Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The Lighthouse of Alexandria is the most well recorded destroyed six of the seven wonders of the ancient world (the pyramids of Giza is the only wonder still standing), as it was still in force until a severe earthquake land destroyed structure in a few decades in the early 14th century.

As he survived until recently, the writings of most travelers who visited the Lighthouse of Alexandria also survived to this day, highly describing what the lighthouse looked like and what it was used.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was built on the island of Pharos just off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. As such, it was also known as the Pharos Lighthouse. The lighthouse was designed by the famous architect Sostratus to, and was so complicated that it took two years to complete. The best description comes from the writings of Arab traveler Abu Al-Haggag Andaloussi when he visited the Pharos lighthouse in 1166.

The literature suggests that the structure is composed of four main sections. At the bottom was a platform filled with statues that are still being discovered today by divers off the coast of Alexandria. Some researchers believe that the ships moored just off the platform as well.

On top of this platform was a square structure 18 m (60 ft) on each side and about 56 m (184 ft) high. In the middle of this section is a shaft and stairwell used for equipment and fuel transportation Pharos lighthouse, and visitors as well. The third part is an octagonal structure measuring approximately 27 m (90 ft) high. It also contained a similar axis of the transport medium.
In addition to this was a circular tower that housed the fire (for use to warn ships during the night) and the large mirror (for use during the day). A statue of Poseidon stood atop the tower.

The Pharos lighthouse was a marvel of architecture and engineering, bearing similarities with modern skyscrapers. He stood up a 40-storey modern building. The Greeks were so impressed by what they included as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

The mirror of the Pharos lighthouse seems to be quite famous in antiquity. Many people believed that the mirror was so good and so powerful that it could be used to reflect the sun's rays on the invading ships and burn them. Another belief was that the mirror was so strong it could be used to monitor and spy on competitors city-states around the Mediterranean, more than 100 miles away. However, it is highly unlikely that any of these stories are true.

From the historical evidence, it seems that the Pharos lighthouse was also a tourist attraction. Hundreds of visitors increased the lighthouse every day to enjoy the fantastic view around Alexandria. the food vendors also sold their property at the top of each section of Pharos.

However, the Pharos lighthouse was damaged by earthquakes, becoming totally demolished in the early 14th century. Its ruins and location were then used by the Egyptian Sultan Qaitbay to build a fort in 1480, thus ending the history of this wonder of the world.

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