Ancient library of Alexandria was part of an institution of higher learning known as the Alexandrian Museum. The library was intended as an instrument for the scholars who were doing museum research.
The city of Alexandria was founded as Egypt’s capital in 332 BC and remained so for about a thousand years before the Muslims opened Egypt and converted the capital into the Fustat, Egypt’s first Islamic capital. Because of its grandeur and the number and variety of books it housed, the library of Alexandria had many titles, including the royal library of Alexandria, the Grand Library, or Alexandria ‘s great library. For several decades the library has served as a major center of science and culture.The ancient library was founded in the third century BC by the order of Ptolemy the second, and it was said to contain 700,000 books and to be the world’s largest library at the time. This is beyond the fact that many great scientists such as Archimedes studied in the library Alexandria’s library was world-famous as it was the first publicgovernment library in history. There were also libraries in the Pharos period but that was limited to the temple priests and the royal family.
The library housed two fascinating periods of research, civilization, and books: the Pharaonic and the Greek. In this great library, the two cultures of the West and the East met through books and lectures hosted by the library, which was considered the first attempt at the modern idea of globalization It was compulsory that any scholar who was studying in Alexandria’s library would leave a copy of his writings in the library. This was one of the reasons the library was abundant with contemporary books, writers, and studies at the time. This is alongside older time novels. The library manager freed himself from all kinds of prejudice in order to gather all the world’s sciences and ideas in one great place.
The Library Burning
Most historians agree that in the year 48 BC, Julius Cesar burned 101 ships landing on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, opposite Alexandria. This was after little Ptolemy, Cleopatra ‘s nephew, went to war with Cesar believing he was helping the queen fight against him. This great fire entered the library and caused substantial damage to the library building and its books.History also reported when the Roman emperor Thyosyos ordered the destruction of the library for his man. However, some historians say that the library existed until 640 AD when it was burnt by the Muslims under the orders of Amr Ibn Al Aas, the Muslim leader who at that time invaded Egypt. Some other scholars believe that the library was no longer there when Amr entered Alexandria and has nothing to do with its destruction, and that the library was completely destroyed during Julius Cesar ‘s time.
The first effort to restore Alexandria ‘s library dates back to the year 1974. However, there were no clear steps starting in the late 80s
The first step in the building of the modern library was the Egyptian president’s announcement that the new library of Alexandria was launched with the support of UNESCO and the vision of re-establishing the library was shared with all the people of Egypt and the world. The library was officially opened at the site of the ancient library on 17th October 2002.Then Hosny Mubarak founded the public authority of Alexandria ‘s library and made an international architectural design competition and the prize was sixty thousand US dollars won by Snohetta, Norwegian architectural design grand company.
The new library style
The construction of Alexandria ‘s new library consisted of four underground stores and six upstairs stores. A specific architectural germ is called the special form of Alexandria ‘s modern library.
Alexandria ‘s new library is situated in al Shatby, across from Al Selsela street.
The library’s oval shape from the outside is a sign of the continuity of life when the sun rises from the sea and travels from the highest point to the lowest point overlooking the water. The library is sounded by a wide wall made of Aswan Granite and contains 120 languages of writing and inscriptions.
The library is ten floors tall and has an oval-shaped cover with a 60-meter radius. The library is divided into 14.4 / 9.6 meter reading sections. The library was built to last for two centuries, but due to its proximity to the sea, there are concerns that this period may be underestimated.
The purpose of the new library is the same as that of the old library: to serve as a public research library and to help the citizens of the Arab world and the Middle East in retaining their old role as scholars and researchers in various science fields.
Alexandria’s library is considered the world’s first digital library and contains 8 million books, six specialist libraries, three museums, learning centers, two permanent galleries, six halls to host art exhibits, an internet archive, an audio and visual library, a special library for the blind, a children’s library, a teenage library, a microfilm
- Adults: 12 EGP.
- Students: 8 EGP
- Students at school: 5 EGP
- Tickets all-inclusive: 8 EGP
Tickets For foreigners:
- Adults: 50 EGP
- Students: 15 EGP
- School students: 5 EGP
- All-inclusive tickets: 45 EGP