Pompey's Pillar, Alexandria

Situated centrally in Alexandria, Pompey’s Pillar towers over the surrounding buildings as a reminder of the once great power of the Roman Empire. 


Just a short 3 hours from Cairo is the old Roman Port City of Alexandria, the 2nd largest and populated City in Egypt. Off the main Corniche (seafront) in Alexandria and just close to the centre is Pompey’s Pillar.


Pompey’s Pillar tower is approximately  25m above a limestone ridge. The red granite column known as Pompey’s Pillar was actually raised to honor the Roman emperor Diocletian, who threatened to massacre Alexandria’s populace “until their blood reached his horse’s knees”, but desisted when his mount slipped and bloodied itself prematurely. This Corinthian column was built in 297 AD, commemorating the victory of Roman emperor Diocletian over an Alexandrian revolt. It may have come from the Temple of Serapis that once stood nearby, housing Cleopatra’s “Daughter Library” of 42,800 texts, which outlived the Mother Library by almost a century, only to be destroyed by Christian mobs in 391. All that remains are three subterranean galleries where the sacred Apis bulls were interred, a Nilometer, and some underground cisterns making the site pretty disappointing considering what used to exist here.
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