The Lighthouse of Alexandria

3d model and reconstruction

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The reconstruction of the lighthouse, damaged by various earthquakes and then completely reconstructed when Sultan Quait Bey (end of the 15th century A.D.) decided to build a fort on its ruins, is based on that of Herman Tiersch from Germany, who in 1909, published an extensive monograph on this monument. His reconstruction suggestion is based on ancient literary sources, but mostly on the images found on coins from the 2nd century A.D, on mosaics found in Jordan, Israel and Libya, and on the one in the Basilica of San Marco in Venice (13th century A.D.), as well as on the example of the small lighthouse in Taposiris Magna, 17 meters high, still standing about 45 km west of Alessandria, which was built later than this lighthouse and with its three stories looks like a copy on a reduced scale.

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Short history of

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The name Pharos, the small island in front of the coast where Alexandria was built, already appears in the IV book of the Odissey (vv. 351 ff.) in a dialogue between the two heroes Telemachus, son of Ulysses, and Menelaus, king of Sparta.

The Lighthouse, built at the time of Ptolemy Il Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) by Sostratus of Cnidus, was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It stood where the fort of the sultan Quait Bey was (end of the 15th century A.D.), on the eastern end of the island of Pharos; its structure consisted of three floors, the first quadrangular, the second octagonal and the third cylindrical, reaching a total height of about 120 m. Inside it, in the highest section surmounted by a statue of Zeus, burned a perennial fire whose light was concentrated and projected by a set of mirrors, so that it could be seen from a great distance. Already in ancient times the Lighthouse risked collapsing several times, however, even after the violent earthquakes in the early the 15th century A.D. a some remains were still left.