Where was the lighthouse of Alexandria?
The lighthouse of Alexandria is perfectly identified, it was at the eastern end of the island of Pharos, a small island near Alexandria to which it was connected by a dike. On both sides of the dike there were two ports, the eastern one was illuminated by this splendid lighthouse.
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Who ordered it?
It was the satrap of Egypt Ptolemy Ier who was at the initiative of the construction of the lighthouse of Alexandria. A satrap is a provincial governor. At the death of Alexander the Great, who had founded an empire over Eastern Europe and Asia Minor, his generals divided the empire. Ptolemy Ier received Egypt and made it a powerful territory. To mark this power he ordered the construction of a lighthouse, an innovative building for the time, at the entrance to the port of the main coastal city: Alexandria.
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Are there copies of the lighthouse?
Yes, some of the most faithful are in amusement parks where we present the monuments of the world in small formats. But real lighthouses exist, with some resemblances, and some are still used today!
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Have the ruins of the lighthouse been found?
Yes, thanks to several campaigns of underwater excavations organized by the French. It was Jean-Yves Empereur who was able to undertake explorations under the direction of the French Institute of Eastern Archeology. Thanks to this work the lighthouse was partially reconstructed, and many pieces were identified.
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When was it destroyed?
There is no precise date as may be the case for the temple of Artemis for example. The lighthouse of Alexandria was abandoned rather quickly, the building gradually fell into ruin. Damaged by inclement weather, the earthquakes of the 14th century were the most important. It is generally considered that the one of 1303 was the one who abates the building, some ruins still standing a few decades.
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