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Alexandria

History

Established in 332 BC by Alexander the Great, the city became a major trade centre and focal point of learning for the entire Mediterranean. Its ancient library held 500, 000 volumes and the Pharos lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria continued as the capital of Egypt under the Roman and Byzantine Empires until the 4th century. The city thereafter went into decline until the 19th century, when Napoleon revived Alexandria as a major port. Despite the 1952 Revolution, in which the nationalistic mood of the moment expelled most foreign interests and stripped the city of its expatriate contingency, something of the city’s cosmopolitan character remains.