 and 951. It was still standing until three more earthquakes followed in 1303 and 1323 and destroyed it. Historians believe that the earthquake that originated on Greece Island of Crete in 1303 was the most destructive.

Related: Major Earthquake Shakes The Greek Island Of Crete

The remains from the destruction disappeared in 1480 after Quatbay ordered men to build a medieval fort in the place of the Lighthouse. The site attracted so many visitors because its existence was unique and fascinating. A made-made tower like that was almost nowhere on earth.

The Rediscovery of the Lighthouse

UNESCO sponsored an archaeological expedition in 1968 that led to the rediscovery of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The rediscovery was made in Alexandria, Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea. The team, led by Honor Frost, found ruins representing a part of the ancient giant. Other physical remains of the household were discovered on the Eastern Harbor of Alexandria. The columns and statues rediscovered underwater were captured by a cinematographer. Other expeditions followed, and divers can see the remains that submerged as a result of the destructive earthquakes.

Currently, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage is working with the Egyptian Government to include Alexandria Bay in the World Heritage List of submerged sites. There were plans underway to turn the remains of the Lighthouse into an underwater museum.

Visiting the Lighthouse of Alexandria

Today, visitors still travel to experience the ruins of the ancient world’s 7th wonder. The giant granite blocks, believed to be the Lighthouse’s remains can be seen. The area has capitals, columns, sphinxes, and statues that have existed for centuries. Seeing the broken blocks that broke from the top of the tower is a great experience.

Related: Little-Known Facts About The Library Of Alexandria And Its Tragic Fate

The ancient giant had a legacy of over 17 centuries. Visiting Alexandria Lighthouse would be a great choice for a traveler, especially, one who loves history. Visitors have a lot to experience, leave alone the underwear remains they can see as they dive. One can also visit the Island of Pharos and the nearby sites.

NEXT: Great Pyramid of Cholula: Why You Should Visit The Second-Largest In The World (After Giza)