The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern; its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country although it is actually only 225 km from Cairo.
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria became the capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt, its status as a beacon of culture symbolized by Pharos, the legendary lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the centre of learning in the ancient world. But ancient Alexandria declined, and when Napoleon landed, he found a sparsely populated fishing village.
Some of the main attractions of Alexandria include the Graeco-Roman Museum, the Roman Amphitheatre, Pompei's Pillar, the Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa, and glorious beaches which stretch for 40 km from Abu Kbir in the east, to Sidi Abdul Rahman, in the west
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