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Pharos of Alexandria

Updated on June 28, 2013

Pharos of Alexandria or simply known as Lighthouse of Alexandria was built in the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt. Because this lighthouse had become so well known, pharos became the etymology of the word lighthouse in Latin speaking countries.

Pharos of Alexandria first served solely as a landmark. Because there was no landmark that was built in the port of Pharos, it was deemed necessary to create one. It only became a lighthouse a few years after its construction.

It was designed by the Greek architect Sostratus under the authority of Ptolemy Philadephus. It was built in three stages. The lowest stage was a square, the middle was octagonal, and the highest stage was circular. A mirror was placed at the top to reflect sunlight during the day and fire was kept burning at nights, thus providing light to a huge portion of the harbor.

It was the first lighthouse in the world and the tallest building at the time with the exception of The Great Pyramid of Giza. Its height was about 384 feet or equivalent to a modern 40 storey building. It stood for 1500 years, the longest standing structure on the list of the seven wonders of the ancient world, again with the exception of The Great Pyramid of Giza. It was eventually destroyed by numerous earthquakes.

The Last Years of the Lighthouse

Earthquakes, natural disasters, and time are responsible for the many cracks and damages that occurred on the lighthouse. Because of its vulnerable condition, it was necessary to renovate the lighthouse. During its restoration, its height was lowered as an attempt to make it last longer. It stood for another 200 years after its restoration seeing its final days during the 12th century. Its ruins however remained on the site for another 100 years.

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Stamp with image of Pharos of AlexandriaAn artist's illustrationAn artist's illustrationOil on cardboard by Salvador DaliOil on cardboard by Salvador Dali
Stamp with image of Pharos of Alexandria
Stamp with image of Pharos of Alexandria
An artist's illustration
An artist's illustration
An artist's illustration
An artist's illustration
Oil on cardboard by Salvador Dali
Oil on cardboard by Salvador Dali
Oil on cardboard by Salvador Dali
Oil on cardboard by Salvador Dali

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    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Merry Christmas BeatsMe. Cheers :-)

    • BeatsMe profile image
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      BeatsMe 7 years ago

      Merry Christmas Cgull. Thanks for coming by and hope you've enjoyed this hub. :)

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 7 years ago

      If we could really go back in time ... !!!

    • BeatsMe profile image
      Author

      BeatsMe 7 years ago

      Uhhm, without computers, or TVs, or even transistor radios? I don't think so. That wouldn't be fun. :)

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 7 years ago

      Well the time machine could bring us back to our present time. I only expressed a wish to go back in time just to verify the accuracy of history books. After that, Zwoosh! It's back to the future!

    • BeatsMe profile image
      Author

      BeatsMe 7 years ago

      Wishful thinking Quicksand. If we can do this, we'll be like God. :D Nothing wrong with your wish, though. Just impossible. :)

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I loved this hub BeatsMe and what a wonderful symbol and great artwork.

    • BeatsMe profile image
      Author

      BeatsMe 7 years ago

      Thanks Katyzzz. I agree, the artists were really good in their illustrations and artworks.

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