city in Egypt

Alexandria (Arabic: الإسكندرية) is the second largest city in Egypt. It was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια (Alexandria). It is on the Mediterranean Sea, only 225 km (140 miles) northwest of Cairo.

Alexandria harbour, looking south from the Mediterranean Sea, along the curved coastline.
San Stefano Plaza, Alexandria

Alexandria has 3.8 million people. It is the main port of Egypt. It has two airports and three big stadia: Alexandria stadium, Harras el hadoud stadium and Borg el-Arab stadium in the Borg el-Arab industrial city.

The fourth Wikimania was hosted in this city in 2008.[1]



Alexandria, named after Alexander the Great, was founded around 331 BC. For nearly 300 years, it was the capital of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Some famous ancient Greek scientists, such as Euclid of Alexandria and Eratosthenes, lived there or studied there. It was home to the largest library in the ancient Western world, the Library of Alexandria.

It was a wealthy city in its heyday, and remained the main way Egyptian grain went by sea to Ancient Rome. Rome depended greatly on Egyptian grain. Much of Alexandria sank below the sea in the 4th century. Some of her history is in the Mediterranean.

After the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 AD, they did not want to have their capital at Alexandria, because it was too vulnerable to naval raids. They made a new capital, much farther upriver, on the east side of the Nile, and called it Fustat. Alexandria became less important.


  1. Noam Cohen, Wikipedia Goes to Alexandria, Home of Other Great Reference Works, New York Times, July 17, 2008.

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