Thursday, February 07, 2013

1.3 Lighthouse of Alexandria (Egypt)

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7 Wonders of the world old (series 1)

The lighthouse of Alexandria was a tower built in the 3rd century BC (between the years 285 and 247 BC) on the island of Faro, in Alexandria, Egypt, to serve as point of reference for the port and lighthouse. With a height estimated between 115 and 150 meters (383-450 feet) was one of the highest man made for many centuries, and it was identified as one of the seven wonders of the world by Antipater of Sidon.


It was built by the architect Sóstrato de Cnido by order of Ptolomeo II in the island's Lighthouse (Pharos), against Alexandria. It consisted of a huge tower on which a bonfire night marked the position of the city the navigators, the coast in the area of the Nile delta is very plain and lack, therefore, any reference to maritime navigation.
Graphic reconstruction of the lighthouse according to a study undertaken in 2006.
 
A replica of the lighthouse of Alexandria in Changsha, China.
 
Lighthouse of Alexandria in Terra Mitica (Alicante)
Its height reached 134 meters and big glass blocks which were located in the foundations to avoid erosion and increase the resistance against the force of the sea were used in its construction. The building, erected on a square base platform, was octagonal and constructed with marble blocks joined with molten lead. At the top a large metallic mirror reflected the sunlight during the day, and evening projected the lightness of a large fire at a distance of up to 50 kilometers.

Along with the great pyramid of Giza, the lighthouse survived the rest of the seven wonders of the ancient world. However, it was severely damaged by earthquakes in 1303 and 1323 to the point that the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta wrote that it had been impossible to enter the ruins.

The remains disappeared in 1480 when the sultan of Egypt Qaitbey used stone blocks from the ruins to build a Fort.
Source consulted or translated:   Faro de Alejandría (Egipto)

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