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Alexandria - Capital Cities

What: Ptolemaic, specifically Pharaoh Cleopatra’s, Royal Palace and its surrounding support buildings and infrastructure, including the Pharos Lighthouse and shipwrecks

Where: The sunken island of Antirhodos, named to reflect its direct competition with the Greek Island of Rhodes

When: The Palace was in use from 323BC to 30BC. It, like the Pharos Lighthouse, was damaged beyond repair and eventually disappeared beneath the waves

Why: Due to the Earthquake and ensuing Tsunami from Crete in 365AD

Proposals for the Future


The Egyptian Government along with UNESCO have been working in tandem since the 1960s to protect the 2.5 hectares and approx. 2,500 pieces of stonework which are of archaeological interest and are found in the waves.

In 1998, recommendations were received to build the Alexandria Underwater Museum to honour the remains of:

  • the Royal Palace and its surrounding areas;
  • the Royal Port of Portus Magnus;
  • the Temple of Caesarium, dedicated to the son of Pharaoh Cleopatra and Roman Emperor Caesar;
  • the Temple of Isis;
  • Mark Antony’s unfinished Palace, the Timonium;
  • pair of Granite Criosphinx, portraying the head of Pharaoh Cleopatra’s father;
  • the Pharos Lighthouse;
  • blocks with reliefs of Pharaoh Seti I;
  • the shipwrecks of various Battles, including a 30-meter-long 1st Century BC Roman Ship;
  • the underwater towns slightly further down the coast

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