Egypt to Rebuild Famed Lighthouse that Inspired Salvador Dali, Julius Caesar

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    Egypt’s Supreme Antiquities Council announced their approval of plans to revive the Pharos Lighthouse, a Ptolemaic-era structure built on a small piece of land off the coast of the Alexandria in Egypt over 2,000 years ago.

    It was first constructed just after the death of Alexander the Great during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, and has been widely acknowledged as the first lighthouse in the world.

    Inspiration to Many

    The tower was featured in Salvador Dali’s The Lighthouse at Alexandria in 1954, described by Julius Caesar in his Civil Wars, and is believed to be one of the architectural influences of Early Islamic minarets.

    Due to periodic earthquakes in the region, all that remains now is an island mound with a ruin of what once was.

    Discovery

    French archaeologists discovered the site in 1994, as lead archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur wrote, “columns of all sizes, in their hundreds, column bases and capitals, sphinxes, statues, and some immense blocks of granite which, given where they lie, certainly came from the famous lighthouse.”

    Egypt plans to build a replica of the lighthouse a few metres away from its original site, where the Qaitbay Citadel currently stands.

    The Pharos Lighthouse was once the tallest man-made structure of the ancient world.

    Sailors received guidance from the top of the 110-130 meter tall tower via a mirror reflecting the sun, or by a fire set in the evening, visible a miraculous 30 to 300 miles away.

    Tourism

    Present-day visitors have only been able see pieces of the original building through scuba diving tours, as much of the lighthouse now lies beneath the Mediterranean that surrounds the land.

    Now, tourists will be able to see the tower’s full intended design. Once built, this site will be a must on any history buff’s travel list!

     

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